Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Roadtripping Tips and Tricks

My sister recently sprung the idea of a road trip on me. I road trip often, and I have taken her two daughters with me several times. The girlies are veteran road-trippers. My sister? Not so much. The last road trip I remember my sister taking was a whirlwind trip we took to Nashville to see Hayseed Dixie play at the Exit/In. (If you haven't heard of Hayseed then get yourself to Youtube now!). She fell asleep on the table at Waffle House.

My tips for road-trip success.

Tip 1. Don't put all your money in one spot. Do not rely just on your banks debit card. Many people do this, and if their card is lost or stolen they find themselves broke. I was in a situation several years ago were the bank frozen my account while I was a thousand miles from home. Thankfully I had cash, so the trip continued as planned while the bank worked through their issues. Split your cards and cash up, keep them in separate pockets, keep some locked up in the car. If someone steals your purse, or pick pockets you, you will still have money. 

Tip 2. Bring a physical map. We rely way to much on our GPS's and google maps. Buy a map, learn to read a map, and if technology fails you, your map will come to the rescue.

Tip 3. Pack Snacks. Or full on meals. When I travel I always have a cooler full of drinks, and another cooler with food. You can use divided containers and make individual "bento" style meals for everyone in the car. Prep as much of the food as possible before you leave. Cut up fruit and veggies, preportion dips in lidded sauce cups, make sandwich. Free water bottles to act as ice.

Tip 4. Dress comfortable. You will be sitting in a car for hours on end, dress for comfort not style. Everyone has their own version of "comfortable" clothes. Wear what works for you.

Tip 5. You will need Gas. If you like doing the bulk of your driving at night, like I do, you will need to plot where you will get gas. Some stretches of road may not have an open gas station for many many miles (I am looking at you West Virginia). So find sizable cities and top off the tank when you pass through. 

Tip 6. When the car stops, everyone goes potty. This has been a family rule as long as I can remember. On road trips, if the car stops for gas, or we stop for food, everyone gets out and goes to the bathroom. Go even if you don't think you have to, you don't want to find yourself in a Tip. 5 situation with a full bladder and no bathroom. 

Tip. 7 Use zippered pouches to store things you may need during the trip, chargers, extra batteries, etc. When you need it, it will be easy to locate. 
Tip 8. Pack a decent 1st aid kit, full of supplies you may need in an emergency. Tweezers, nail clippers, bandaids, advil, antacids, small scissors, etc. This could be a list all on its own.

Tip 9. Don't make your itenerary so tight that you miss things. If you are rolling down the highway and see a sign for something that looks awesome( Mister Ed's Elephant Museum), stop, make memories. American has thousands, probably millions of interesting roadside attractions. 

Tip 10. If booking a hotel room, book directly with the hotel/company. Several times I have arrived at my hotel only to learn they had way overbooked, and only people who had booked directly with the hotel was getting rooms. This may not be everyone experience, and if you are not traveling to a big event it may not be an issue for you. Its happened enough for me to want to warn everyone of the possibility. If you must book through a 3rd party site, call the hotel and confirm your reservation.

~The Wonderful