7 Rad Road Trip Travel Tips
Inspired to get away for a few days? The classic road trip may seem like a thing of the past, but we believe there is nothing quite like driving cross-country. Whether driving in your homeland or visiting another country, seeing the world 'on the road' offers a different perspective that you can't quite get by boat or plane. There is a richness to dive bars, restaurants off-the-beaten path, losing service and driving under the stars for hundreds of miles with little ambient light.
Road tripping is one of those practice-makes-perfect kind of activities, so we have provided some tips we have learned over the years to help you navigate the roads:
THE PERFECT PLAYLIST
Let's go ahead and address the most obvious tip. Every road trip requires a travel (themed) playlist. This can be themed around where you're going, who you're with, the overall vibe of the trip, etc.
Here are are a few theme examples:
Bachelorette/Bachelor Road Trip (early 2000's throwback music)
West Texas Road Trip (outlaw country)
East Coast Road Trip (indie music)
HARRY POTTER WORLD (HP FILM SCORES AND REMIXES)
You get the gist. Personally, I love a good generic "travel" themed playlist - songs that are already inspired by people and places around the world. Follow our "Travel Playlist" on Spotify for our favorite travel-themed or inspired songs.
AUDIOBOOKS + ENTERTAINMENT
We LOVE audiobooks in our family. Primarily because we both work in the music industry, and every now again you just need to separate yourself from it. Audible and Audiobooks are both great subscription-based services (around $14.99/month for one credit), and they offer a free book if you are just signing-up.
That being said, we recently learned about the app Overdrive, which has drastically changed the game. If you sign up for a free library card at your local library, you will have access to a plethora of free audiobooks (and eBooks) through your library. They reserve a certain number of licenses for each audiobook, so if your book is not currently available for check-out, they will notify you within 2 weeks when it becomes available.
Be sure to also pre-load any entertainment on your electronic devices prior to leaving for your trip. Amazon Prime and Netflix both allow you to download several movies and shows, and it is best to do so while you have optimal WiFi signal. After you have finished a movie, delete it off your device so you can make room for another when you have a solid WiFi signal again.
Road trips tend to develop really unhealthy eating habits, because let's be honest... that fresh donut and breakfast taco at the Valero smells reaaaaaally good.
I recently took a road trip to film a music video after just starting the Keto diet (low/no sugar and less than 25 carbs a day). I thought it would be incredibly difficult given my options at the gas stations, but it turned out to be a success. Why? I packed everything I would need for the 3 days. Regardless if you are on a diet or not, it is wise to pack your own goodies to save both money and sanity. Gas stations are full of unruly temptations that have been known to harvest satan's fury on your gut later on. Here are a few healthy options we recommend:
Soft-Pak Cooler (does not take up a lot of room in the car)
ZEVIA (STEVIA SWEETENED SODA WITH NO ARTIFICIAL SHIT)
SPARK ENERGY (TO FLAVOR YOUR WATER AND GIVE YOU A BOOST FOR LONG DRIVES)
Fruits: bananas, apples, clementines
Mixed nuts (almonds, pecans, macadamia)
Trail Mix: We make our own trail mix, as store-bought often contain loads of added sugars
DELI ROLLS (SELECT HEALTHY DELI MEATS AND CHEESES FROM YOUR DELI COUNTER, STACK FLAT AND ROLL INTO A WRAP. YOU CAN ALSO ADD A LIGHT LAYER OF MAYO, MUSTARD)
VEGGIES AND GREEK YOGURT DIP
CELERY STICKS WITH PEANUT BUTTER OR CREAM CHEESE
Plan Your Stops
It is important to plan your stops for two very crucial reasons. The first is fuel. Road trips are often lengthy and require driving through very remote and rural areas. There are times when you will not see a gas station for a few hundred miles. There are also times where a "city" on a map is more like a random antique shop and a couple houses, without anywhere to fuel up.
Secondly, bathroom breaks. It is important to stay hydrated, especially if you are rotating who is driving. Water = maximum energy. Little water = groggy and sleepy. I know it is tempting to starve yourself of water so you don't have to take a leak on the side of the road... but it is all part of the journey. Thankfully, if you plan your stops right, you won't have to do that.
Study your map and be sure to mark all the major cities you will be passing through. Even if you have a half tank, it is wise to fuel up, stretch your legs, and use the restroom while you can.
NAVIGATION AND INTERNET
While road tripping will take you across beautiful landscapes and rural areas that seem hardly touched - it does mean a lack of cell service and WiFi in many of those areas. That may sound fun to go "off the grid," but did you think about navigating without reception? Lucky for you, we have an entire article on how to navigate without wifi or internet reception. And just in case you decide not to navigate your way to that article, let me remind you that it is always a good idea to have a paper map covering the entire area you will be traveling.
If you require working on the road, or more likely, cannot step away from Instagram for a day... TEP Wireless is for you. TEP offers a portable WiFi device that gives you service in most areas of the world. You can rent this hotspot by your trip, and does not require a long term contract with your cell phone provider, which makes this inexpensive and effective.
CELL PHONE BATTERY LIFE
Depending on the car you are driving, you may have a shortage of car adapters to charge your phones. And if it is anything like our road trips - the person in the passenger seat drains their phone quite fast surfing the web, while the person driving is using up their juice navigating.
I purchased a Mophie iPhone Case for this very reason. The case stores a charge so that when your phone gets below a certain battery percentage, it joins forces with your phone and you are magically back up to 100%. This is a more mobile and versatile option for folks on the go. You can also purchase a solar charger or power bank, which are portable chargers and also do not require a car outlet.
I know you are eager to get to your destination and see ALL the things, but if you plan everything to a tee, you will likely end up thoroughly disappointed. And no one wants to road trip with Debbie Downer. Allow room to be flexible and go-with-the-flow. You cannot anticipate problem areas - such as flooded roads, avalanches, construction zones and accidents. If you do have to stop in a town for a few hours while they clear an avalanche or accident, take it as an opportunity to explore, fill your belly and get some rest.
Stop to look at the stars and smell the fresh mountain air. Moments like THAT are what make a road trip memorable.