There’s nothing quite like the adventure of a mother-daughter road trip– no stressful boarding times or missed flight connections. Just fill up the tank and head out on the open road–Thelma and Louise, hopefully minus the conclusion. Furthermore, with airfare being obscenely expensive, and many flights already booked for 2017, Brooke and I have decided that a Spring Break road trip is the ideal plan for a budget-friendly girls getaway. It’s actually a right of passage for a teen girl and her mom. We’re still pondering the direction our car will head–East to Niagara Falls, West to the Grand Canyon, South to Gulf Shores, or North to Mackinac Island. We may end up playing a little game of spin the compass, but even though we haven’t decided where the road may lead, we’ve come up with 5 essential tips that will ensure a successful trip when hitting the road!
- Plan Your Route– Once we agree on a destination, we are going to research all of the fun stops along the way. We’ll calculate the distances and travel times between points and chart out an optimal route that hits all of the places we want to see. We really don’t want to drive more than five hours per day, and adding scenic routes is a must, since you certainly can’t enjoy the beauty of a road trip flying down a highway at 70mph. Roadtrippers is a great site and app that help you find places like landmarks, historical sites, hotels and famous restaurants.
- Be Prepared and Safe– We are going to have the car fully inspected before our trip. Access to roadside assistance, such as AAA, is a must. Using our GPS and the app WAZE are also necessary. In case we lose connection, we are going to bring a hard copy atlas and map. We’ll make sure someone always knows where we are. Booking our hotels prior to leaving is also necessary. Packing a survival kit for the car will put our minds at ease–portable chargers, bug spray, sunscreen, towels, an umbrella, a first aid kit, and water bottles will be some of the items in this kit.
- Be Healthy– With the plethora of fast food options and sugary gas station snacks, we are going to make sure to pre-pack healthier snacking options for our trip. Protein bars, nuts, fruit, and sandwiches will be our staples.
- Be Neat and Organized— Brooke and I are going to pack our overnight hotel bags separate from the items that will remain in the car. We’ll keep everything in tupperware or bins, (including earbuds so they don’t tangle) to keep the car neat and clean. Bringing a few garbage bags, hand wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues will help us be prepared for those unexpected messes. We’re packing our shoes in shower caps to keep the rest of our clothes dirt free. Dryer sheets will be our backpacks’ best friend. They’ll keep our clean clothes smelling fresh, while preventing odor from the dirty ones.
- Be Spontaneous– Despite all of the organization, one of the best things we anticipate about this road trip is that there are no set schedules like there are on planes or trains. That means we have all the time in the world to explore and enjoy. Nothing will be set in stone; Plan B, C and D are perfectly fine, and probably inevitable. Singalongs, The License Plate Game, Sharing secrets and dreams, lots of laughs and time to bond are what this is all about.For it is not the roads we travel that are unique, but the way in which we travel them. We’ll definitely make mistakes. We’ll definitely get lost. We’ll definitely bicker, but overall these are the things that are bound to make great memories. So here’s to your hair blowing in the wind and your gas tank never being empty.
Have you ever taken a road trip? What other tips do you recommend?