Summer vacation is fast approaching, and with the promise of free time and sunshine, the wanderlust is real.
With this in mind, eNotes is here to advise you on how to plan the perfect road trip to a T! From preparation to execution we have you covered when it comes to seizing the day (or road) this summer. Read on for our road trip tips and tricks!
1. Plot out your route. Where are you going? Think about where you are starting, and where you hope to end. Think about how many days you want to spend on the road. Do you intend to stop in two cities a day? Where do you want to sleep? Make a list of 10-15 places you for sure want to visit and explore. Mark these all on a map so that you can track what you’ll be able to do on day one, day two, etc.
2. This leads to another important step in the planning process. Make reservations if you wish to stay in a hotel or even if you want to stay at a specific campsite. Sure, part of the allure of a road trip is spontaneity, but you would much rather have a place to stay already arranged if you were to accidentally spend a little extra time exploring a national park. It’s nice to have a guaranteed place to rest your head.
3. Invite your friends. Another important feature of planning your road trip is deciding who you want to bring with you. Once you’ve reached out to your group, let them know the dates you plan to be gone so that they can request work off in a timely manner. The last thing you want is for someone to have to drop out of the group at the last minute because they didn’t notify their manager in time.
4. The packing list– this list can make or break your experience on the road. We’ve compiled a list of our must-have items below.
- A change of clothes for each day of the trip. (Kind of a no brainer, but whatever.)
- A swimsuit, towel, and pair of flip-flops. (No matter if you are taking a coastal route or not, you’re bound to encounter some form of water, and when you do, you’ll want to be prepared.)
- Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags. (Sleeping accessories, le duh.)
- A safety-pack to be kept in the glove compartment. (Pepper spray, emergency numbers, road side assistance information, first-aid kit, and maps.)
- Snacks. (If you would prefer to have cold drinks or fruit, bring a cooler. By bringing your own snacks you’ll be able to save money by not having to stop every time someone’s hungry. Our suggestion? Hit up Costco before leaving, their muffins could feed an army.)
- Camera. (To capture all of your awesome experiences.)
- Toilet paper. (For those unexpected stops.)
- Car charger, phone charger.
- Baby-wipes. (Surprisingly useful, you’ll thank us after you’ve eaten something messy in the car.)
- Pack a book for your downtime. (We recommend Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, it’s the quintessential road trip read. If you can get past his unique narration, there are some beautiful pieces of wisdom to gather.)
Once you’ve properly equipped yourself for the journey you can take off with the confidence that you’re prepared to take on just about anything the road could figuratively throw at you.
5. Just in case you have never changed a flat tire before and find yourself in a sticky situation on the road, here’s a how-to video with a really easy step by step method.
6. Avoid driving during rush hour traffic so you can get better gas mileage and save money! Be strategic about when you stop so that you can avoid sitting in horrendous stop and go traffic.
7. Be sure to create a kick-ass playlist to listen to on your drive. 8tracks and iTunes Radio both have great ways to select your own preferences. iTunes Radio has a function where you can create “Three of a Kind” stations combining similar artists to get songs that best suit you.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you to get from safely and happily Point A to Point B! Happy driving!