Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Amazing Race(Cation): Part 1

I've made quite a few references to the Amazing Race themed road trip I recently planned for Jess and I, but I wanted to go into a little more detail so you can see just how amazing it actually was.  I went all out on this one, folks.  Honestly, I'm not even sure what came over me but I hope it comes back soon cause this was- hands down- one of the coolest things I've ever put together.  Luckily I came up with the idea almost a month ago cause this isn't the type of project you can pull off at the last minute.  At least I couldn't of...I would've lost my mind.  I spent a little bit of time everyday planning our challenges, pit stops, and the logistics of the trip itself and then designing, printing and organizing the material I came up with.  By the time it was done, it was easy to see how a little time here and a there added up to 1) A lot of time and 2) Something exceptionally cool.  Here's the breakdown of what I did:   

After doing a bit of research on our route, I picked out a few cities that might be fun to stop in and looked into activities we could do there.  My criteria was simple...nothing more than a mile off the highway, nothing that cost much money, and nothing that would take too long.  Once I selected our stops, I got to work fashioning them to fit into an Amazing Race format, which first and foremost required awesome envelopes for each leg of the trip.  

Next, I made Route Info pamphlets to put inside the envelopes.  In short, those are cards that contained a clue about our next check point, a map of our destination, the approximate travel time and a few challenges for the road.

I had way too much fun coming up with road challenges...they varied from "Listen to this themed playlist I burned" to "Learn some Italian", the goal (of course) being to keep us entertained while the time passed.

Since I knew even the trickiest challenges would only hold our attention for so long, I included an "Additional Challenges" packet as well and explained that we had the entire duration of the trip to complete it.

Inside the packet I included a few games (Trivial Pursuit and Brain Benders), and a "Top 5-10" checklist we needed to fill out which was by and large my favorite activity.  Here's how it worked...first, I came up with an extensive list of favorites (favorite historical figures, favorite snack foods, favorite Halloween costume you've ever worn), goals (hobbies you'd like to take up, countries you'd like to visit, things you want to learn) and opinions/observations in general (nicest people you know, most influential mentors you've ever had, happiest moments of your life thus far).  I printed it off with an empty check box next to each and the goal of the game was to complete the entire page and write the corresponding answers in the included journal.  I called it "Top 5-10" because, while I wanted us to both give our top 5 answers, I knew some would overlap and I tend to get very technical...even in games where I write the rules.  It's the cross I must bear, I suppose.  I took the last two elements of the Additional Challenges packet straight from the Amazing Race show itself (more or less).  I included five "detours" (challenges), three of which we had to complete.

Lastly, I included a Fast Forward card that would allow us to skip any checkpoint if, for whatever reason, we wanted to.  While we didn't end up having to use it, I knew Jess would sooner fall asleep at the wheel and crash than allow us to somehow loose our own this was an absolute necessity.  

Once I had everything printed out, I numbered each check point envelope and separated them into two larger for our trip there, one for the trip back.  After that, all that was left to do was to put everything in a handy dandy canvas bag for safe keeping and call it a day (or month, depending on how you look at it).

In order to keep this post from going on forever, I decided to breakdown the game itself today and tell you about our actual trip tomorrow (where we stopped, what we did, what challenges we were able to complete, etc).  It's gonna be a fun post so don't forget to check back in!   

If you're interested in planning your very own Amazing Race themed trip, let me know and I just might be able to help.  We offer a full set of design services and would love to assist you in your planning...just shoot me an e-mail


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