I was on the road from LA to San Francisco thinking about how this was my umpteenth time up driving up the 5. It’s a familiar route that I could drive with my eyes closed. I had water, my iPod was loaded with my favorite tunes, and I had my camera on hand to snap a picture at sunset. I was ready for the road. If my destination is 6 hours or less from home by car, chances are I’m getting behind the wheel. I love the solitude and having nothing but open road in front of me. This is a similar feeling that my mother’s friend said he had when he purchased a Kenworth Semi Truck and took it for a drive. He is a truck driver, so he gets to be on the road quite a lot. I guess in some way, this is similar to going on a road trip, especially when you get to witness different places.
With a few road trips under my belt I like to think I’ve figured out what works, what doesn’t, and what’s probably in my best interest so I put together a list of 10 tips for surviving a road trip.
1. Leave early in the morning or late at night
You’re going to want to avoid traffic at all cost so I recommend leaving early in the morning (I’ve left as early as 5 AM) or late in the evening, around 8 PM or later. I’ve found that at these hours traffic has yet to build or has thinned out. If you choose to leave later in the evening make sure you are well rested or have someone come along for the ride so that you can be alert or you can take turns at the wheel.
2. Make sure your car is in good driving condition
Get that oil changed, inflate those tires and top off those fluids. I have SUCH a fear of my car breaking down on the road and my car is less than 2 years old (call me paranoid!) so I always makes sure everything is good to go before I hit the road.
3. Have roadside assistance handy
You can blow a tire or run out of gas before you make it to the station up the road so be sure to have roadside assistance handy. I’m sure we all know about AAA but there are many other roadside assistance plans available. I also have roadside assistance through my car’s manufacturer as well as through my credit cards so make sure you find out what resources are available to you in case of an emergency. We would recommend not only ensuring your spare tyre is in good condition, but keep a low profile car jack in your boot, this will make it so much easier to get it changed over.
4. Take the scenic route
Since you’re stuck in the car for hours on end anyway, why not make sure there’s are some nice things to look at along the way?
5. Dress comfortably
A lot of my road trips start as soon as I’m off work so I’m always sure to change out of whatever I had on into something more comfortable and loose fitting like a t-shirt, leggings, and sneakers
6. Make sure your phone is charged
Chances are you’ll run into stretches of road where there’s little to no signal so your phone probably won’t be of much use but keep it charged nonetheless just in case you need to call for emergency assistance.
7. Keep yourself entertained
Load up that iPod with music, podcasts, TV shows or movies (I just listen to the audio so that my eyes are FIRMLY planted on the road). I suggest using a device outside of your phone since you may not be able to rely on steady signal strength and you don’t want to drain your battery either.
8. Pack snacks
If the drive is less than 5 hours I try my hardest not to stop so load up on the snacks to keep your appetite at bay and water on hand to stay hydrated until you reach your destination.
9. Be comfortable with being alone
95% of my road trips have been alone which is fine by me because I enjoy my me time. But this isn’t for everyone so if you rather not go it alone grab one your friends to go with you.
10. BE CAREFUL!
The best tip I can give you for surviving a road trip is to actually SURVIVE the road trip. I don’t mean to be morbid, but I know your loved ones want you to return safe and sound so please your best judgment to ensure you reach your destination!
Did I miss anything? What are some of your tips for surviving a road trip? Let me know below!