Planning a multi-day roadtrip can be a little over whelming if it’s your first trip on the road.
But what should you expect while on the road?
Before you leave you should always make sure you are up to date on oil changes, fluids are at the right levels and that you haven’t had any issues with your engine. If you have, take it in and have your car serviced. Make sure they look at the tires, I learned this the hard way. I was driving out to Arizona on a quick road trip with friends and realized that my tires were past due to be changed, so I had to stop and have new tires installed at Sears. At the time it was inconvenient but its a fun story to tell now!
Also make sure you’ve got roadside assistance and an emergency kit in your car. Its never fun to get stranded and not have had any foresight on what you would do in that situation.
Lots of time driving in the car. I pointed out in an earlier post about planning that being conscience of how long you are going to be sitting in the car per day can make or break the fun of a road trip. I personally don’t like to plan more than 7 hours of driving per day. When you are on a road trip you are bound to make stops so driving time will always be longer with the added stops. To me having the stops in between are important. I like to pick up fruit from farmers stands or look at a building or town; to me, this is what a road trip is about.
I have come into the habit of finding a good audio book for a trip. I am an avid reader and so is my boyfriend so we like to listen to something together, it can make hours fly by if you get sucked into a good book. I also make sure to bring music for the ride either CD’s or my iPod.
I bring a neck pillow, I always feel like a little old lady when I use it, but sometimes when I’m sitting in the car for hours my back gets a little sore. It should be expected, which is also why its great to stop every couple of hours and walk around and explore things.
Bring projects your working on along with you. Your crochet project, embroidery or drawing tools. Keeping your mind active will make you a better passenger. When I am the driver its never fun when all my passengers pass out and leave me to try to entertain myself.
I always bring a book along as well, I like to read in my downtime, weather its in the tent at night before I go to sleep or in the morning when I wake up before everyone else.
Also be prepared for using lots of rest stop bathrooms and pit toilets if you are camping. Pit toilets give me the heebie jeebies, I would rather just go in the forest. If you are particularly germ crazy then make sure you are prepared with hand sanitizer or whatever you need. Being a lady we often times have to really have some guts to go into some of the bathrooms out there.
I also always bring two pairs of shoes, one that I can get dirty and hike around in and one pair that I can wear in the car and just walking around. Both pairs should be comfortable though.
Smart Phone = Life Saver. Keep an eye on your route and making sure you are on the right track. It can also help with meals. I usually have mid day snacks/lunch planned from grocery stores. You can just stop at markets along the way and pick up food. I stop along the way at markets because it takes up less space in the car to buy things along the way. This really is the cheapest way to go about it. If you have eating restrictions like I do, stay tuned for another post where I talk about things I’ve found to eat while traveling. If you are planning to eat at restaurants the whole time finding a good restaurant is sometimes hard. I rely on my smart phone, I am also very open to trying little local places to eat, if you aren’t sticking to your favorite fast food would be a better option. I often use Yelp if I find a little place to see if other travels have reviewed the place.
Big City’s = TRAFFIC. You might want to avoid driving through big city’s. In my experience if I am driving through a city and not stopping, it usually benefits me to avoid it all together. It can be fun to see all the buildings and people but that also brings TRAFFIC. It can put a real kink in your drive time if you are stuck in stop and go traffic during rush hour while just passing through.
Hopefully some of these tips were helpful.