In preparation for my road trip next month, I've been packing and coming up with ideas for what to do, what to bring and what to eat along the way to Vegas. It's 16 hours, but I'm obviously going to get out of the car to jump around and stretch at points instead of getting there super tired and hunched into a permanent sitting position. An obvious stop for me is Weed, California, because I love that little town and the quaint little mom and pop diner there. Going on a road trip of your own in the near (or not) future? Here are tips to make it awesome.
Don't drive straight through! The number one rule of road trips is we don't talk about road trips! Wait. No. That's another post for another blog maybe. The real golden rule of road trips is that you stop along the way and stop often. Driving for 4+ hours straight is BORING. Even if you play games or sleep, people will get grumpy, your legs will get stiff and you won't be happy. Plan a route that has interesting stops - a funky diner, a cool cave, the largest ball of twine. Something. Your stops don't have to be expensive, just fun and memorable.
Find everything from gas and rest areas to museums and food on your way by downloading the free app called iExit. Find out what at every exit along the highway wherever you go.
Dress comfortably. It is so easy to dress comfortably and still look like a person nowadays with fabrics like jersey, bamboo and rayon. Just because you've been in the car for 10 hours, doesn't mean you have to look like a slob. Not only are these fabrics comfy, but they also resist wrinkles and breathe well, too. If you can't live without your trusty jeans, invest in some nice ones with stretch. I have three pair that I paid a pretty penny for, but they are some of the best ones I own for travel.
Bring foods! Eating out frequently is really going to take a bite out of your budget and totally ruin your diet. I don't know about you, but I also don't want to come back from vacation hating chicken strips or cheeseburgers either. Sure, eating out is fun, but choose your stops wisely and bring a cooler stocked with homemade stuffs – like fried chicken, potato salad and muffins – along with fixings for sandwiches, sides, drinks and snacks to nibble on in between stops.
Bring tunes from home. Don't rely on just the radio, otherwise you'll have times were the only thing you get are Christian and deep country music, if you can pick up anything. I swear there must be radio towers built into the mountains for these stations. If you're a fan of either, you are probably okay, but I still suggest loading up your iPod with some good road tunes, podcasts or e-books. That way you have a variety of things to listen to and aren't forced to listen to Jesus Rock in between static if you don't want to. This trip I'm going to be listening to Harry Potter as read by Stephen Fry in between bouts of music. Yer a [road trip] wizard!
A paper map is a must. Yes, you have a smarty phone and your fancy GPS, but batteries die and not all roads show up on satellites. (Just ask those kids from Cabin in the Woods - "This road isn't even worthy of global positioning.") You never know what might happen, so an old-fashioned map is great for those unforeseen circumstances. If you don’t buy one before you leave home, pick one up at a gas station, convenience store or rest areas.
Coupons, coupons, coupons! Along the road you're bound to stop at a few rest stops or greasy spoons (including Denny's) and when you do, grab one of those highway magazines that is full of coupons for dining and lodging. You can.save a ton off already affordable necessities. Sometimes, you may find discounts for roadside attractions. If not, make sure to browse that rack in your hotel/motel lobby before you do anything nearby.
I think I'm ready to go. I got an oil change and have my emergency kit in my car, plus my cables in case of snow and my AAA card!
Are you headed on a road trip? What are your favorite tips?