Good company, a tank full of gas, and the open road. For some, a road trip is a favored way to travel and for others, it’s a long dreadful experience that they’d rather replace with a flight.
You know what they say, it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey. The scenery, the ability to stop at unique restaurants and landmarks along the way, and spending quality time with your friends/family all make the journey extra special.
Thankfully there are some universal road trip tips for both the road-runners and the frequent flyers to make sure your next road trip is a great one.
Make sure the vehicle chosen for the trip has a little leg and elbow room for everyone. If you’re cruising solo, the size won’t matter as much, but it will if you’re traveling with company. Depending on the length of the journey, bigger is better. Room to stretch, shift positions, or take a nap in the back seat is ideal for the comfort and health of passengers during the trip. Other vehicle necessities are a bug trunk, air conditioning, multiple outlets for phone chargers, and a Bluetooth connection or auxiliary cord outlet for entertainment.
All Hands on the Wheel
Anyone who can legally drive should at some point. Rotate every 2-4 hours if possible. It seems frequent but it will give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, avoid cramps, nap, or just relax their mind. Driving takes a lot of focus so mental breaks are needed. The driving habits of each driver should be discussed. If one driver has a lead foot, they should probably drive when there’s enough traffic to slow them down. If another friend has road rage, it would be better if they drove when the roads are calmer.
Rotate the music control as well. Everyone may come to a consensus on what to listen to, but in the spirit of the “journey” (discovery and exploration) everyone should have an opportunity to be the DJ. This way, no one is fighting over what to listen to and everyone gets a chance to vibe. Don’t be surprised if you discover a new favorite song or artist. Also, don’t judge if one friend likes Heavy Metal or old-school Southern Baptist Gospel. Another suggestion, especially if you’re traveling solo, is to listen to an album all the way through. Top 40 is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to good music. (DJ Dilemma is a pretty hot DJ name by the way.)
Snacks on Snacks on Snacks
Food just makes people happy. Have a variety to satisfy your, sweet, salty, and savory cravings. Some great snacks include jerky, nuts, chips, dried fruit, and fruits that don’t require the removal of skin. Wraps and sandwiches are ideal meals if food-prep is your thing. Rule of thumb: if you don’t need utensils or a microwave to eat it, then it’s a great snack. You could bring a small cooler along for cold snacks. And make sure you have plenty of water.
It is a firm belief of many that whoever rides shotgun is not allowed to sleep. This is especially important when driving at night. While the other passengers doze off in the back seats, the person in the front passenger seat should make sure that the driver doesn’t doze off themselves. This practice, along with driver rotations, can ensure that everyone gets that good nap in for the longer journey and gets to the destination safely.
Embrace the Love
Quality time is a major love language so put your phones away and speak it! Take a detour from sports and “spilling tea,” and look up conversation starters. There are plenty of games and resources online. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known your travel buddies, there’s always something new to talk about. Road trips can be long but they can be the perfect setting for learn more about each other and strengthening bonds.
Whether you’re a lover of road trip or you hate the long ride, using these tips will ensure that your next journey will be peaceful, enjoyable, and full of discovery.