Early tomorrow morning, my boyfriend and I and heading out on a 8 hour roadtrip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was team ‘let’s just book flights,’ while he insisted on driving there. We all know that I love driving, but the trip to Pittsburgh is absolutely daunting and honestly plain old boring.
While roadtripping is my thing, I’m still not really feeling this one but we’re doing it and we’re gonna be stuck in my car for 8 hours. I’ve been planning and scheduling this trip for almost a week now and wanted to share some tips on making sure your roadtrip is a smooth as humanly possible.
A Guide to Roadtrip Planning
Plan an Exact Departure Time
Things always get hectic the day of leading up to a roadtrip. Chances are you’re leaving super early or super late, to avoid traffic, and things always seem to come up last minute. Setting a goal of leaving at an exact time can help reduce the super last minute tasks and keep your schedule on time.
Make Sure Your Car is in Top Condition
Get a service check, get a fresh oil change, rotate your tires, make sure your car or vehicle is good to go. The last thing you need is for something to break or for your car to stop working because you did not take care of routine maintenance.
Make a Packing List
I’m talking about an extensive packing list – clothing, accessories, toiletries, snacks, everything. Write everything down! The most annoying thing after roadtripping somewhere, is getting out of the car and realizing your forget something
Prep the Day Before
Pack your bags, load up the car, give yourself a mental pep talk the day before you leave! You want to make the start of the trip as easy as possible. No one wants to be running around like crazy the hour before a trip wondering if everything is good to go.
Pack Car Bags and Trunk Bags
When packing organize your belongings by when you are going to be using them, during the roadtrip or once you get there. For me, I’ll be working remote this roadtrip so you better believe my laptop and my charger are in my car bag, along with some snacks and plenty of water bottles! I also keep all my chargers and headphones in my car bag, along with lysol wipes and hand sanitizer!
Plan Bathroom Breaks & Gas Station Stops
There’s great apps like roadtrippers and GasBuddy that make this easy, but having a good understanding of where you need to stop for gas and breaks limits the stress of potentially running out of gas or stopping in a less than ideal area.
Bring a Spare Tire
Accidents happen, so do pot holes and nails in the road. If you experience a blow out its better to be prepared. Especially if you are in a remote area, tire shops may be few and far between. Having a donut or a full size spare can ensure you can get your car to a safe location to ultimately get it repaired.
Part of the fun of roadtripping is just hanging with yourself or your friends and just hanging out. Nothing is better than an epic roadtrip playlist – throwbacks to billboard top 50 hits, whatever you are feeling make a playlist, put it on shuffle, and forget about it. All you have to do is sing along when your favorites play.
Pack Snacks & Water
It’s important to remember to bring food and water! Even with a solid plan for stops, there’s always a chance that traffic or construction will slow your trip down. Being prepared to be stuck in the car for longer periods of time than anticipated is important.
Triple A is a necessity for all roadtrippers. Before you go off on your trip make sure you have a AAA Membership. There are different tiers, so you can pick the one thats most affordable for you. Obviously it takes time to the mechanics to reach you if you do need help, but knowing that they are a phone call away takes away a lot of stress and anxiety.
Share Your Phone Location With Friends and Family
It’s not smart to text and drive, but it is important to keep those closest to you updated on your location. Sharing your location via Find My Friends or another mobile application, gives those are home peace of mind. This is especially important for solo-travelers – You should always have your location shared with at least 3 people. Should anything happen they are able to pass on your whereabouts, but also they can follow along on the incredible journey that you are embarking on!
Roadtrips are awesome. Even if I’m not reallllyyy looking forward to the one tomorrow morning, I know it will be a great time. You get to see so much from a perspective that you wouldn’t get from flying. You can stop at smaller towns and live like locals, things you wouldn’t get to do in those tourist hotspots. So, get excited for your trip! It’s going to be a great one.