Summer is, by design, the season of travel. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars to travel abroad. Keep it cheap by taking a road trip with your friends or family. Just remember that a good road trip needs planning! Here are the most important things to keep in mind:
1. It’s the journey that counts.
Going on a road trip requires, of course, a destination. But that doesn’t mean you should get too caught up on your end point. After all, you’ll spend more time getting there. The key to a good road trip, then, is taking the scenic route. Find interesting towns, roadside attractions, diners, historical sites, or natural phenomenon to visit along the way.
2. Get off the interstate.
It’s important to point out that the best route is rarely the fastest one. The weirdest towns, best food, and coolest sites are, more often than not, off the highway. Plan your route accordingly.
3. Choose your playlist wisely.
No road trip is complete without a carefully curated playlist. Not only does music free you and your car-mates to jam out—one of the true pleasures of the open road—but it also relieves the pressure to talk all the time. Anyone who’s ever been on a road trip knows that too much talking is never a good thing. Neither is a short playlist that is too often repeated or a playlist full of slow, melancholy music. Better to stick with a variety of tunes at a variety of tempos. Don’t know where to start? You can never go wrong with classic rock.
4. Pack snacks!
You never know when hunger will strike, so bring a variety of foods and drinks with you. Non-perishables are best—unless, of course, you plan on bringing a cooler. Think beef jerky, trail mix, nuts, fruits, and a little candy. Also plenty of water! Caffeine, too, is essential. Either stop for coffee or score some dark chocolate before you hit the road.
5. Get comfortable.
The only thing better than a good playlist and an appropriate selection of snacks is an ample supply of pillows. No need to go out and buy expensive travel pillows. The ones off your bed will do just fine. Now all you have to do is kick back and relax — until it’s your turn to drive.