The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Roadtrip

I grew up road tripping around the country to visit family.

From Minnesota to Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, and more. Then the family moved to Colorado and the trip through Nebraska to visit Megan at school became a fairly regular drive. Then the 13 hours from home in Denver to college in Minnesota became old hat.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been on quite a few extended car drives, and there are a few things that make these trips more enjoyable.

First, unless the intent of your trip is to get lost (which can be quite fun), make sure you know where you’re going. Megan and I got lost in Nebraska in an awful rainstorm late at night because the iPhone battery died. Getting lost can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a miserable, frustrating ordeal. Go old school, print off directions, and buy a map. Chances are you won’t need them, but better safe than sorry.

Second, get your tunes ready. I don’t know how many times I’ve driven across the entirety of Nebraska, but there are chunks of that state where your only options are NPR and throwback country. The remaining chunks are static. Sorry, Nebraska, I don’t mean to offend. If I’m being honest, eastern Colorado is just as bad. Good music is the key to staying awake and alert. Plug in your phone or bring some CDs and sing your heart out. Dancing is also encouraged.

Third, snacks. Road tripping involves some very serious snacking. Come prepared. I prefer to have a combination of something chocolate, something salty, something crunchy, and something healthy.

Fourth, coffee. No coffee cannot fall under snacks. It deserves it’s own section. I prefer to route out coffee shops ahead of time and put them on the map that I bought. As much as I love supporting small businesses, I usually go for Starbucks. No matter where you are, you know what to expect. There will be bathrooms; there will be free Wi-fi; and there will be triple shot caramel machiattos.

If you have the pleasure of making your journey with friends or family, they can assist in the above steps. The shotgun position is responsible for DJing and navigation. The backseat is the Snack Captain, napper, and comic relief.

Have more road tripping tips? Mention them in the comments below!

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