Saturday, October 08, 2016

Road Trip Guide

Drew and I are no strangers to road trips. Even before moving to Germany, we would drive 10+ hours home to Florida, or 13+hrs to Canada. In Germany we would drive anywhere and everywhere we could. But I have to admit, our #PCSFL2CO road trip was the LONGEST. TRIP. EVER., and we only made it to the mountains! I feel like on this trip I learned a thing or two. That's the beauty of road trips, you learn more about yourself and your companion. Road trips are hard, and sometimes you just want to kill the other person you're with. But we survived! Here's my list of some things you need to take/do in order NOT to kill yourself and any of your travel partners along the way.

Travel Companion - Your travel companion can make or break your road trip. Luckily for me Drew and I are pretty compatible, we're not perfect by any standards and I'm a "passenger seat driver", but at the end of the day, we get each other, and he knows when to slow down because something cool is coming up and I'll want to snap a picture, or to ask when he see's a sign for a rest area if he should pull over (because according to him I have the world's smallest bladder.) What more could I ask for?

Great Tunes - Road trip 101, make sure you've got some great tunes. I'd suggest having multiple playlists, you can even go through the same songs! Great tunes are essential for a trip, especially if you want to zone out and not have to talk for 8 hours straight. Siruis XM is a great alternative, or if all else fails, the radio.

A place to Sleep - I like knowing where I am going to sleep at night. That's just me. When road tripping, I like to have a plan, mostly because sleep is one of the most important things to me. Plus, if you're on the road for 8+ hours in a car, trying to find that perfect spot to get comfortable, at the end of the day you'll want to sleep in a bed.

Camera - Don't just rely on your Iphone / Andriod  camera. Photos are such great reminders of past trips, and yes some camera phones take amazing pictures, others not so much, so if you have it, make sure your DSLR is charged and ready to go. You never known what gorgeous scenery you'll see just outside your windshield!

GPS - While getting lost can be fun, will also delay your trip and add extra hours of unnecessary headaches. While the scenic route sounds like fun, when on a time crunch the GPS will be the most efficient way to get from here to there.

Snacks - Granola Bars, Fruit Snacks, Trail Mix, all great ideas, people tend to gain weight while on the road. I like to try to keep healthy and if you have low blood sugar, or get hangry (like me) snacks are a great way to keep going especially when you pass the 25th McDonalds and want to stop.

Water - Water is essential on a trip. Instead of paying $2 at the gas station per bottle, get a reusable water bottle, both Drew and I have Hydroflask water bottles and we would fill it up with Ice every night and the ice would last us 24 hours. Thank you double insulated water bottles. I bought the big jugs at the grocery store for $1 and filled it up every chance we got. (Of course that meant more bathroom breaks, but at least we were hydrated!)

Cash - Who carries cash any more? We do. Maybe it's from our time in Europe where they don't believe in Credit Cards, but carrying cash is always a smart idea, you'll never know when the unexpected toll roads will pop up. (I'm looking at you Kansas!)

RoadSide Assistance - When travelling for long periods of time across unknown areas, it's always smart to have some kind of roadside assistance you clearly don't want to have a reason to use them, but better not pull out of the driveway without them. Murphy and his damn law, he's always out to get you.

...and of course with every road trip, it's always a good idea to make sure your vehicle/the vehicle you are taking is road trip ready, (i.e. top off/change all fluids, check tire wear, make sure you have a spare tire and emergency roadside kit, check/replace brakes/brake fluid)

Anything to add to the trip guide?