How to Road Trip Like They Do in the Movies
Feature Image: Lisa van Dam
My best friend recently got a job offer and had to relocate from San Diego to Chicago. We had 4 days to get there and 8 states to cover. Through this trip, I learned at least one thing: road trips are over glorified in movies, because in movies, people just hop in the car and drive with little to no preparation. However, while road trips do, in fact, require preparation, they can also be really fun. Here, I share what I learned during my road trip so that you can learn from my mistakes.
What to eat
It’s important to eat as healthy as possible during your road trip. You’ll be spending an enormous amount of time sitting in the car, and this can be hard on your stomach. High-fat foods can make you sleepy. They can cause your gut to produce neurohormones, which force your brain to slow down. So, because it can be challenging to find healthy options on the road, get snacks beforehand, such as fruit, nuts, and granola bars.
What to wear
If you know you’re going to be on the road for hours, go for comfortable clothing like leggings, hoodies, and tank tops, and make sure your shoes and socks are not too tight. Because you sit a lot during a road trip, blood may pool to your leg veins. This increases the pressure in your legs and may cause foot swelling. However, this can be avoided if you wear proper road trip attire.
Do not solely rely on GPS
GPSes are lifesavers; however, they cannot replace human interaction. Talking to locals is always useful, and you may be surprised at how much you can learn regarding the best routes to take, the weather, and other various safety tips. When my friend and I were leaving our hotel in Iowa, our GPSes were showing two different routes. While filling up my gas tank, I spoke with a local and learned that one of the routes was closed due to an avalanche that had happened overnight. Because we took the road suggested by a local and avoided the avalanche, we did not have to wait for the road to clear up, saving us two days worth of driving time.
Oh Dear, Deer!
Before embarking on this road trip, I never knew the danger a deer might cause for drivers on the road. In fact, I almost got in an accident when a deer appeared on the road out of nowhere. The State Farm insurance company projects that there will be 1.33 million large-animal strikes this year. So, stay alert and drive with caution when you see a deer road sign. Also watch out for falling rock and curvy road signs, as they highlight other possible dangers.
In addition to learning how locals can be more reliable than GPSes and the importance of paying attention to road signs, I also discovered that some hotels run deals exclusively for mobile devices. If you do not pre-book your hotels, then be sure to book your hotel rooms using your phone. (This can save you an extra $20 to $30.)
Because you’ll want to avoid using the bathroom every hour, you probably won’t be drinking as much water. And while this is good on your bladder, it can dry out your skin. So, use a hydrating moisturizer for your skin. You should also be mindful of and prepared for a change in temperatures from state to state. When you go from warmer climates to colder climates, your hands and lips can get dry. Get a jar of coconut oil from the local store and keep it in your car for easy access whenever you feel dry.
Going on a long drive with a lack of body movement can be hard on your body. I know I got leg cramps, pain in my lower back, and a stiff neck from my road trip. To avoid problems like this, move your muscles and get your blood pumping whenever possible. Every time you stop, get out of the car and go for a short walk. And when you're driving, shake out your muscles (but, of course, remain safe at all times).
Stay safe, and enjoy the ride! What are your best road trip tips?