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7 Simple Steps For A Kickass Road Trip

by Tony · 10 comments

In our last two months in the states, Meg and I put some serious miles on our good ole Camry. 42 hours of hard driving up both the East and West Coast later, we’re still married but with oh so much more wisdom.

If any of you are looking for a fairly cheap, but highly entertaining vacation for 2012… might I suggest a road trip across the great USA? Follow these 7 tips and you will travel easier, act saner, and still be friends/dating/married to whoever is road tripping with you at the end.

LandingStanding Road Tripping

7 Steps To Dominate Road Tripping!

  1. Pack LOTS Of Snacks
    LandingStanding tends towards supreme crankiness when hungry, which leads to the inevitable “why are we arguing about which lane to be in when we can go 75 in all of them” moment… while most likely unavoidable on a long road trip, constant snacking can minimize the bickering. Whether you’re married to your road tripping buddy, just dating, or only friends, avoiding the little worthless fights will make sure you end the trip still liking each other at the finish line at least as much when you started.
  2. Make Some Amazing Playlists
    This is assuming you have some way of playing your ipod/mp3 in your car (a must), but spend an hour or two before your departure date to put together a few great playlists. It is amazing how easily our emotions can be manipulated by great songs and you will really need something to get you through hour 5 of a driving day when you’re aiming to go 10 hours. Have your road tripping buddy make a few playlists too since it is always fun to really mix it up and hear some brand new tunes.
  3. Buy An Audio Book
    Nerd alert… I know. But just trust me, whoever is riding shotgun WILL fall asleep at some point on the drive and you are going to want to listen to more than just music.  There are some great books out there that lend themselves to the audio format, but might I suggest The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy? Originally created for radio, it still translates extremely well from page to voice and has a ton of laughs baked in. Since I have already gone pretty far down the nerdy path, I will also suggest World War Z. Written by Mel Brooks’ son, it is the oral history of the zombie war (happens in the near future, obviously) and with an extensive audio cast, it feels more like a play than a book.
  4. Have Your Hardest Driving Day Be Your First
    Leverage that adrenaline rush from the excitement of starting your road trip to power through your longest day of driving. Don’t save that 12 hour drive for your 3rd or 4th day as it will be out in the distance taunting you for the entirety of your trip.  By getting the hardest driving out of the way on your 1st day, everything after seems easy. Plus, you will be so excited to start your road tripping adventure that 12 hours of straight driving will still seem romantic instead of the bore that it can be.
  5. Research Restaurants Based On Estimated Travel Time
    Maybe because we are such Fat Kids, food takes on an elevated importance in our life. Whatever. Leaving from your hotel at 8am on day 2 of your trip? Where do you think you will be around noon or 1pm? Yelp the best restaurants nearby and check out the menu. This way you can have mini-goals that make the time fly and be rewarded when you reach these mini-destinations with amazing food. You don’t have to just eat crappy rest stop food because you are road tripping. Take some time because long after you have forgotten what you saw along the Oregon Coast, you will remember that amazing meal you had in Portland.

    Beautiful Oregon Coast

    OK... So maybe you won't forget this beautiful coastline.

  6. Try To Meet With Friends Along The Way
    Driving near some friends on your trip? Shoot them an email a week or two before hand and see if you can meetup for a lunch or dinner. Even better, see if you can crash at their place and save a few bucks. Breaking up any road trip with different activities makes it more memorable and easier to handle the miles.
  7. Try A B&B
    Hotels, Motels, Holiday Innnnnn…. There are other options ya know. Try TripAdvisor and see if there are any highly rated Bed and Breakfasts near where you plan on stopping. You will be able to meet some interesting fellow travelers and maybe get that touch of home while on the road.

Be adventurous in this year of 2012! That road will always be calling to you, but you might not always be able to go out and explore so take the chance when you can.

Happy travels in 2012!

Road Trip LandingStanding Style

Choose your road tripping buddy carefully... I did!

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

Kathleen (step grandmother) January 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

We will take your advice as we are going on one last driving trip this coming summer. What you say is sooo true. So sorry that your trip didn’t take you to Az. would loved to have seen the two of you.
My thoughts and prayers will be with you during your travels.

Tony January 6, 2012 at 5:15 am

Thanks for following along Kacki! Due to time/$ constraints, the longest west coast trip we could fit in was from SF to Seattle. We would love to see more of the Southwest too though, so maybe next year! If you two have any more advice… we need all of the help we can get so please share!

Magz January 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

I totally double the vote for LOTS of Snacks and Amazing Playlists.

Another recommend: Comfy clothes. Nothing can cramp your road trip style like too tight pants circa mile 20.

Meg January 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Excellent point Magz – Which is why I am wearing my “travel jeggings” on the plane tonight to Chile!

Tyler O (Florence Roommate) January 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Tony, this trip looks sick! Good luck bud, I can’t wait to read all about it. And don’t forget to stop into Kikuya if you make it to Florence.

Tony January 6, 2012 at 5:16 am

Tyler… The Dragoons will be happening. But I am slightly disappointed you didn’t mention Faces… FACES!

Michael Mozill January 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

You’re right, Tony. You did pick a good one.
Happy New Year to you both!

Tony January 6, 2012 at 5:18 am

Thanks, Professor Mozill! Happy New Year!

Jenny January 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Meg, I wish you and Tony all the best — a year full of adventure and strength and friendship — I love you — Jenny Hartley

Meg January 8, 2012 at 11:47 am

Thanks so much Jenny! We are in Santiago now and hope to connect with Jose’s family this week. We really appreciate your support and hope you and the family have an excellent 2012 – Keep in touch!

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