Sunday, April 14, 2013

top 5 useful roadtrip tips

having completed my first roadtrip ever last month, i feel qualified to give a little advice when it comes to planning a roadtrip of your own. while the planning involved in my trip was relatively simple, depending on where you're going, things can get more complicated.

it goes without saying, having your ultimate goal of the trip, finances and means of transportation in line are crucial. some people like to jump in the car and just go. that's fine, just make sure you know you have a reliable car and cash for gas! i enjoy the romanticized notion of driving off into the distance with no plan, but that is far from what happened on my trip. maybe i'm just type A, but with limited time on our hands, an itinerary to follow was a must. i'll explain.

keep these 5 tips in mind if you're planning a roadtrip of your own!

1. rent a car - maybe this is obvious... but seriously, rent a car. before this dawned on my friends and i, we were trying to decide whose car would undertake the journey. just don't. don't put your car through that. if everyone in your party comes together, the fee for the car can be relatively cheap. i promise, it's worth it. and speaking of cars, pick something a little bigger than what you're used to - maybe a midsize SUV that still gets decent mileage. you'll want the room when you need a nap.

2. don't roadtrip with just anyone - when telling people about my trip beforehand, some people exclaimed, "oh, you guys are going to hate each other by the end of it!", and i won't lie and say that that silent fear didn't cross my mind. i chose to go on my trip with my two best friends. for some, this might not be a great idea. for me, it was perfect. our particular friendship dynamic is so strong because the three of us know when to pick our battles, and we don't get upset over small stuff. pick travel companions who can go with the flow, contribute their part to the journey (financially and emotionally) and want to have a good time. nobody likes a cranky roadtripper. not agreeing on the destination, time spent in certain places or what food to eat can cause issues when you're running on little sleep and sick of driving.

3. plan your route, but make time for spontaneity - before our trip, we made a list of stops we'd like to hit along the way. we made it to all of these stops, but we also took an impromptu detour of 100 miles to visit another attraction we learned about via a billboard. you'll see things that look neat along the way, so make sure to factor in extra time on your trip to allow for this to happen. worst comes to worst, you've got a little extra time on your hands to allow you to sleep in a day or two or take it easy.

4. dress up, dress down, eat out, eat in - to save money and time, we packed a cooler with snacks and easy to assemble meals (sandwiches + peanut butter & jelly, cheese sticks, etc.). this saved us many stops, and we easily replenished the cooler's ice each morning at a gas station. however, make food a part of your journey. enjoy restaurants you might not have in your area, but be sure to factor it into your budget. we wore primarily comfortable, easily changed clothes for most of our driving, but if you're anything like me, you're going to want a few cute outfits for your destination. pack comfortable clothes and a nice outfit or two.

5. don't fear the cheap hotel - it might not be the most comfortable, no. it might not even have a working television. but in my roadtrip experiences, cheap hotels were all means to an end, a mere interlude in our journey that gave us some rest and a shower (which you will desperately want!). don't stress about five star accommodations along the way - save that for your destination, if you must. since we spent late nights driving, we sometimes were only in a hotel for 6 or so hours. keep basic safety in mind and try to do a little googling about the safety of the town you're staying in just so you can rest easy.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with your points. A perfect combo to enjoy journey. If you are staying in the mid way, then it is better to stay at a place which is less expensive because at such place you can fulfill your basic needs. http://www.greatnorthernhotel.com/


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