Planning a road trip so you don't lose your damn mind
Hello Fellow Travelers!
At this very moment I'm driving (or riding) through Arkansas, on my way to Missouri for the long Labor Day weekend! My partner Mitchell went to high school in a small town in northern Missouri and we're heading back for his 10 year reunion! It will actually be my first time in Missouri, and I'm getting pretty excited to see where he grew up! You'll be able to keep up with me on twitter and instagram; I'll be tagging everything #BR2KC. I've got some great things planned for the weekend!
Anywhoozle, its going to probably be like 14 hours in the car, NOT including stops and distractions, so I've gathered some tips and tricks to keep myself sane on this very long Friday adventure.
Enjoy! And if there's anything I missed, let me know! It could be useful info on my return trip.
1. Pack a cooler and bring healthy snacks.
Packing a cooler can save you from spending money on crap food, which is always a plus. Now, I'm all for gas station Icee's and white cheddar popcorn. In fact I've probably already had both of those things this morning. But you are going to feel like crap if that's all you eat for 12 hours. Get your snack on with some healthier options. I've packed carrots, broccoli, grapes, and some sandwiches. (Among other things like soda and cheese dip.)
2. See if there is anything cool on the way.
This isn't a traditional road trip where we're just out to drive and look at things. We are very much trying to get from A to B. Even still, I've tried to add some interesting side adventures. I recommend heading to roadtrippers.com and finding some cool stuff along your journey. They have a wide selection of destinations and adding them to your route is super easy! They also have an app so you can track your progress and stay on track. It didn't have everything so check out here for some more unique attractions. (RoadTrippers didn't even mention the world's largest wind chimes or rocking chair!) I also found this site that has a map of all the public photo booths in the US. There is one in a diner in Eureka Springs, so I'm going to try and convince Mitch to stop there for lunch!
3. Stuff to get comfortable.
I'm bringing a blanket for when its not my turn to drive, as there will definitely be some napping. (Also, a small pillow and an eye mask wouldn't hurt either.) Basically, anything you would bring on a long plane ride. Also earphones. No matter how similar your tastes are in music, at some point you and the driver will disagree. Time to pull out the headphones so you can retreat into your own little music (or audiobook) world!
4. Don't forget the camera!
With all the fantastic stops you've got planned, you are going to want to document it riiiight?! Good... as long as we're on the same page. I'll pulling my old Polaroid cameras off the shelf and bringing them along for the adventure! I'll also have my actual camera and my phone for taking snapshots along the way. (Mitchell tells me its actually quite beautiful.)
5. The boring safety stuff.
Anything that has you driving 2k miles in a weekend and 13 hours from home, is a reason to get your car checked out. We got the oil changed yesterday, and a general inspection to make sure were off on the right foot. Other things to check: Make sure your insurance and registration are up to date, and make sure your spare is in working order AND that you have the equipment you need to install it if necessary. A spare is no good without a jack.
Did I forget something? What are your best road-trip tips?
Let me know so I can add it to the list, and so I won't make the same mistake on the way back!
Check out these other tips and tricks you may enjoy: