Since it is still spring break in some parts of the country I figured today would be a good day to share road trip tips. We love road trips, but they have to be done right. Below are my seven tips for a successful road trip. Note: We don’t have kids so these tips apply to adults traveling without kids. Some tips will relate to older kids and teens, but I can’t promise anything.
1. Know your route
I feel like this is pretty obvious, but I feel the need to mention it anyway. Know where you are going, how you are getting there, and if possible a few major cities on the way. Share the basic plan with the entire car so that everyone can assist is paying attention to the route. We’ve all missed an exit before, it happens, but it is best to realize this as soon as possible.
2. Bring beverages
Staying hydrated on road trips is super important. We always bring big water bottles to get us going and refill them as needed at rest stops. As a coffee drinker make my coffee before we leave and take it with me, saves money and the time it takes to stop. Yes, the more you drink the more you need to use the restroom, however it is worth it and the bathroom breaks give legs a minute to stretch.
3. Healthy Snacks
Avoid the gas station crap by packing a small cooler or lunchbox with a few snacks to keep you going. I like to pull these out when we get a little tired or just bored. Favorites include carrot sticks, grapes, baked potato chips, and trail mix. Apples, bananas, popcorn, and a handful of nuts are also good options.
4. Pack a lunch
If you are watching what you eat, or just trying to stay healthy and on budget consider bringing your lunch for the first meal of the trip. Before the rise of fast food road trippers always had picnics at rest stops but these days it is not popular. As a nod to the past pack a light lunch to eat at a rest stop and remember the old days. Salads, cold sandwiches, potato salad, and chips and salsa are favorites for packed lunches.
5. Avoid gas stations
Of course you have to gas up the car, I understand that, however limit time spent wandering around the convenience store. I can’t count the group road trips I’ve been on where we have walked around one of those for 20 minutes and everyone ends up buying junk. Gas the car, use the restrooms and get out. If you do need snacks consider stopping at a grocery store and getting enough for the next leg of the trip instead of single serve options. (If you must stop, Wawa is our favorite for healthy options)
6. Power up
Before you leave ensure you have at least one phone charger in the car. Running navigation, music, and surfing the internet drain phone batteries and for the sake of safety you need at least one working phone. We usually have two chargers just to be safe. Make sure all other entertainment devices are powered up and ready to go as well. Note: check on your phone data allowance before your trip, all that time scrolling instagram in the car can totally blow it.
7. Plan ahead entertainment
Road trips are long but a great time to enjoy an audiobook together. We like to download one to my phone via Overdrive from our local library. We also love listening to and playing along with our favorite trivia podcast, Podquiz. This is also a great time to talk about life goals, dreams, aspirations, and whatever else needs hours. I like to bring a pencil and notebook for notes as some of our best ideas come from this time. Eventually I will publish that children’s book.
So those are my tips, nothing crazy but just a starting point for a good road trip. Most of all, have fun. A road trip is the memories you make it. So take the time to relax, be silly, and share the real you with your companions. I believe this is the reason so many of us love road trips; in the car we can return to the real us.
Check back next week for Travel Tuesday and I will share some of my favorite road trip destinations in the southeast. See you then!