Ahhh Summer.... the perfect opportunity to schedule a road trip with favorite friends and family. What better than to enjoy the open road without a care in the world? Make the most of your adventure by following some of our go-to travel tips.
Plan not to plan
What should you plan for? Having money on hand and essential, potentially life-saving, goods. Meaning a First-Aid Kit, water, snacks, flashlights - you know the drill. And, a person at home to keep abreast of your travels in case something goes awry. But do not plan your next steps too far in advance. Let the road guide you. For what’s the fun of feeling rushed to your next destination when the whole point of a road trip is to give up control and let the universe lead you where it may?
Immerse yourself in the local culture
No staying at the Four Seasons, or the Marriott for that matter. Forgo the chain hotels and find a B&B, campground, or a quaint motel. Have a drink at the local watering hole and ask the best places to visit and eat. Some of the most unexpected surprises come from the mom-and-pop restaurants in the middle of nowhere. These people actually care about the food they serve - and excellent customer service is like second nature.
Pack only the essentials
A road trip implies some type of “roughing” it, so make the most of it and pare down what you pack to the essentials. This goes for toiletries too. Pack an ample First Aid Kit for any unexpected accidents and keep the car full of snacks, gum, mints, and water. Life is funny - when you strip away the superfluous, enjoying a single Life Saver suddenly becomes a spectacular moment.
Compile a playlist ahead of time
You might get sick of it after your second listen, but it’s nice to have on hand for those dull moments. The best kind of music is the least jarring - the kind that lets you just float away in an ambient cloud of nothingness as you take in the scenery. Those rare moments when you contemplate giving up all of your worldly possessions to buy a run-down VW van and tour the country full time.
Buy an old fashioned map
Why? Because it’s fun. And nostalgic. And gives you an excuse to take your eyes off those ever-intrusive smartphones and live a little. I remember taking road trips with my family back in the day when all we had was the huge Rand McNally road maps to guide us. I would sit in the back seat with my highlighter and plot the next route. We somehow managed to survive… so can you.