Road trips are a great way to get away from the daily grind, but they can also take more planning and work than a regular vacation. With these tips, you’ll be enjoying your long road trip without a worry – making your next trip a memorable adventure.
Set an Ambitious Destination
Even a short road trip can be a lot of fun, and getting on the road for a couple of hours can be a relaxing break. However, if you want to experience a multiple-day, adventurous road trip, then picking a destination that’s far away or you’ve wanted to go to for a while is a great place to start. Make sure you choose a destination that works for your schedule.
In particular, although it is possible to drive for ten hours each day, you might find it stressful to be driving non-stop. Instead, consider how many hours each day you’d like to be on the move and work from there. By picking a destination you’re excited about, you can continue to enjoy yourself even after the road trip part of your journey is over. It could be a city you’ve wanted to spend time in, or to the coast so you can have some time relaxing on the beach. If you know your road trip will stretch across multiple days, you can even pick numerous destinations. Don’t forget to think about your journey back as well.
Plan your Food and Drink
There are two elements to this – no matter how long your journey is, snacks are an essential detail to keep your road trip light-hearted and energetic. As you won’t be moving around too much, try to include healthier snacks like fruits and vegetables so you don’t feel bloated at the end of the day. Drinks are also crucial, and you can never bring enough water to drink during the day.
If you’re going to be on the road for a more extended period, have an emergency meal or two in case you can’t find somewhere to pick up some food. There’s nothing worse than hunkering down for the night hungry, so packing a cooler with some sandwiches or wraps can be handy in a pinch. You don’t want to rely on going out to eat or buying food at a shop, particularly if you have dietary requirements or there’s a chance you’ll be reaching your rest stop later in the day.
Bring a Pet
If you have a dog or a cat, then bring them along. Of course, bringing an animal requires extra planning and preparation, but having some furry companionship on the road can be worth the extra work. You’ll need to make sure any accommodation you book can take animals and that you have regular stops for them to get out of the car and explore. It might be worth doing a small test run to check if your pet is comfortable in the car for more than an hour or two.
Including your pet with you on a road trip can make the journey a little more complicated but can also be incredibly rewarding. If you’re planning on being on the road for a significant period, bringing your pet with you may even be a better option than arranging for your cat or dog to be left behind.
Bring Games and Books
Road trips are not all about traveling and exploring. They’re also a fantastic opportunity to bond and spend time with your traveling companion. Having board games and card games with you can be especially useful if you’re taking a road trip with your family as a way to keep your children entertained as the hours roll on. It may also be worth looking up some classic word games for the car where you don’t need any props to play.
When you get to wherever you’re going, you can bring your games out to play together in the evening, instead of everyone retreating with their different devices.
Prepare for Every Opportunity
This may not be the most exciting part of planning a road trip, but making sure you’re packing the right equipment for an emergency is better than having to call off your journey in a crisis. An essential item is a first aid kit tailored to whatever environment you’ll be traveling in. When you’re driving, you may end up far away from the nearest town or medical center, so having a well-stocked first aid kit is crucial. Another aspect is any items you may need in a car emergency, electric or otherwise. Including a spare tire and jumper cables could mean you’re able to fix a car problem yourself, so you continue with your trip as planned.
You also want to prepare for fun opportunities that may unexpectedly come your way. Even if you haven’t planned to do anything with water, bringing your swimsuit and a waterproof bag can mean you can get involved with some lake or ocean activities on a whim without having to worry about how to get water out of AirPods. If you have room, also try to pack clothing for various weathers so you can spontaneously divert your trip somewhere warmer or colder without having to worry.
Road trips are an excellent opportunity to be spontaneous, but a rough plan can be beneficial to make sure you’re staying on track. Sketching out a rough idea for where you’d like to be at the end of each day and different places you’d like to stop on the way can help keep your road trip structured without having a rigid set of rules to follow. That way, you can make sure you’re not going to be too late to your destination or any accommodation you have booked, and you have a backup list of the activities in case you have extra time on your hands.
Even with smartphones, you might also want to consider planning your desired route ahead of time on a map. It’s a satisfying way to commemorate the trip, as well as a handy tool in case you need a physical guide to knowing where you are. A map could even reveal places on the way that you might want to detour to for a few hours.