Throughout my life, I have been on many a road trip across America, through cornfields, cities, and deserts. Sometimes there were 8 of us crammed into a van, others times it was just Will and I. Well tomorrow Will and I are setting off to New York City on a week-long road trip! Road trips are the quintessential “American vacation,” and like any trip, a little bit of pain is always mixed into the pleasure. 🙂
Here are some tips from my experience that can ease the road ahead (pun totally intended!):
Don’t Skimp on the Stops
Even if you are a marathon driver an enjoy being at the wheel for hours on end, it typically goes smoother for both the driver and passenger(s) if you stop every few hours. Stretch your legs, use the bathroom, eat something that did not come from a wrapper, and breathe in some fresh air. My parents always had a strict “switch off” policy about every 2-3 hours and it’s a general rule my husband and I stick to now.
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Pack Healthy-ish Snacks
Gorging on chips and soda while stuck in a car for hours is generally an awful recipe. While it can be hard to travel with “fresh” food, small changes can make a big difference on your vacation waistline. Try packing fruits and vegetables that won’t leave the car a mess, like apples, bananas, or carrots. Water is key! We stay away from soda generally, but a sugar rush while being strapped in to a moving vehicle is not a good time. Also, if you have the car space, bring a little cooler and fill it up at groceries stories along the way; you can make sandwiches or have other snacks as you go along.
Read more: Travel Tips: Keeping Active while Traveling
Don’t Rely on GPS Alone
I know, we all use our phones nowadays to get from point A to point B and I am no different. But there are some places (i.e. mountains, deserts, rural towns) that don’t have the most reliable service or wifi. Pack a travel map as a backup; you would rather not need it than be stuck in the boonies without one. Along with that, learn how to read said map! It will not adjust to your new route if you go the wrong way.
Read more: Not all those who wander are lost…but I am!
Preventing Motion Sickness
If you’re like me, you can get motion sick in the pool (true story, it’s embarrassing!). I find that driving or sitting in the passenger seat is the most helpful to keep me from getting sick. Also, reading is a no-go for me, which really sucks if you are stuck in the car for hours, but you can download audio-books on your phone to keep entertained or you can sleep the whole way. I usually end up falling asleep but it makes me super groggy anytime we stop.
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P.S. When we drive through the mountains my ONLY options for not getting sick are a) driving or b) falling asleep immediately.