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Family Road Trip and Memorial Day Travel: Time’s A’Wasting.

Roadside Fruit Stand, Crystal River, Florida (Scarborough photo)If you’re like me, the weeks simply vaporize into some sort of alternate universe, leaving the real world an unplanned organizational wasteland.

Sorry travelers; for the US readers the Memorial Day weekend May 27-28 is fast approaching.

Do you have a plan? Stay local? Short/long road trip? Fly somewhere?

Time for family travel planning link-o-rama….

First up (to get you in the official road trippin’ mood) is Rolf Potts interviewing Jamie Jensen, the author of the great guidebook “Road Trip USA” about the “Allure of the American Road Trip.” Makes me want to go get into the car despite gas prices. For more ideas, check out Jensen’s book and Web site.

Here are some good suggestions for drives in the Western US.

When you’re cruising the byways and getting hungry, always check out Roadfood for local, sometimes offbeat places to eat. Teresa Plowright at About’s Travel With Kids site has links to steer you to places where kids eat free.

If you’re a BBQ fanatic like me, you’ll enjoy this USA Today article on 10 places to get the good meaty stuff across the USA. (My personal fave, not listed, is Iron Works BBQ in Austin, TX.)

At a loss for ideas? Frommer’s has a few in their list of unique summer festivals (Georgia’s Summer Redneck Games vs Charleston’s Spoleto; they’ve got you covered.) About’s Travel With Kids has a ton of ideas and links tied to Memorial Day.

Combine adventure/outdoors travel with an urban setting — Smarter Travel shows you how & where. Close to my neck of the woods in North Florida is the Florida Folk Festival, headlined this year by Rosanne Cash.

Sing Along at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame (Scarborough photo)

And (have mercy!) if you insist on visiting hot, muggy Orlando this time of year and taking the kids to Disney World, Fodor’s offers a Survival Guide here and some more tips here.

The park is too big to wander through without a plan unless you want to lose your mind.

Remember, park in the morning, hang out at the hotel pool in the afternoon, more park at night. My pick for the least-crazed-with-crowds park is MGM Studios. For me, the one to minimize/avoid is Magic Kingdom; just a freakin’ madhouse.

Finally, when you’re planning a hotel stay, consider one with a large water-play area for everyone to cool down; this article profiles a few.

Have a terrific time, and afterwards come back here to the Family Travel blog to tell us how it went!