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  • Writer's pictureJessie Ladipo

You Can Survive Road Trips Without Going Crazy

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Vacations are supposed to be completely carefree romps, where worries instantly melt away. But all too often, people come back from vacation needing a break. I'm sharing some of my tips to help you leave your worries behind and make your road trip a breeze. Getting to your ultimate destination is usually the most stressful part, traffic, construction, boredom, lots of time with loved ones. All add to the misery that is the 'Road Trip." So here are my tips for surviving a road trip without going crazy.

Photo by Devin Devine on Unsplash

Tune In and Up

Before a long-distance trip, have your oil changed and your brakes, fluids, and tire pressure checked. Under-inflated tires will decrease your car's gas efficiency. On the other hand, too much air can cause a flat. Also, make sure that your tags and license are current; nothing worse than spending a night in a backwoods jail in Dogpatch because your tags expired last month. Hollywood will back me up on this! LOL

Map Out the Route

For any clients driving anywhere, I make sure to include (both electronic and paper) directions to all their stops. Yes, I know you can get turn by turn directions on your phone, but what happens if it dies? Make sure to note areas with a history of heavy traffic and current construction issues. We can all agree that traffic sucks, spend a little time pre-planning your route, and you can cut down on stuck in traffic.

Photo by Averie Woodward on Unsplash

Charge Everything

Are you traveling with kids or teens (or ADHD adults like myself)? Make sure you have your devices charged and ready to go. Invest in a car charger with multiple ports; a car charger saved my marriage on a trip to Myrtle Beach.

Keep Them Busy

Perhaps you don't want your kids spending 12 hours zoned out in front of a tablet screen? I suggest having a rainy day activity box full of games, books, and activities. My boys love those kinds of things. They still get tablet time, but alternating between screen time and real-life allows you to save batteries.

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Early Birds Get the Worm

If you want to avoid gridlock, traveling during late night/early morning hours helps; allow you to skip traffic! Most travelers leave until they've eaten, so the worst time to drive is after meals.

Ignore the Fashion Police

A road trip is a time to choose comfort over style. My favorite road trip outfit is black yoga pants, comfortable shoes, and a t-shirt. My shoes come off whenever I am in the car. Don't forget that you will be in many pictures on a road trip, so try not to dress in your pajama unless you don't care. Then, go for it.

Jessie's Must-Haves for Surviving Road Trips

Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash

As a married woman to a man who prefers to drive than fly, I consider myself a road trip warrior! Even before marrying my husband, I was an expert on the long car trip. I moved from Arizona to Kentucky when I was in college three times. I spent several years as a traveling nurse, where I traversed this great nation with just a husky and a dream. And now I have spent the last 14 years married with kids. I even survived a pilgrimage to Disney World (twice). Here are my Road Trip Essentials; these ten items are absolute Must-Haves on any road trip I go on!

  1. Drinks: you have to keep hydrated.

  2. Face Wipes: I feel yucky after traveling, so I have to freshen up quickly. Gas Station bathrooms are never the answer, but a package of Oil of Olay face wipes are a Godsend. I have a small car, so I multitask with the wipes. I use them to clean up spills also.

  3. Map: I know it's so easy to do everything on your phone or GPS, but I never put all my eggs in 1 digital basket. A map won't die if not plugged in in time.

  4. Snacks: I hate gas stations! So I pack a whole cooler full of goodies just waiting to gobble on.

  5. Sunscreen: I burn like you wouldn't believe, gotta keep the SPF handy.

  6. Sunglasses: I take 2-3 pairs because I am guaranteed to lose at least one pair.

  7. Breathe Mints and gum: they serve two purposes. They can help you stay awake, and they make it, so you don't scare people with your dragon breath!

  8. Camera: there are so many unbelievably stunning places, and I want to remember them just the way they are (FYI: Jackson Hole, WY, and Park City, UT are 2 of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!)

  9. Phone, iPad, laptop, and of course, chargers, enough said.

  10. Sense of Humor: you will get stuck in traffic, you will get lost, your dog and your kids will drive you crazy, you will consider killing your spouse and making it look like a traffic accident (Maybe that's just me?) Just remember it's the journey, not the destination, and one day you will look back on these trips as some of the best days of your life!

With COVID-19, road trips are growing in popularity, but they are stressful. A little pre-planning will go a long way towards ensuring that your road trips are fun and romantic. You can survive a road trip without going crazy, I promise.

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