When you fly, you miss all the stuff in between your starting point and your destination. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to fly. It’s relatively quick and definitely makes travel more convenient. But as it is said, the journey is half the reward of traveling. Sometimes taking a road trip is much more fulfilling because of the different experiences you may have.
Of course, you can’t drive from North Carolina to London…but everyone should take at least one road trip. I’ve driven across the United States on a 23 day road trip and, let me tell you, it was chock full of crazy moments from an insane thunderstorm in Idaho to fossil beds in Oregon to a cheap Hotel in Montana to an invasion of prairie dogs in Wyoming. Alfred and I have also driven across Ireland where I was chased by dogs and we discovered many old, ruined castles and buildings. That’s the fun of a road trip!
Hitting up the open road is a great to get a feeling for what a place really is like and the US is perfect for it since our road system is pretty complex. If you plan to head out on a road trip, there are a few unwritten rules that should be followed.
1) Get Your Car Check-Up Before You Leave.
Before you venture down Route 66, you need to make sure your car is in tip-top shape. Get an oil change, rotate your tires, make sure your engine is great, and add some windshield fluid. Also, clean out your car; trust me…no one likes to be in a dirty car for too long. Once you have your car squared away then you are ready to drive, drive, drive. This will definitely pay off when you are not stranded on the side of the highway in the middle of a desert.
2) Make Sure You Are Clear About Driving Responsibilities.
It’s best to travel with at least one other person if you plan to take a road trip. You never know what might happen and it’s nice to have someone to step in if needed. Additionally, make sure to share driving duties. Everyone will get tired of driving and it makes it exponentially better if these duties are shared. Lastly, make sure to choose your route ahead of time. It doesn’t mean you need to stick to the route rigorously; it just adds some semblance of organizations and something to fall back on if you are a little lost at any point.
3) Music Makes Things Better.
Good tunes will help fill in the large gaps of time when you and your traveling buddy/buddies have nothing to talk about. Make sure everyone creates a road trip playlist and then you can share your music with each other. No one person should hog control of the jams though.
Pro Tip: We usually let the driver control the music.
4) Stop for Interesting Stuff
If you wanted to go from Point A to Point B directly then you should have flown, taken a bus, or a train. The main idea with a road trip is to experience the stuff in between your starting location and your destination. Make sure to stop for national parks and other attractions. If you see a sign that points in the direction of the world’s largest yarn ball…go see it! You’re on a road trip after all!
5) Pack Snacks
Buy plenty of snacks ahead of time because sometimes being able to chow down on a salty bag of chips or a tasty slice of beef jerky can be a nice distraction from the many hours of boredom you might feel. Buying snacks on the go can end up being much more expensive than if you just prepared ahead of time. These are the 5 rules I like to follow when we take road trips and so far they’ve worked for us. Remember…the point of a road trip is the experience. So, take your time and enjoy it!
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