Quick, before summer runs out–it’s not too late to participate in a timeless American tradition.
Road tripping across the USA is a popular pastime for good reason. What’s more fun than cranking up the tunes and discovering amazing sights and local favorite places to eat and shop? Not much! I’m speaking from experience as a regular road tripper.
My longest road trip was from Miami, all the way across the south to New Orleans, San Antonio, El Paso, Phoenix, Los Angeles and finally up to San Francisco and back! Most summers my husband and I take to the open road, and by now we’ve got things down to a science. Let me share my top road trip tips so you’ll have the best road trip ever!
- Print your route. Yes, there’s modern technology. But all of the best map apps won’t do you much good when you’re out in the middle of Nowhere, USA with absolutely zero reception on your phone. The smartest thing you can do is map out your route ahead of time and print the step by step instructions on how to get there. That way when your helpful navigation device’s voice fades away you won’t feel panicked and lost.
- Download your playlist. The same rules for maps will apply to your music. You can put together a sick road trip playlist and 45 minutes outside of the city be stuck listening to crackly, unfamiliar FM radio. Choose your favorite road trip soundtracks and download them to your device. That way you’ll have continuous tunes throughout.
- Fill your car with healthy snacks. Think carrots, celery sticks, cashews or peanuts, fat free popcorn, and spears of fresh pre-packaged fruit. Think of mini cheese platters and pre-sliced salami to go with crackers. You want food that you can eat in the front seat while in motion, and you want food that won’t make you feel weighed down and sleepy. Gum is a great way to keep the snacking to a minimum on those long stretches of open road. Road food is pretty much all fast food, so packing items to make sandwiches along the way is wise.
- Pack and position your cooler. Two-person road trips are the best, because while one person drives the other can be DJ and photographer and head chef. Pack your cooler wisely – drinks to the front, food items you don’t need often towards the back, healthy snacks within reach, ice all over to keep it chilled. Position your cooler in the middle of the backseat so you can easily reach back and get what you need. That way you can keep rolling without having to stop too often.
- Get your car together. Make sure you have a spare tire, jumper cables and a flashlight. Get an oil change. Fill your gas tank. Don’t roll out until your car is completely road ready. Having AAA is always a wise move on a road trip.
- Get a good night’s rest the night before. There’s been so much in the news about driving while tired–it can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Don’t push yourself to the absolute limit when road tripping. When in doubt, pull over to rest your eyes for a power nap. If you’re considering driving all night, think better of that and get yourself a safe hotel for the evening to recharge. Remember, late at night you’re more likely to encounter other tired drivers so it’s best to have sharp sensibilities when sharing the road with all the SUV’s and semi trucks.
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.