If you have a car, or have a friend who has a car, and you have money for gas, chances are you've been on some sort of road trip. Not all road trips are created equal! For some, a road trip is a two hour drive to a cool hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end. For others, it means driving 4-6 hours to get to your favorite beach or city. For a few crazy people out there, a road trip can mean several day drive across the country. I am one of those people. This year for spring break, my friend and I have decided to take the week and drive down to New Orleans, stopping on the way down and back to camp, see friends, explore and just experience the adventure of an open road. It's funny, because last year during spring break, I went on a surprise road trip to Texas to pick up a truck for my dad and drive it back. If this weren't my senior year (aka the end of spring breaks forever) I would say that this spring break road trip thing is starting to become a tradition.
If you are planning to take a road trip in the near or distant future, there are a few things that you want to bring and do to prepare yourself for the long miles ahead.
Break downs happen. It's just a fact of life. Making sure that your tank if filled, your fluid levels are where they should be and your tires are filled with air are simple things that you can do before you leave to significantly reduce your risk of breaking down.
2. Call your bank.
Nothing is worse than arriving to your destination hungry and tired from the road than trying to purchase something only to find that your bank has frozen your card as a fraud precaution. Take ten minutes to notify your bank that you are traveling. Even if you plan on spending cash your entire trip, it helps to have a back up.
3. Pack a cooler.
While you're driving, you are going to get hungry. Instead of pulling over at some fast-food joint every time you feel the pangs of hunger, pack a cooler full of snacks like fruit, nuts, classic PB&J's and other sandwiches to satisfy your rumbling tummy. Your body will thank you and so will your wallet.
You won't be able to figure out what exit to take if your phone is dead.
5. A kick-ass playlist is a must.
Gone are the days of mix-tapes and CDs...unless you are like me and love buying and making CDs. Search for a playlist on Spotify or create your own. The opportunities are endless...just be sure to make them long enough for your trip.
For the majority of our trip, we are either staying with friends or in an AirBnb (in New Orleans). However, for one night on our trip down, my friend and I elected to camp at Oak Mountain State Park outside of Birmingham, AL. If you enjoy the outdoors, the weather is nice, and you have even the most basic camping equipment, camping can be a fun alternative to sleeping in a hotel. Plus its way cheaper.
7. Embrace the open road and have the time of your life!
It's not often that you have the opportunity to take a trip like this so enjoy it while it lasts! You going to meet new people, see new things and experience a different way of travel. The road is long and tiring but the journey is what you make of it!