How to Have the Road Trip of a Lifetime
Why not make your next vacation a road one? Here are a few essential tips and apps to make the ride a smooth one.
Excitement and music may get you through the first few day, but you can prepare for inevitable conversation lulls by bringing along a few ice-breaking activities. For example, try conversation-starter cards made by funny-girl Mindy Kaling to ensure hours of girl-time gabbing.
All you need is each other to make memories. But, it doesn’t hurt to have something to record them along the way. Don’t forget to pack must-have items like a journal and pen, address book (so you can easily send postcards from each destination) and camera. Capture every moment with a GoPro mounted to the rear view mirror or planted in the sand when you stop to relax on the beach.
Of course you also can take plenty of selfies and use a group hashtag to let others follow your adventures. Consider downloading a picture-pretty photo filter app like A Beautiful Mess to personalize all of your photos.
Expect the Unexpected
As Sal and Dean found out during the book, even the best-planned road trip will never go completely as expected. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. With this in mind, plan on a variety of little annoyances and delays to pop up during your trip. This mindset will help keep you on an even keel. Also, just because things like road construction, detours, headaches and flat tires may throw a wrench into your plans, this doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for at least some of the delays.
Although there will be plenty of pit stops along the way, you don’t want to find yourself empty handed and in a pickle without a city in sight. Be sure your car is well-tuned and you have at least one spare tire in the trunk. Carry a well-stocked first-aid kit filled with plenty of Band-Aids and Advil. Before you leave, gather the girls and make an emergency kit. In addition to the obvious items—a spare tire, AAA card, flashlight and an actual paper map—use small plastic tubs to collect the often forgotten essentials for the trunk. Some necessities include:
- Several water bottles (about 2 liters per person)
- Blankets and sweatshirts
- A portable cell phone charger and one that plugs into your car
- Pepper spray
- Running shoes and socks
- Hand sanitizer & tea tree oil
To be sure you don’t have any unexpected run-ins with Johnny Law, take some time to become familiar with the driving laws in each state you’ll be passing through. New York laws differ from California, for example. This will help you to be as safe as possible during your journey and avoid any unpleasant traffic tickets.
Even after hours of planning, you’ll likely find yourself lost or hours from you original destination at least once on the trip. Embrace it! Enjoy this time with your girls on the open road with just the radio on and the wind in your hair. You may even stumble upon something better than you imagined.