Road trip! For grown ups…
You have decided to take a road trip and you know you are going to be in the car for hours. Is it comfort that will make the trip more pleasant? Companionship? Entertainment? Snacks? I think it’s all of the above, but more than anything, it is the preparation before the trip that makes a pleasant trip. Here is my preparation plan:
- Pre-trip prep: Have an old school back up plan. Get a map. AAA Auto Club is a good resource. They will even map it out for you! With GPS, you don’t normally need a map, but if there is a road closure or emergency, a navigational device and/or an iPhone do not show enough on their tiny screens to help us find our way. Many times, a map has given us options that GPS could not. Make sure your car is clean, has gas and is road-ready.
- Companionship: Choose carefully who you travel on the road with, because road fatigue can challenge the best friendships. Long, boring hours, difficult weather patterns, or conflicting radio preferences can make travel tedious. There may be topics you choose not to discuss because, in a car, there are no separate corners. Is this a leisurely drive? Or a hurry-up-and-get-there drive? If you can agree on that, you are half way there.
- Entertainment: Ed and I have a rule: any trip 90 minutes or more deserves new music! From the time we were dating till now, our love for music has always been the most evident on our road trips. With the advent of iTunes and Pandora, we can sing (very badly) for hours! When we get tired of that, Audible has an excellent selection of books that are very entertaining on a road trip. I recommend Tina Fey’s BossyPants. I listened to it all in one trip and felt like we were best friends by the time I arrived!
- Comfort: It’s all about the yoga pants, baby! I wear them with a t-shirt and take a light jacket. If you have a large scarf, it can double as a cover up while you are in the passenger seat. If you have washed your hair the night before, you will have time to style it comfortably before you jump into the car. I suggest light make-up–foundation, blush, eyebrows and lip gloss. If you have a travel emergency, you still look put together, but if you get a chance to catch any zzzzs, you have less to smear. Take a pillow, or even a throw, or use the scarf. Take your shoes off and just wear socks while traveling. Unless you are the one doing the driving, then try to keep your tennis shoes on.
- More comfort: Pack your console with care items: mints, lip gloss (I am loving my red velvet cake Lip BonBon by Younique–hit up my friend Holly to order yours!) or chapstick, phone charger, wipes, bandaids, and a hair tie or clip. Take sunglasses and a hat with a brim, just in case you need extra protection while driving into the sunrise or sunset.
- Snacks: There is a vast array of choices, but before you choose, think about how you want to feel at the end of the trip. If you eat candy and chips, drink soda, stop for fast food and minimize your water intake to reduce potty stops, how will you feel when you have reached your destination? Try to offset your boredom and cravings with whole grain crackers, fruit, veggie sticks, nuts and jerky. Take a protein bar that has 10 grams of protein or more. Why? It will make you feel like you are eating a candy bar, but really gives your body a boost. Try to drink water in volumes when your gas tank is below 1/4 of a tank. By the time you need relief, it will be time to get gas–bam! Two stops in one! If you stop for a (light, healthy) meal, you can make it three stops in one!
I hope you find these tips helpful in making your road trip more pleasant with less fatigue. If you like these, I have more! If you sign up for my newsletter (it comes once a month, because I’m traveling too much to write more often!), I will send you my Packing CheatSheet + my Toiletry Checklist.
Thanks so much for reading. Did I miss anything? What tips do you have that you could add in the Comments section below?