Is It Time For a Road Trip?

Stuck on the side of the road outside of Baltimore.
Stuck on the side of the road outside of Baltimore. | Source

Hit the Road!

You might be asking yourself, "Is it time for a road trip?" Well, friend, if you are asking that question, then the answer is probably, "Yes!" So what should you do about this? What if gas is too expensive? What if you don't even have a car? What should you do? Have no fear! I am here to help!

Summer is quickly coming upon us, but I will tell you what, it doesn't even have to be summer to have a great road trip. You might be bored and decide to take a nice trip during any of the other seasons in the year, although if you live in a cold climate, winter might not be the best time to take a road trip. However, any other time of year can be the perfect time to get away from it all.

Source

Do You Need a Road Trip?

Have you been stressed out lately? Do you need a change of scenery? If you look around at your home any longer, are you going to scream?

My friend, you might be in need of a road trip. If you feel like you are going crazy and you can't take it anymore, then maybe you need this mini-vacation. If you feel like staying overnight for a few days somewhere, perhaps you just need to pack some bags, check your finances, find a good working vehicle, and give it a go. There are many types of road trips, and you might just want to take one right now.

The Types of Road Trips

There are plenty of road trips you can plan to take at any given time. The first road trip is the unplanned road trip. This is a somewhat risky road trip. I remember my parents were fans of this exciting (yet fairly stressful for me) road trip. They would wake up one morning and determine we were going to go somewhere interesting. If it was during summer vacation, often this trip would lead to an amusement park. Sometimes we might even throw some clothes in a bag and find a random motel to stay for the night. No matter when we decided to take this exciting journey, we still had maps and some type of destination planned before leaving the house. That was always comforting on some level.

The next type of road trip is the craziest of all. The unplanned random destination road trip is pretty risky. You basically get in a car and start driving. You just keep going until you end up somewhere interesting. If you feel you are pretty familiar with just about any location within a 100 mile radius, this can be OK as long as you don't stray too far. However, you've got a lot more guts than me if you just throw your stuff in a car and take off without any idea where you are heading or when you are returning.

If you are not a fan of unplanned, surprise road trips, you can instead decide to give the matter some thought. This is especially the case if you do not even have a car. You are going to have to figure out if you will need to rent a car, take a bus, or even borrow a car from a really overly trusting friend. Perhaps that friend might even want to accompany you on the journey. Friends can make a lonely road trip awesome. So give the matter some thought, plan for days or even weeks, and make your planned road trip.

The last road trip I would like to discuss is probably the most fun. This is the vacation road trip. This is the best type of road trip for the summer. The vacation road trip is when the whole family or a bunch of friends decide to hit the road together. There is typically a planned destination and lodging reservations have already been made in advance. The car is usually packed full of food, belongings, and games. This is usually the type of road trip everyone fondly remember years down the road. Even if there were little mishaps such as running out of gas right before getting to the gas station or someone eating too many bean burritos, the little issues are quickly forgotten because it is such a fun adventure.

Lost somewhere in Maryland
Lost somewhere in Maryland | Source

Get Lost!

When taking a road trip, you definitely want to make the most of the journey. First and foremost, I am a big believer in taking a REAL map. I know you might think TomTom or your GPS will totally get you there, but take one wrong road, and those things might take forever to recalculate the trip. This is especially the case if you are out in the middle of nowhere.

While taking your road trip, plan to get lost at least once. If you are relying on MapQuest or Yahoo Maps, you are definitely going to get lost. Just accept it as a fact and move on with your life. Try to make the most of getting lost and look at it as an adventure. You might find a town you never knew existed. You can find an interesting local diner and enjoy a meal you've never had before. There are many wonderful towns you would never know about if it were not for getting lost.

Just remember, if you happen to go to a place that is full of corn fields and you only see children, nothing good can come from that. Just keep driving as fast as you can! If you find a deserted rest stop, be careful with that situation, too. You might just want to keep a weapon with you just in case. Sure getting a little lost can be part of an adventure, but it is also the way a number of bad horror movies start. Have fun, but be cautious, too.

What Should You Pack for a Road Trip?

Depending on the length of the drive, you might opt to take a number of different items. Some good items to take with you on any road trip are:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Map
  • Atlas
  • Music
  • A portable DVD player for restless children
  • Luggage if overnight trip
  • A blanket
  • Pillows
  • Games
  • Cooler
  • Change for tolls and vending machines
  • Cash for tolls and vending machines
  • Working cell phone
  • First aid kit

No one wants to be bored on a road trip. It can be an especially difficult task to keep children entertained the whole time. Make sure to bring some games or think of some fun road games that you can play with them. It never hurts to bring stuffed animals or pillows to encourage naps during the trip.

So go out there and have a blast! Just remember to do some practical stuff before leaving. It never hurts to take the car in for some preventive maintenance before going on the trip. You will feel a lot better knowing it was just checked out. Furthermore, it never hurts for you to go in for a check-up to make sure you are in the best of health if you intend on leaving for a long time. Personally, I feel like you can have more fun if you take care of a few annoying tasks before leaving for your road trip. Have fun while being safe on the road this summer!

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet? | Source

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Comments 13 comments

DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 4 years ago from Ohio

Great ideas and Perfect Advice! Very nice list of thing to pack. Adn good for you to reccomend a map!.... A few years ago my mother and I drove from NY to FL. It was great. I paked the cooler so well we didn't have to buy a single meal. We stopped and had picnics on the way. And just for fun we stopped at the Welcome Center at each state to see what they had and to take crazy pictures. It was great entertainment, educational, fun, and Free!... I haven't had good luck so far with unplanned destinations. But you have me itching to try it and make it a success!!!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Unplanned, random destination road trips are the best. I do one of those every couple of years...just pick a direction and start driving until it's time to stop for the night...then pick a different direction the next day....love it.

Great hub and I'm so ready for a trip!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

DanaTeresa - I know exactly what you mean! I love taking food along and not buying anything during a trip. It is nice to get an ice cream or something just to add a little excitement (and calories) to the trip. :-) Don't worry... I am not successful at the unplanned trips either. I just stick with planning everything in advance. Thanks for sharing!

billybuc - You are a braver person than I will ever be, Bill. I am very much a planner. Even as a child, my parents spur of the moment trips drove me nuts. I don't think I was ever really a kid. Hehe. Thanks for sharing and I hope you get to take a trip soon!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Any kind of road trips are awesome. Great hub, now I want to hit the road and feel the wind on my face and breath deep - exhilarating!!.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I am ready for a road trip, too. I just need a vacation. Thanks for checking out my hub!


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

I have been thinking about a road trip just to get away. So, great ideas. Even if it is only for one day, it is nice to get a break.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, a road trip is long overdue for many of us. I am going on one soon and it is just not getting here soon enough! :-) I can't wait to get away from it all. Thanks for the comment!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

It IS time for a road trip...I was just planning one ten minutes ago. Think I will take the kids to see Abe Lincoln's house in IL...we can have us a learnin' day:) lol

I love going on road trips - my kids do not seem to appreciate them though - they hate riding in the car...gosh! If only I owned a plane.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Road trips are awesome! What is up with your kids? Maybe they don't like it if it will be a long trip. I remember a road trip from Maryland to Florida one year. It was really boring after a while. Thanks for checking out my hub, and hey, let me know if you get that plane. I would like a free ride in it. :-)


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

You speak as a true road trip veteran. Completely agree about having a real map. Very nice hub.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks so much! I will be taking a road trip this week. Hooray for road trips and thanks for the comment.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Ok, I admit, I am a lifetime member of the unplanned random destination road trip and so is my husband. We have a bag we call "the overnight bag" that we grab and go. The wildest event was sitting at the intersection in Pocatello, Idaho and trying to decide if we wanted to go North or South. We let our son flip a coin and we ended up spending 3 years in Florida. Crazy, I know. :)

Totally enjoyed all your travel advice. Voted up and sharing. :)


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Wow, that is crazy! You are super spontaneous .... I am the opposite. I need to take traveling advice from you. Thanks for the comment!

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    Jeannie InABottle (Jeannieinabottle)1,161 Followers
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    Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - anything from hamsters to office work.



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