How to Survive a Road Trip (and Actually Enjoy It)
Because no one enjoys spending that much time in a car
Road trips are great up until a certain point. Someone gets carsick. There are no good songs on the radio. You can’t find the perfect sleeping position. The list goes on. But there’s actually a way to make them a blast.
Think Beyond Packing Just Clothes
And even beyond snacks for the car. You’ll be so glad when you have baby wipes to freshen up in a pinch, a first aid kit to tend to any mishaps and a roadside assistance kit in case you run into car trouble. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on the side of the road with no resources, so be prepared.
Make Apps Your Friend
Gone are the days of giant maps and worrying about taking the wrong exit. Besides Google Maps and Waze, we are a little obsessed with the guidebook-like app called Just Ahead. It tells you about all the cool sights to see right outside your window by using GPS tracking. There are even built-in maps and narrated stories.
Switch Up Your Entertainment
Take a break from listening to Top 40 for hours on end and tune in to a great podcast for a welcomed change of pace. (Here are some suggestions from yours truly.) If podcasts aren’t your thing, then try an audiobook. An always-enjoyable option is Tina Fey’s Bossypants (narrated by the funny lady herself) or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, try a hefty series like A Game of Thrones.
Give Yourself a Break
Look, you’re human. Driving takes a toll on the body and mind. (Other people’s lack of road skills = your headache.) But a pit stop can make all the difference. According to AAA, you should take a break from driving every two hours or every 100 miles (drowsy driving is no joke). Stretch your legs and get your blood flowing again by taking a five-minute walk around the area. Then fill your stomach with something substantial. (We know, we wish Peanut M&M’s counted as a meal.) There’s most likely a Cracker Barrel along your route, so stop in for a hearty, home-cooked meal of chicken, potatoes and veggies. Bonus: Heat up any leftovers with a portable car stove, you crafty thing.
Cracker Barrel Campfire Meals (starting at $10)
Maintain Your Appearance (Somewhat)
While it’s tempting to let loose while on the road, you’ll likely feel better if you put a teeny bit of effort into your hygiene. Bring along some dry shampoo and a hydrating face mist for a little pick-me-up at pit stops. Plus, don’t forget to pack travel-sized makeup products for quick touch-ups along the way. You have Snapchat selfies to take, after all….
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
You might not realize it while driving, but you’re sitting directly in the beating sun. To avoid getting an uneven tan (like what happens when you sit only on one side of the car) or a painful sunburn, you should apply sunscreen regularly. Also, don’t forget the sunglasses! Squinting while driving is not a good look…and can be dangerous.
OK, OK. It’s probably wise to listen to your mom and always carry your AAA card in your wallet, because it can be really beneficial if you encounter a problem on the road. Besides the 24-7 roadside assistance, your AAA membership gives you some serious perks, like emergency fuel delivery and flat-tire service.