With the prices of airplane tickets skyrocketing, if you are traveling within the country, it is often advisable to take a road trip instead of a plane. Road trips can also be extremely exciting and spontaneous. If you are traveling by plane, you cannot stop to see the world's largest ball of yarn on a whim, but if you are driving, you can do whatever you want and go wherever the wind takes you. Sometimes, some of the best-laid plans need to be thrown to the wind in favor of life lessons and experiences, and that is exactly what a road trip provides. If you are planning the next Great American Road Trip for this summer, what follows are some tips for you to make the most of your time.
In the modern age of GPS systems and smart phones, reading a map is truly a lost art. By turning off your electronic devices and relying on your trusty map and your sense of direction, you can learn a great deal. If you are too focused on your GPS system, you are going to miss all the scenery around you. Don't be afraid to just look out of the window for a bit, and don't be afraid to get a little bit lost. As we are in the age of electronic devices, even if you do get lost, you know you can always find your way.
Take lots of pictures on your trip. Even silly pictures of the passengers in the car are part of your road trip memories. Use the camera liberally, especially if it is a digital one. Any time you stop, be sure to take pictures, too. You don't want to forget any of the awesome things you'll do on this trip, and you certainly don't want to forget any of the wonderful scenery you'll pass. Take all sorts of pictures; you might even want to check out a photography book from the library and read it as you drive to learn some tips about how to make the most of your digital camera.
Stopping for food can be fun, but if you cannot find a restaurant and hunger strikes, you want to be able to avoid crabbiness. In order to do that, you must pack food and water. Furthermore, if your car breaks down and you are stranded for a while, you want to be sure to have supplies with you. Always pack extra food and water and, when you make a pit stop, stock up. You can never have enough trail mix, granola bars, and water bottles.
Clean your car before you start out on the road trip. You don't have to have your car professionally detailed because it will just get dirty again, but it doesn't hurt to run a vacuum over the seats and floors and get up all of those nasty, winter particles. You don't want to travel in a dirty car, so be sure to take your garbage with you every time you leave the car, as well. Of course, be sure you dispose of all garbage properly.
You won't want to talk to each other during every minute of your road trip. Talking that much is almost impossible. For those moments that you just want a little quiet time, have a mix CD prepared. You can even prepare several CD's, one for each mood of the trip, and listen to them all as you go.