There’s nothing quite like setting out on the open road for a classic American Road Trip. As outlined by Travel + Leisure in the full list, as liberating as a road trip can be, there are classic road trip mistakes to avoid so that your trip can be as effective and memorable as possible. Below are a few essential avoidants to take care of before setting off
Road Trip Mistake-Leaving Home Without a Cooler of Snacks and Drinks
There’s little else more frustrating than being 5% into your cross-country trip and needing to stop immediately to appease one traveler’s hunger pains due to the family’s inability to plan. Chances are, there are plenty of gas stations and fast food joints along the way, but a trip sustained by burgers, fries, candy, and chips will get old fast. Pack a cooler with pre-cut veggies and fruit, nuts, sandwiches, and of course, some healthy snacks. To keep you hydrated and lightly caffeinated on a long day, try caffeinated sparkling water.
Road Trip Mistake-Planning Every Moment with No Room for Spontaneity
Roadtrips are liberating and free, made possible by a schedule that leaves essential wiggle room for the frivolous. One of the best parts of road tripping is having the freedom to stop, explore, and reroute at any moment. “Once you plan out your trip, you can always deviate from your plan, but it’s a good idea to do some research ahead of time to get the most out of your trip,” said Sanna Boman, editor-in-chief at Roadtrippers. “Road trips are all about the journey — of course, time or budget constraints can dictate the route, but detours and unexpected stops are often the most memorable moments from a trip.”
Road Trip Mistake-Not Stopping Often to Stretch Your Legs
Keeping your mind’s eye on your final destination tends to tempt the driver to drive straight through, contributing to burnout and missing out on the attractions and opportunities you’re passing up. Side trips and highway attractions are a big part of road tripping — you never know when you’ll come across an Airbnb that’s shaped like a giant beagle or pass a beautiful hike that’s right off the road. To keep your mind fresh to focus on driving safely, I recommend stopping once an hour to move around and stretch, whether that means getting gas or grabbing a cup of coffee, then enjoying a 30-minute break every four to five hours for a short walk or hike,” said Dr. Suzanne Bartlett-Hackenmiller, an integrative medicine physician and the medical advisor for AllTrails.“
Road Trip Mistake–Forgetting to Download Maps, Entertainment, and Apps
If you want to avoid data charges at the end of your trip, you’ll need to download everything over Wi-Fi before you leave. Andrew Moore-Crispin, director of content at Ting Mobile, recommends downloading your maps on Google Maps in advance, so you don’t have to use data (or need it) to navigate. The same goes for Spotify playlists and any shows or movies you’ll need to keep young road trippers entertained.
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