I’ve written about long road trips in the past, but the shorter ones need some love too. However, no matter the duration, I suggest marking the sites you want to see onto your preferred map app or a paper map prior to setting out. This kind of planning can help you decide which routes to take. Of course, you can always deviate from plans allowing room for spontaneity (which is encouraged).
Before I get into more recommendations, I’ll say that this post was inspired by a recent short trip my husband and I took to Brooklyn, NY to visit a friend for her birthday. It was so short that we had to be incredibly efficient with our time, take into account traffic and subway delays, and with all that we learned a lot.
Back to maps. While GPS devices and smartphones have incredible navigation capabilities, I’ve found balancing time between technology use and physical maps can help you be more engaged in the trip. And it saves the battery on your phone, if your phone doubles as your 35mm.
I would also say get your car washed before departing. That way, you can see all the sites clearly through your windows and if you take a picture, it will hopefully be as vivid as the sight itself. Or if you’re feeling bold, roll down the window.
Now, here are a few things to bring that’ll help your travels go smoothly even when there are unforeseen potholes along the way:
2. KIND protein bars
5. Water bottles
6. Hand sanitizer
8. Car-adaptable phone charger
9. Beanies and gloves (for cooler temps)
10. Sun hats and SPF (for warmer temps)
When it comes to choosing a place to stay, there are tons of options and all depending on where you are and how you get there. We normally use airbnb or stay with a friend when we travel, but we ended up at a hotel instead since we needed parking for our car. After attending the birthday party, it was about 1:00 in the morning when we returned to our hotel. I followed my instinct to get room service as it was the same price as it would be had we decided to go out. Our food came at the time we specified and it was delicious! It was something we’ve never done before and it was the best decision of the whole trip.
On the way out of town, something unplanned ended up being very convenient. I had left a full water bottle in our car during our time in NY. Leaving it behind was a bummer since our car was in a hard-to-access parking lot. But when we got into the car to head home, I discovered it which prevented us from making an additional stop on our long drive home. Wahoo!
So, however you map out your trips I hope the tips above help you to plan a great one, wherever the wanderlust may take you!