It’s as American as drive-in movies and apple pie. It can be as epic as Thelma and Louise or as dysfunctional as Little Miss Sunshine.
Of course, we are talking about road trips. Many musings have been made about getting out on the open road, and if one takes enough trips, eventually they are bound to encounter some unforeseen “adventures”. The solace of a fellow traveler saying, “I know it isn’t funny now, but in 10 years….” can only be offered so many times on a trip, without someone losing it. There are several tips you should follow before and during your trip to make it memorable; for the right reasons and without the ten year, wound-healing time lapse.
Clean your car before and during your trip. Bring garbage bags with you and every time you stop, make it a rule that everyone gets at least one piece of trash out of the car. Go ahead, be the clean car police and feel free to take it to extremes, because riding in your own trash for extended periods of time is, well, gross. (I know no one does this anymore, but don’t pull a Dumb and Dumber and throw your trash out the window! I think we have evolved as a society past this, right?)
As boring as it might seem, getting your paperwork in order before road tripping is a must. Make sure you have your insurance card and valid driver’s license before you leave for your trip. Also make sure that if you have any, ahem, unpaid parking tickets or the like, that you clear those up before traveling to another state. Nothing says buzz kill like getting arrested for outstanding parking tickets on vacation.
Anticipate trouble spots and try to avoid going through cities during rush hour traffic. Do the math to estimate when you should be going through big cities and if possible find another route or alter your timetable a bit. Driving through Philadelphia and across the Ben Franklin bridge can add two hours to your trip at the wrong time of day, but is something that can (and should) be avoided if possible. Also remember, that with some big metropolitan areas, “rush hour” can last much longer than just one hour and also affect more than just the downtown area.
Take a cue from young mothers everywhere and pack (several) snacks for the road. Not only is it cheaper to pack your own, but a little planning also saves you the time in stops. Children as well as adults need sustenance as they brave the open road, and having a package of gummy worms can sometimes be the glue that holds it all together until you reach the next stopping point.
I learned as a kid that my feet were always cold. On road trips, while I was trying to inch down the AC without my sisters knowing (they were sweating it out in the third row of our sweet mini van), I came to the realization early in life that even though we were all in the same car, we wouldn’t all be the same temperature. (I was a genius, I know.) That being said, dressing in comfortable layers while spending copious amounts of time in a car in which you are not the only passenger, is a key to keeping all involved happy and content for your next road trip.
This guest blog was written by Freedom Travel, specializing in military vacations and quick trips for members of the military and government personnel. Freedom Travel offers military cruises and military airfare. We can get you where you want to go!