10 Road Trip Essentials
Tips that will help make your road trip memorable and hassle-free
There is something so thrilling about planning a road trip. The places you'll visit, the people you'll meet, the meals you'll enjoy and the laughs you'll share. The thought of impending paradise makes those long weeks at the office seem just that little bit shorter. Whether you're planning to wrangle the road to the beach, the mountains or the countryside, these handy tips will not only ensure that you arrive safely to your destination, but that you have a little fun too!
1. Have A Plan
The idea of getting in the car and 'just driving' may be a romantic notion conjured up by tragic rom-coms of the past, but that is never a good idea. It is important to research and plan the journey before you leave to avoid any misadventures. Our good friend Google.com has made the world seem so much smaller, so use it. If your road trip is going to take more than four hours, choose 2-3 places of interests to stop, revive and explore. You never know what 'hidden jewels' you may find.
2. Maps, Maps, Maps
We like to think that our GPS and smartphones will never let us down, but let's be real. We don't control technology - it controls us! Whack out the highlighters and use a good, old-fashioned map. This never runs out of battery, you can read it in the sun and is the stuff of roadtrippin' yesteryear. If nothing else, it would be a good backup plan, so why not?
3. Some automotive TLC
Any good dad will ask, "Have you checked your oil?" before you leave the driveway and it's a relevant question. Before you embark on your adventures, it is important to check your oil, ensure your water tank is full, pump your tires, check your spare tire and jack, clean your windshield and check your wiper blades. While you're at it, throw a spare container of water and and a can of fuel in the trunk to have peace of mind. All of these measures could be the difference between a smooth arrival and sitting on the side of a desert freeway.
4. Music - the food of the soul!
Roadtrippin' will be "500 Miles" of boredom if your "Little Red Corvette" isn't packed with all your favorite tunes. Your "Magic Carpet Ride" will fly by like the "Speed of Sound" on your way to the "Hotel California." So, if you were "Born to Run," "Hit the Road, Jack." You never know, you may want to "Take the Long Way Home." Phew, I didn't know it was that difficult combining all my fave songs in a few sentences.
5. Dress down
How do you tell the difference between domestic and international flyers? Comfortable clothes! Roadtripping is the driving equivalent of an international flight, so it's important to be relaxed and comfortable for the journey. Pack your skinny jeans or dress away for after your arrival and travel in your 'fat pants' and DMs. No judgement.
We all know how the kids get cranky and restless when they're hungry, but that rule also applies to the driver! Whether you're travelling a few hours or a few days, an array of healthy snacks and water are travel essentials. Sandwiches, fruits, nuts and granola bars will not only give you a healthy boost, but will also help you resist the temptation of fast food...and make you feel better about the Skittles and Cheetos you hid in the bottom of your bag! You can also bring along some packed meals for a nice picnic. After you've finished eating, it's always handy to have some hand wipes and disinfectant to assist in the cleanup.
7. Rug and Pillows
There are road trips that offer some of the most picturesque scenery on earth, so why not stop for a while and enjoy it? You'd kick yourself if you simply passed by so take time to enjoy the breathtaking views along the Pacific Coast Highway, Route 66 or even take a few snaps of the Nevada desert sunset. When you're feeling hungry, why not pull over safely, pull out a rug and some pillows, bring out your snacks and enjoy the sights for an hour or so. You'll be glad you did.
8. Games and other 'leg-stretchers'
Our bodies are not designed to sit in the same position for long periods of time, so what better way to combat leg cramps by stopping for a while and throwing a frisbee or walk around. America has some of the most beautiful beaches and parks in the world to enjoy, so why not do something fun like throwing a football, kicking a soccer ball, or take a dip at the beach.
Whether you're a fan of car 'selfies' or a panoramic pro, bringing a camera is a must on a road trip. As you pass by the ocean, rivers, national parks and the countryside, capture these moments with your camera or smartphone. Think of how many of your Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat friends will be green with envy with all your picture perfect posts!
10. Car Comrades
So, you've prepped the car, highlighted your route, stocked up on your favorite snacks, compiled your playlist, rolled up the rug, packed the camera and wore your Ray Bans...what have you missed? Someone special to share your adventure with! Whether it's your partner, your kids, your best friend or even your faithful dog; remember, a memory built should be a memory shared.