Spring has sprung, which means road tripping season is officially upon us! I may not be the most adventurous person on the planet, but I’ve driven across the country with dog as my co-pilot quite a few times. I’ve made mistakes, and learned from some of them, so here are my top tips for other aspiring road warrior-women!
- Load up on audiobooks and/or podcasts. Music is great but there’s only so many times you can sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. If you’re into books, most libraries now will let you rent out the audio versions. Or you can download some podcasts – I recommend This American Life and Radiolab if you’re into learning random cool stuff.
- Get a GPS. Even if the directions are easy, even if you usually use your phone, the GPS is worth it. It’ll help you find important things (like gas) along your active route, and you can watch the ETA creep closer and closer without being tempted to text and drive.
- Stop often, even just to stretch your legs. I happen to have a miniature bladder (or maybe I just like to stay well hydrated), and over the miles I’ve learned McDonald’s is the best. You don’t have to be a fan of their food, but their washrooms are clean, and you can refill nalgenes at the drink fountains (there’s even ice if you’re into that). Another great stopping point is a ‘Scenic View’. If you see a sign for one and haven’t braked in a while, they’re usually worth checking out. Get out and walk around, you’ll feel much more awake afterwards!
- Snack smart. Bring healthy, crunchy foods (I find the crunch helps keep me awake). My favourites are carrots, almonds, apples and potato chips (okay, so chips aren’t really healthy, but whatever).
- Figure out how to sleep in your car if you want to be thrifty. Yeah, you could pitch a tent at a rest area, but I cannot not recommend it. I’ve woken up more than once to a creep staring into my window (my dog is a great car alarm – don’t forget to lock your doors). Walmart parking lots seem to be safer, but are less common and require you to leave the freeway.
Drive safe, ladies!