*To Read How to Survive a Road Trip- Part One: Traveling on a Budget, Click HERE.*
Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they also have a tendency to be exhausting. So exhausting that you might feel irritated with your travel partner(s) and quite possibly need a vacation after returning home from your… vacation.
Here are some things that Roddy and I do to stay upbeat, rested, and positive throughout our trips.
1. Bring along books on CD/tape/ or Ipod- Music is great, but sometimes I find that listening to a story helps to pass the time more quickly. It is also nice when you need a conversation break from your traveling companion(s). Remember, you can rent these for free from libraries instead of purchasing them.
2. Rotate Drivers Every 2 Hours- Yes, you might be able to drive longer than a two hour shift, but if you drive until you are exhausted you’ll end up dreading your next shift. Having a chance to step out of the car and stretch your legs every two hours will make your body happy too.
3. Get out and Play- Allow yourself time everyday to take a walk, hike, kick around a soccer ball, whatever makes you happy. Doing this tends to improve my demeanor and helps me get to sleep at night in unfamiliar places.
4. Pace yourself- Downtime is key. Don’t get so caught up in seeing the sights that you forget to relax… you’re on vacation, remember? There have been many times where Roddy and I have just stopped driving in a random town and watched a movie at a local theater just because we needed a break. Making stops like this can make a huge difference on energy levels.
5. Hygiene- If you are anything like us you enjoy camping, hiking, or simply spending time in the great outdoors; resulting in getting sweaty and dirty at some point when you travel. Driving around while you feel dirty is uncomfortable, so come prepared with easy clean up solutions. We usually keep extra water and a spare towel, or even just wet wipes to clean up.
6. Healthy Snacks- Avoid packaged products, and stick to light snacks for the car ride ( like fruits, veggies, and sandwiches). You’ll stay more alert and your stomach will thank you. If you need any proof, ask Roddy about his drive from central Florida to Texas with only Little Debbie Pecan Spinwheels and Cheez-Its to sustain him … Gross.
7. Get Your Car Checked Out- Make sure to get your car checked for possible problems BEFORE you leave for any big trip. It will give you peace of mind, and allow you to get any problems fixed while you are still in the comfort of your home town.
8. Create an Overnight Bag- This is different from your main piece of luggage. It is a small bag that has the essentials for one to two nights (toiletries, and clothes). Keep it separate from your main luggage, and rotate a new set of clothes into it each day. It keeps things simple when staying overnight in campgrounds, hotels, or people’s homes, and it will help to keep your luggage more tidy.
9. A Helpful Cooler Tip - Soggy coolers are the worst. We’ve had our fair share of ruined, wet food in coolers. A great idea is to have a smaller container like a bucket inside your cooler to hold the ice. This way when the ice melts, it only goes into the bucket, not the rest of the cooler, leaving your food cold and dry. Keep the cooler closed as much as possible, and change ice regularly.
10. Bring a Journal and Write In It- Seriously, take time to reflect about your trip experiences. Normally I am not a big journaler (is that a word?), but I always bring a journal when I travel because it helps me to decompress, and I also really enjoy looking back on what I wrote later.
What are some of your road traveling tips?