Vehicle overlooking mountains and forestry 

Survival Guide to the Great American ROAD TRIP

Are you ready for the big summer road trip? No, not talking about another trip to Burrito El Loco. I mean packing it in, heading out, loading up, programming the GPS, and tuning up that road trip playlist. 

Yes, if you are the pilot, then getting ready can be a bit daunting. But there’s good news; I am here to help you be a (cue the echo) ROAD WARRIOR, Highway Hercules, and super street navigating nerd. 

Endless beautiful sights to see, places to go, mysteries to be solved, questions to be answered. Whether you’re traveling with family, the band, your friends or the Swedish bikini team, it’ll be a blast. I can’t make any guarantees, but I guarantee it. Keeping everything smooth sailing takes a little more time, but with these tips and ideas, hopefully, I can add a little peace of mind to your trip.


         1. Make a plan!


It’s common for people to just hit the open road and go where the pavement takes them. That’s great but ok, we both know that you are not one of those people. Creating a plan can increase fun and lower anxiety so you can focus on singing along to your favorite Cardi B songs. Besides, planning is fun!! According to this Quality of Life study, everyone experiences a boost in happiness when planning their vacation, so let’s do it!!!

By now, you have picked out destinations… If not, the Visit The USA site can help you find your next adventure stop. My favorite destination is Saskatoon. There isn’t anything there, but it’s fun to say Saskatoon. 

First, map out everything you want to see and experiences along the way. And I mean everything. But before you get too hasty, make sure to set time restraints, budgets, and hotel stops (if needed). Plan around these limitations with everything your heart desires. Research some great nature parks if you’re into nature. Look for cool events to attend. Find delicious local restaurants.


         2. Get your vehicle prepared!


Before heading out on your journey, it is absolutely critical to get your wheels in shape.  The last thing you need is an unplanned interruption in your joyful journey. This means getting your oil changed, your wipers swapped, your fluids in check, tire air pressure, coolant, etc. And don’t forget packing your essential gear, food, clothes, etc. There’s a lot to remember, so it can be a lifesaver to create a simple checklist. This free downloadable North to South's "Ultimate Road trip Planner" will have you covered. 

         3. Get your brain prepared!


Anything can go wrong and it’s important to be mentally prepared for when it does. Maybe a tire blows, or a favorite stuffed animal is forgotten. Too many people let these small grievances ruin an entire trip. Keeping a positive attitude will go a long way, trust me.  


         4. Keep it fun!


Long stretches of road can suck the soul out of you. Keep it lively. Play games, sing songs, have deep conversations and rest often. Drowsiness is dangerous and sheer boredom can be terrifying. These are very real risks, so keep your mind active. Also, consider your passengers (family, friends, etc). For example, that burrito might be a good choice for you but no so much for your passengers.


All of these may seem like common sense, but committing to these suggestions can really help. Plan, prepare, stay positive, and have fun!