Road trips are utterly romantic, but they can be very hard. Unlike with backpacking, you don’t have to worry as much about what you bring, which can make them much more comfortable. Instead, you need to worry about staying sane, having fun, and not getting too cramped. Here are the top ten tips to survive any road trip…
The Top Ten Tips to Truly Survive a Road Trip
1 – Go with People Who Want the Same Things as You
If you aren’t going with like-minded travellers, you’re making a huge mistake. You want to go with those who will enjoy the journey as much as they will enjoy whatever destination you are going to. That is why you should ensure that everyone is on the same page as you when it comes to what you want out of your trip. If they aren’t, schedule another trip in the future that they will enjoy!
2 – Lay Down Ground Rules
The sooner you lay down key rules, like if you get into an argument, the driver will pull off at the first spot and allow everyone out, the easier your trip will be. The ground rules that you need to lay down will depend on the group. For instance, if someone hates to share their special treats, bring along your own snacks. And if somebody needs a daily hour of time with themselves, hold off that conversation for later. Little things make up the whole experience!
3 – Have a Paper Map with Your Route
Though it’s unlikely everyone’s phones and electronics will die, it’s always a good idea to have a paper backup, just in case. In fact, having backups is important for every aspect of your trip. This means having a phone charger for your car, and even having an extra battery pack just in case.
4 – Have Way Points Along the Way
On your phones and on your paper map you should have key waypoints, like places to refuel, places to eat, rest stops, and even sightseeing spots marked out in advance. Have them marked out on everyone’s phone, and on your paper map as well. That way, everyone will know where they are. You should also mark out where you should meet up in case anyone happens to get lost. After all, every group of friends have that one person who manages to get lost even at a straight street.
5 – Have Everyone’s Emergency Contact Details
Emergencies do happen, and the better you are prepared for them, the better you can get through them. That is why you should have all your passenger’s emergency details. From emergency contact details to even items like what they’re allergic to and so forth. The more you know, the better you can inform emergency services.
6 – Devise a Driving Playlist
Have slow, relaxing songs to help you through traffic stress, and fun songs to keep you alert and having fun on the open road. Music can help make a trip, so put effort and make multiple playlists to match the mood. If you’re driving along a desert highway at dusk, try playing whimsical music that puts you in the magic of the moment. Similarly, playing sharp, upbeat music can help you stay focused when driving at night.
7 – Have Snacks to Keep You Awake
Take turns, and everyone will be safe and enjoy the trip! Good systems include taking two-hour shifts, taking frequent rest stops, and allowing the driver to pull over and nap if needs be. Snacks that have a crunch to them will keep you awake, especially if you are driving through the night. A good option to try out are sunflower seeds. You don’t even need to worry about depositing their shells out of the window – they’re completely decomposable. Generally, however, eating allows your brain to stay active and awake – two factors that are very important if you are driving through the night. Choose healthy options, and you won’t have to worry about how much you’re eating!
8 – Have Games to Keep You Occupied
Our phones and tech have made it easier than ever to stay amused on the go. So, when the conversation has dwindled, play a few fun games like Candy Crush, or Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. There are fun games to do together, or, if everyone is asleep and you want to make it really interesting for yourself, there is always an option to give online casinos a go and enjoy a game or two just on your mobile phone without drawing attention to yourself.
9 – Stop Every Few Hours
Driving can be exhausting, which is why it’s important to stop every few hours to take a break and to stretch your legs. Even if all you do is sit around outside and have a few snacks. Take breaks often to keep your mind sharp and to keep you having fun on your trip. To make the most of your trip, however, try to schedule stops around local attractions, stores, or restaurants. If you make a stop and there’s a beautiful view, it will feel like a destination rather than just a few minutes to stretch your legs.
10 – Enjoy the Journey and Don’t Rush
If you don’t enjoy the journey, then there is no point in going on a road trip. You need to love the open road, the detours, and the stories and people you meet along the way. The more spontaneous you are, the more adventures you find, even if you follow a planned route! The secret to mastering the planned vs spontaneous trip is to have a master list of your options. That way you can pick and choose as your day goes on, and stop or even stare at the starry night sky if it strikes your fancy.