Summer is halfway done. You heard me. Half. way. done. What have you done with your summer so far? If you’re anything like us, your summer has mostly just been collecting pizza boxes, scrolling through phone notifications, and binge-watching new episodes of Orange Is The New Black (RIP Poussey). While that’s certainly not the worst summer, I know we can do better! Let’s add a little adventure to the rest of our summers. We, at Aceable, are very firm believers that nothing says “summer adventure” more than road trips. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to planning the trip of a lifetime to help you get off your ace and have a little fun.
The key to any good road trip is being prepared. Before you head off on your destination, do some research to help you find the best routes to take. Maybe you want the scenic route. Maybe you want whatever route will get you there the fastest. Maybe you want the route that takes you through some small town that has the world’s biggest pie or cow or whatever idk. No matter the route you want, you gotta plan for it. Using Waze or Google Maps is always a good idea both for prepping and for keeping you on track during the road trip.
*\PRO TIP:** Print out a copy of your route from Google Maps or Mapquest to take with you in case of emergencies like passing through low-signal areas or experiencing the devastating sudden death of your phone.
Another way you’ll want to be prepared is by packing all the right things. For example, if you’re road tripping to Arizona, maybe leave your favorite sweater at home. If you’re going hiking, you’d better remember those sneakers! Aside from packing clothes that match the weather and itinerary of your trip, definitely don’t forget essentials like your phone charger, any medications you normally take, and a toothbrush for that nasty I’ve-been-in-a-car-for-six-hours breath.
Lastly, prepare your car. Have a mechanic inspect your car to make sure everything is in working order before you set off on your road trip. It’s probably also good to equip your car with a first aid kit and some emergency tools. Just in case!
Stay In That Paper
Road trips can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. There are ways to make sure your fun doesn’t break the bank. The main expenses you’ll have are: gas, lodging, and food.
First things first: gas. Since you’re probably taking this road trip with a few friends, you should all figure out whose car gets the best gas mileage and take that one. Four people splitting the price of gas in a Honda Fit? That’s basically $0.
The next thing you need to decide is where you want to spend most of your money. If you want to focus mostly on trying out cool restaurants and eating as much as possible because calories don’t count on vacation, then you should go cheaper on your hotel. Use sites like Priceline or apps like Hotel Tonight to find the cheapest rates on hotel rooms. You can also check to see if you qualify for any discounted rates through clubs like airline rewards programs or AAA. After you’ve booked your hotel, check out the Zagat to find all the most delicious restaurants your destination has to offer.
If you don’t really care where you eat and want to spend most of your money on a dope vacation house, definitely check out sites like Airbnb or Home Away . These sites offer some of the most unique and beautiful places to stay, no matter where your destination. The cooler the place, the higher the price tag, but maybe sticking to a vacation diet of Domino’s and Pop-tarts will be worth it when you’re eating it all from your vacation house’s hot tub.
Sometimes, the road can get boring. Here are some suggestions to keep the fun alive:
- Sing-alongs. Blast this Spotify playlist and bring out your inner rockstar.
- Podcasts. These days, you can find a podcast about literally anything. Find one that interests you and your friends, and you’ll have hours of entertainment.
- Road trip games. 21 Questions and Never Have I Ever are must-plays.
- SNACKS. Hot Cheetos, Sour Patch Kids, Big Gulps. ‘Nuff said.
Stay woke. Literally. If you’re in the driver seat, be aware of how you feel when driving. It’s hard not to get a little sleepy, especially at night. If you feel yourself drifting off, tag one of your friends in to help out with the driving. If you’re alone, find a rest stop or gas station, and take a quick catnap. A good rule of thumb for long road trips is to avoid driving during times that you’d normally be asleep.
Alright, there you have it. Get off the couch, hit the road, and send us pictures of all the cool places you see, otherwise we’ll have major FOMO.