In June of 2016 I took a 5 day solo road trip from Vermont over to Maine, down the east coast to Maryland, and back home to Cincinnati. It was a great trip, with beautiful views and a good sense of solitude. Fortunately, I was well prepared for this trip, and had everything I needed while on the road. If you are getting ready to pack the car for your own road trip, follow these tips to better prepare for your upcoming adventure.
- Take your car in for service before you go.
The last thing you want to do on your trip is suddenly have something go wrong with your car and be stuck on the road waiting for a tow truck. Taking your car in to get checked before you leave will help you avoid unnecessary mishaps while on the road. I would also recommend filling a 1 or 5 gallon gas can to have in your trunk in case you teeter below ‘E’ on a highway that seems to not have an exit for 30 miles.
- Get some entertainment
Staring at the road for 5 hours is painful and mind numbing, and can make your eyes want to close. Making a playlist and renting some books on tape will keep the drive interesting and make time fly by. I like the “PLAYAWAY” that you can rent from the library because you don’t have to worry about changing CDs. You can also download audiobooks straight to your phone and play them from there.
- Get a box of snacks
You never know when hunger might strike, and sometimes you just don’t want to stop to get something. My favorite road trip snacks include granola/protein bars, pretzels, apples, instant oatmeal (you can get hot water at a gas station), and almonds. If you’re alone, I recommend putting the box on the floor of the passenger seat (or even in the seat) for easy access.
- Get a car mount for your phone
These days we use our phones for everything. I don’t travel with a map anymore, I pretty much solely rely on the directions on my phone (so I make sure not to forget my phone charger). It makes it much easier and safer to use a car mount so that you aren’t using your hands to fiddle with your phone. I personally use the app Waze for directions when I travel so that I am warned of any hazards that are coming up on my route. It will also redirect you if something happens (ie. An accident) and a quicker route is available.
**Remember that sometime your cell phone loses signal – make sure you know which general direction you are traveling in case this happens. If you are like me and have no sense of direction at all, take a screenshot of the directions or carry a map just in case.**
- Pack Light
Whether you are sleeping in your car or in a hotel/B&B/hostel packing light makes things a lot easier. Having one bag to lug in and out, or one bag to search through to find something makes things a whole lot easier.
I hope these tips help you prepare for your road trip! If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog where I will send you more information on the apps and programs I use when I travel that allow me to free up my time to explore more places and do what I love.