Road trips have become a great American pastime. Picture it: you, a few friends or family members, and the open road. Road trips are a unique and affordable way to fit a lot of sightseeing into one trip. But it’s important to consider that you’ll be spending a lot of time in the car, whether you’re driving or riding passenger.
To keep you and your passengers happy on the drive, your road trip plan should include amenities for comfort. Check out our long road trip tips below, including ideas for food, battling boredom, and vacation van rental.
Plan for Stops
Driving from Point A to Point B seems easy when you’re looking at it on a map, but long stretches in the car can be grueling. Before you set out on your journey, decide on the maximum amount of hours you want to drive daily. This will help you plan out how far you can travel each day. Then, book hotels along your route in advance, so you you aren’t stuck sleeping in your vacation van rental.
In addition to overnight stops, factor things like bathroom and food breaks into your driving time. On an extended drive, chances are that you’ll want to stop for a meal and a bathroom trips. Even if you don’t need to get out of the car, get out and walk around a bit. Getting your blood flowing will help keep you awake and help prevent your joints from feeling stiff.
Choose Healthy Food Over Fast Food
Fast food is tempting, especially on a road trip. You can grab food and get back on the road fast — and the food it’s super cheap. However, that quick meal might slow you down in the long run. Eating heavy, greasy meals can leave you feeling sluggish and upset your stomach. Instead, make pit stops at restaurants that offer something healthier. Even small substitutes, such as swapping fries for fruit, can go a long way toward helping you feel energized for the trip ahead.
Try to snack smart, too. Snacks are a key part of road trips, because they can provide quick energy and help keep you awake, but be sure to make the right choices. You don’t have to completely ditch things like chips and candy, but bring them alongside healthier options, such as fruits and nuts.
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages tend to be a staple on road trips, as they can help keep you awake and alert. Just be sure to pack plenty of water, too. Caffeine can make you dehydrated, so rehydrating is key. Make space in the trunk to pack a case of bottled water, so you don’t have to worry about running out. In addition, it will save you a few bucks by removing the need to buying new bottles at each rest stop.
Give Yourself Some Space
Long hours spent cooped up in a car are inevitable if you’re planning to take a road trip. Since you’ll be spending so much time in your vehicle, make sure you have the right vacation van rental. Vans are more spacious than cars, which means you have more space to stretch out. Legroom may not matter when you’re driving for 20 minutes, but when you’re in the car for hours, you’ll appreciate the extra space that a vacation van rental offers.
If you’re traveling with more than two people, road tripping in a car means that you’re pressed for space. With the van’s ergonomic design, a vacation van rental can solve your space issues. Our vans can hold between 7 to 15 passengers.
Even if you don’t have 7 people traveling with you, the extra space means you don’t have to worry about overpacking. You can easily store bags in back seats if the trunk gets too full, and you’ll have extra room for storing snacks and beverages.
Pack Entertainment Options
Unless you plan to sit in your vacation van rental in silence, you’ll want to bring along some things to keep you (and your passengers) entertained. It’s one of the more obvious long road trip tips, but it’s essential. If you’re traveling with other people, try to discuss entertainment options beforehand to avoid any arguments while you’re on the road.
Before you head out on your trip, make a road trip playlist. Add all of your favorite songs that you can sing along to while you drive. If you’re having trouble filling up your own playlist, there are lots of premade playlists on apps like Spotify. Go for upbeat, high-energy songs that will keep you awake and smiling as you go.
What’s more, there are podcasts on just about any topic you can imagine, from true crime, to comedy, to discussion of your favorite TV shows. Download a nice selection of podcasts to your phone before you go, and you’ll have plenty of thought-provoking entertainment to accompany you on the drive.
If you’re bookish, consider buying a few audiobooks for the trip. Many of the latest bestsellers are available to download. It can be hard to find time to read with your busy schedule, so use your road trip as an opportunity to finally get to that book you’ve been meaning to read. For something that will keep you on the edge of your seat, pick up a mystery or a thriller.
Do a Little Carside Stretching
Sitting in the same position for an extended period of time can get achy and uncomfortable. Make the most of your bathroom and gas breaks by using them as an opportunity to stretch. Some key areas to focus on include: your wrists, neck, back, hamstrings, hips, chest, and glutes.
Look up some stretches before you go, and print out a guide to bring with you. Taking five or ten minutes to get your blood flowing again will help keep you feeling good when you get back in your vacation van rental. If you’re feeling really ambitious, doing 10 or 20 squats can help kick your body back into gear. Do whatever feels good to your body.
Pack for Comfort
You should always dress appropriately for the occasion, and road trips are no exception. If you’ll sit in a car for most of the day, wear an outfit suited for it. Choose comfortable bottoms like sweatpants or leggings, avoiding anything with a waistline that will pinch when you sit.
Loose t-shirts or tank tops are a comfortable option for tops. Don’t forget to pack layers like sweatshirts and jackets. If the car gets too cold for you, you can always throw on a comfy sweater instead of bickering over the temperature with other passengers.
It’s also a good idea to pack some other comfort items, such as blankets and pillows. While these may not be the best for the driver to use, passengers can rest their heads or cozy up in a blanket. However, small pillows can be beneficial for the driver’s posture. Positioning one between the seat and the small of the back helps prevent discomfort. In case your backside gets sore from extended sitting, pack a cushion to keep you comfortable.
Ready for the Journey?
Going on a road trip is an exciting way to see the country, but proper planning is a must for keeping you and your passengers comfortable during long rides. You don’t want to find yourself getting cranky due to stress or discomfort, so think of how to add comfort to your ride. Making time for stops, eating good food, and using a vacation van rental can create a more pleasant trip. Riding in comfort means that you’ll be ready to go when you get to your destination.
To learn more about our vacation van rental options, check out the options at Airport Van Rental. With our help, you’ll be ready for anything the road throws at you!