Summer is practically upon us, which means it’s time to gather the boys and hit the road for a good old fashioned road trip. But if you want your road trip to be memorable in all the right ways here are some things to keep in mind.
- Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
The biggest reason road trips get fucked up is because some numb-nuts didn’t do enough research. While you don’t necessarily need a comprehensive schedule, you should have an idea of how long you’re going to drive each day and where you and your friends will lay your heads down at night.
In terms of directions, unless you have some sort of magic wireless carrier with infinite coverage, you should have a physical road map with you. Google Maps won’t do you much good in the middle of nowhere with some Hills Have Eyes types breathing down your neck. If you’re a digital-savvy Millennial type who thinks paper is below you, several map apps do have features where you can download regional maps into your phone’s storage but again, you can’t download something if you don’t have coverage. Either that, or get an actual GPS.
- Diversify Your Snackage
The best part of any road trip, apart from spending time with your friends and seeing new places and lame shit like that, is stuffing your faces with cheap, crappy snack food you wouldn’t dream of putting in your body if you were within ten miles of your gym. However, to keep everyone’s energy up, it’s a good idea to have actual food on hand like nuts and berries in addition to Twinkies and chips.
Also, make sure you have plenty of water. Dehydration is a bitch and Mountain Dew isn’t going to help you much in the long run. For ideas for some healthy snacks that don’t suck, check out this list from Men’s Health.
- Be Safe and Pack Accordingly
I shouldn’t have to tell you this, I’m not your mother or your Kindergarten teacher, but for Christ’s sake pack a jacket. Even if you’re going for Spring Break on Daytona Beach, it can still rain and shit. You should at least have an umbrella and a sweater. That being said, don’t over-pack either. The more stuff you take the more likely you are to forget something at some flea-bitten motel in Deliverance country.
More importantly, make sure you have everything you need in case the car breaks down. That includes keeping a spare tire, a tool kit, and jumper cables. Before you leave, make sure your car is in good condition. For more information, check out this article from AAA.
- Avoid Burn Out
One of the biggest dangers on the road is tired drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 100,000 car accidents a year are caused by driver fatigue. That’s why it’s important to have a set number of driving hours every day, know your limit and don’t try to push it too hard.
The great thing about going on a road trip is that you aren’t alone. Assuming you aren’t the only one with a driver’s license, you and your fellow trippers can and should take turns at the wheel. If you’re the sort of person who can’t stand letting someone else drive your ride, well, suck it up.
- Bring Enough Tunes
Life might be a highway and even if you want to drive it all night long, you’re still going to want to make sure you have something to keep you occupied. Whether it’s satellite radio, an old fashioned tape deck, or if you have one of those fancy cars that connects to your cellphone/MP3 player, make sure you have access to music you actually like. We can provide some Spotify playlists for you if you’d like.
If you rely on your car radio, you’re going to be relying on whatever stations are in your vicinity and not every town has a hip, cool, indie station that plays Florence and The Machine and Pearl Jam on repeat. If you’re okay listening to hour upon hour of Country Top, God help you, public access talk radio, go right ahead. The rest of you will be better served by bringing along some CDs. Whatever you do, just make sure you and your boys have access to Bohemian Rhapsody.