Travelling via a plane may be faster and possibly more “luxurious” than travelling by car, but I have to admit that there is something special and even sentimental about going on a good ole’ fashioned road trip. There are so many things to see and do along a road trip that you would never be able to when travelling through the sky.
I’ve definitely had my fair share of road trips. I have done the fun and adventurous road trips with friends, the family road trips, and I have also done the “moving across the country with everything I own in my car and attached trailer” road trip… twice. So, if you’re the spontaneous “Let’s just drive and see what happens!” type, I applaud your carefree spirit, but I do suggest you at least consider a couple of these tips to help better your adventure.
1. Choose a destination and time frame
Choosing the main destination and a time frame for your trip is crucial. You should choose a destination based not only on your desire, but also the ability to drive to it (aka not across the ocean), and how much time it’ll take to arrive, enjoy, and then get back home. Consider the amount of time/days it takes to get to your desired location and a couple days for exploring (or more if you can) and the amount of time/days it takes you to get back home and that should equal the number of days (or time frame) you have for your trip! If you don’t plan a time frame and then map out your drive around that, you may find yourself short on time when arriving at your desired destination or be cut short on time spent sight-seeing along your road trip.
2. Decide on the route
After choosing your time frame and destination, choosing the route is next. This can be as simple as plugging in the destination’s coordinates on your satnav and holding tight for a long ride. This is great for the traveller who has no intentions of stopping other than for gas and food and just wants to get to their destination and start exploring as soon as possible. However, if you’re anything like me, you want to choose a route that may or may not be the quickest but could also leave room for some interesting places to check out or sight-seeing nearby. I love to see as many new places and things as I can when I am travelling, and road trips are no exception! One of the best things about road trips is there aren’t really any rules to which route you have to take or stay on and you can create a memorable experience along the way by finding cool things to stop and see near your route. If you want to stop somewhere along your way, see how far away it is from the route you wish to take. You’ll also want to add that into your time frame as well if you’re on a time crunch.
3. Pack wisely.
Obviously, you’ll need to pack a bag of clothes, toiletries, and whatnot for any trip. Road trips, however, require a bit more thought in what to pack and have with you during a long car ride. Stock up on snacks (preferably of the packaged variety so they don’t go bad), water bottles and/or other beverages, a couple plastic bags for trash, pillows and blankets for a more comfortable ride, portable chargers for your phone, and anything else you think you could bring that will make your drive smoother. Pro tip: If you don’t already have it, invest in a First Aid kit to keep in your car. I think everyone should have one in their car at all times just in case, but especially on a road trip.
4. Bring entertainment.
If you’re bringing friends along for the ride, then you’re already halfway there! To keep things fun and lively while driving for longer periods of time, you’re going to need an epic playlist. What’s a better way to pass the time and mile markers than singing off key to “Fergalicious”!? The answer is nothing, nothing is better. I recommend a nicely balanced mix of music genres, but a throwback playlist is a necessity. Podcasts can also keep things interesting on a long drive. You could also bring a book or two if you’re a daredevil who doesn’t get headaches from reading books during car rides. I envy you!
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