Everything You Must Know Before Your Next Road Trip
Outside the window a mountain range drifts by as the first rays of sunshine pierce the veil and peer over their peaks. The air around you begins to awake turning from a rustic grey to a gradually more vibrant array of colors as the country side stretches its legs and shakes off the slumber of the night. Under your foot you feel the thrum of the engine. Between your hands you feel the vibration of the wheel as you speed around a slow winding curve in the road.
I’m in the car setting off on another day trip, another adventure. Not long ago, I found long drives or even medium length drives tedious. But in recent month’s something has changed. Maybe it was the experience of driving across country from D.C. to New Mexico. I’m not sure what it was, but these days I find driving distances peaceful and even relaxing. Just you, the open road, some tunes and the prospect of the adventure you’re heading towards.
There are only a couple problems with long drives here in New Mexico. For some reason there are a crazy number of bugs and flies concentrated around the highways here. I honestly need to get a car wash after each day trip I go on because my windshield and especially the grill look like an overused bug swatter by the time I get back home. Then, there are the other drivers… they are awful! Massachusetts and Boston in particular has the reputation of being very aggressive drivers. They call us #Massholes. But people in New Mexico are just nuts. No regard fr others on the road. It’s as if they never drive in traffic (which they very well might not around here) so when they do on occasion, they don’t have a clue what they are doing. And then there are the death traps. Oh I’m sorry, I mean parking lots. Watch your back in a parking lot. REALLY watch it. Around here, if you are backing out of a spot and someone else is coming through the area of the parking lot, they will not stop and wait for you to back out. Unless you are fully blocking their path, they will fly past behind you. I nearly got in several accidents backing out of spaces in the first week or two in New Mexico. I’ve now taken to backing into every spot so I have an unobstructed view when pulling out!
I’m getting off topic though. Here are some tips and things I do to make long drives more enjoyable and run smoothly. Whether you are like I used to be and dread a long car ride or not, these tips will help!
- Start early in the day. Especially if starting in a city.
No one likes driving in traffic. Get out of any major metropolitan areas before rush hour!
- Have plenty of good music or a “book on tape”
Both option makes the time fly by a lot faster. I’m a huge fan of listening to books while I drive. Getting into a story helps take your mind off of the clock ticking by. Music does the same thing, but my personal preference is a good book. You can be learning or entertained while getting to where you want to be!
- Pack plenty of water. And a caffeinated beverage of choice if you need one.
I always advocate hydration in every aspect of life. Long drives are no different. You need that water to stay on top of your game! And dunno about you but personally, I’m just eternally thirsty.
- Bring healthy snacks.
Having something to much on not only gives your body much needed nutrients and energy but it also wakes you up. I’m a big fan of nuts. I always bring almonds with me on every road trip. Gives you your essential healthy fats and protein while having an incredibly satisfying crunch! Always helps to wake me up a bit too if I’m struggling on a long drive.
- If this trip will take several days get your car inspected first.
Everyone hates breaking down. Breaking down in the middle of bumfuck nowhere is even worse. Get your car inspected before any big road trip to make sure everything is in working order. Getting even just an oil change and tire rotation could save you a massive headache down the line
- Invest in an AAA membership.
The modest and entirely affordable membership fees will pay for themselves 10x over if you need assistance in the next year. Or even the next couple years. AAA will help you with everything from free towing, bring you gas if you run out, change a tire for you, jump start your car, and many more! Not to mention you get exclusive discounts on hotel rooms and various shopping outlets with your AAA membership.
- Most Importantly: Have a wicked cool destination!
Just knowing that you’re going to have a great time wherever you are headed will make the time fly by and help motivate you to go. Just think of all the fun activities you have coming up at your destination!
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