TOP TIPS FOR AN ENJOYABLE ROAD TRIP

What I learned from our 2020 road trip

“The Consolation Corona-cation”

At the beginning of 2020, I never would have thought we would go on a road trip let alone be sharing road trip tips. This year has been so hard! I could go on and on saying how difficult it’s been on so many levels, but I don’t want to bore you with details you’re living through yourself. 

I’m very type A and always scheming so of course I had other trips planned that were cancelled this year. The biggest disappointment was our two week trip to Italy where all of the details were planned. It was so hard not to be bummed while under stay at home orders in Minnesota. When the day came that we were supposed to be traveling to Italy, it wasn’t a great day. There was a lot of pent up excitement that was very quickly deflated. (Thanks a lot ‘Rona!)

We did eventually fly a few months later. Here‘s a more detailed account on how flying during a pandemic really is.

We cancelled our initial trip to Italy that was to occur in the end of April into May 2020. But, being cautiously optimistic we rescheduled for the first part of September but that ended up being cancelled too. Cue the tiny violins! We saved a significant amount of accrued PTO and had hoped maybe there was a shred of chance we could still go to Italy in 2020. As I liked to say, we were being cautiously optimistic. We waited until a few weeks prior to cancel the September trip to Italy. At that point, we shifted our plans and planned a road trip.

Deciding to go on a Road Trip

Our backup plan came to fruition or as we so adoringly call it “The Consolation Corona-cation”. Up until then we weren’t really fond of road trips, but we also hadn’t been on one together. So we decided to plan it out and make it happen, besides we so desperately needed a change of scenery.

Our itinerary included 12 ½ days, 48 hours of total drive time, 3k miles, passing through 10 states and visiting 20 craft breweries. We even had time to golf twice and get in some beach time! It was busy but yet relaxing at the same time and ultimately it was exactly what we needed. We learned a lot from our journey. We’re doing it again, so I’d say overall it was a road trip success!

Based on the things we did (or rather didn’t) do, I’m sharing some tips of road tripping to save you the time and effort of learning the hard way.

Road Trip Tips To DO:

  • BE REALISTIC about the time you have and how long you plan to be in transit on each travel day.
  • ACCOUNT FOR STOPS and random fun finds along the road (Not everything has to be so planned out!)
  • PACK SNACKS & DRINKS to save both time & money.
  • ACCOUNT FOR TRAFFIC Will you be going through a larger city during rush hour? Don’t forget to add in extra time for traffic congestion in case you encounter some.
  • BRING YOUR FAVS and have the best time ever exploring!
  • PLAN One of the things I used the most when planning our trip was Google Maps.

Road Trip Tips DON’T Do:

  • OVERCOMMIT Try to drive a maximum of 12 hours on a single day. Anything beyond that is too much!
  • OVERPACK Just because you don’t have to check your bags doesn’t mean you should pack too much! Sure, there isn’t a weight limit to your luggage like there would be if you were flying. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to lug around stuff you don’t need. Some of the places we stayed, we were only there for a night and my bag was heavy!
  • ONLY PACK FOR ONE TYPE OF WEATHER We experienced intense heat, very cool evenings, humidity, and rain so make sure you pack appropriately. Keep in mind your destinations and also the time of year it is. It’s crazy, the different in climate you can experience at the beginning of one day and after driving ten or so hours it completely changes! Road trips are a great way to experience a lot of different weather.
  • EXPECT to see EVERYTHING! You’ll be tired from driving and need R & R don’t try to pack in too much.
  • UNDERESTIMATE drive time Sure, you can pull it up on Googlemaps and it says X # of hours, but you have to take into account many things. Such as the terrain, weather and other elements that could possibly slow you down. You will need to stop for gas, food, and to take our dog out to go to the bathroom and give him water.

Published by WanderLust in Real Life

I'm a 30 something living in the Midwest of the United States that loves every aspect of travel. Researching, planning, & of course actually going on adventures whether near or far.

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