Traveling on the open road is one of the best ways to see this amazing country of ours. Whether its aboard a luxury motorcoach on one of our pre-planned trips, or cruising down the interstate behind the wheel of your own vehicle, there’s nothing like the experiences you have when the journey is just as much fun as the destination. From sea to shining sea, the spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties will remind you why this is America the Beautiful.
You can also learn a lot about the country you live in by taking a road trip. Unlike an airplane trip, where you hop on in one location and magically hop off in a completely different location, skipping over time zones, mountain ranges, and all of the surprisingly beautiful places pejoratively called ‘flyover country’ while staring at a movie on a small screen strapped to the back of the seat in front of you, a road trip allows you to get up close and personal with the people and places that don’t land on any ‘Must Visit’ lists, but are still worth the time and travel it takes to get there.
We’ve already covered The Best Road Trip Gear that you should bring on your next trip, so now we wanted to share a few ‘rules of the road’ that will help you enjoy your time more, and make the most of every moment:
Plan Ahead – You don’t have to create an itinerary for every hour of every day, but it helps to at least have a general idea of where you want to stay each night, so that you can plan the amount of driving you want to do each day, and also build your list of roadside attractions, diners, drive-ins, and dives that you want to stop at, and friends to see along the way.
Ignore The Plan – While plans are great, it’s hard to plan for everything, so you should also give yourself the freedom to go off script if you see somewhere you want to stop, something you want to see, or someone you want to talk with. The unexpected moments can be the most memorable part of a road trip, so account for the occasional whim.
Rest Up – Drowsy driving is dangerous driving, so make sure to get plenty of rest each night, so you’ll feel fresh and refreshed when you’re back behind the wheel. If you get tired, it’s always better to stop for the night and get back on the road again in the morning, instead of trying to push through and finding yourself with bigger issues than an unplanned hotel stop. If you’ve got an event to catch on the other side of the country, you may need to plan some longer driving days, but we’ve found that 4-6 hours of driving per day is a good balance of covering distance, while still giving you enough time to enjoy your stops along the way, and have time in the evening to explore your destination.
If you’d rather leave the driving up to the experts, give us a call to find out about our upcoming trips, where you can see the sights from a luxury motorcoach, and make your next vacation easier and more enjoyable: (828) 595-9691
Stay Nourished – Is there anything better than a road trip snack? While we also love a good Slim Jim or a fresh bag of Fritos, you should try to pack some healthy snacks as well, like protein bars, trail mix, dried fruit, beef jerky, or popcorn. If you want to bring along some fresh fruits and veggies, or some hummus and crackers, you can also invest in a powered cooler like this Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler that plugs into your 12V outlet and can keep fresh food fresh while you’re on the road. And when you’re loading the cooler, don’t forget to pack some bottled water so you can stay hydrated without stopping for a 64oz Big Gulp that will have you pulling over every hour to use the bathroom.
Be Entertained – There’s no shortage of ways to stay entertained on the road, and with small computers in our pockets, you’re not limited to the License Plate Game or singing 99 Bottles. Before you leave, load up on a few new podcasts that you’ve been hearing about, download a book on tape from your favorite author, or invest in a good travel camera so you can capture the sights you’re seeing out the window. Or you can bring along a few Conversation Starters and really get to know the person sitting next to you on a deeper level. Just remember to spend some time actually enjoying the sights and sounds around you, and don’t just bury your nose in your smartphone as you scroll through the latest batch of Instagram Stories.
Strike Up A Conversation – Travel is a great way to get outside of your comfort zone, so use your road trip as an opportunity to practice your socializing skills. You’ll see plenty of new people when you stop for food, shop in a small town, or pick a spot to sleep for the night, and a few friendly hellos can easily strike up fun and interesting conversations that will expand your understanding of the people that make up this great country of ours, the differences that make us unique, and the similarities that bring us all together.
Have Fun – Above all, road trips are meant to be fun! Snap some pics and share them with #RoadTrip, hold your breath as you go through tunnels, stop by the world’s largest garden gnome, and sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs when it comes on the radio! If you don’t take yourself too seriously, you’ll make memories that can last a lifetime, and take a trip you’ll never forget!