Road trips are seeing a remarkable resurgence, with 80 percent of Americans road tripping this summer, a survey by The Vacationer finds. This great turnout is not surprising however, given that road trips are perhaps the most scenic and enjoyable mode of travel there is. And the cheapest too, as your means of travel is sitting right there in your garage. But road trips can easily go from exciting to boring if you’re not taking steps to keep it fun. Fortunately, that’s easy to prevent with these tips.
Be Open to Making Spur of the Moment Stops
All journeys need structure so as not to be utterly chaotic. But spicing up your itinerary with spontaneous impromptu destinations is a great way to keep things fresh and exciting. Spot a landmark or a great photo op? Go ahead and take a detour so you can make the most of the whole trip. Many a seasoned road tripper will tell you that the most memorable parts of their journeys have been the quirky and often wild stops they had taken on a whim. Take care not to get lost, though.
Look Up Cool Places to Pass Through
Road trips are a unique opportunity to sample the little cultural nuances of each locale you pass through. To know where the points of interest are, it’s best to look up the places you’re headed toward. This way you can make the best use of your time there by drawing a rough plan of the points you want to visit. Most of the time, you only have a few days to burn on your trip, so plan your stops wisely and don’t get carried away. Plan for maybe two to three places to visit if you decide to stop over at a town or other area.
This on the fly kind of itinerary planning makes it so that you spend less time planning and more time actually being on the road trip. This is great if you’ve only taken a few vacation days for this, or have some gas that’s been sitting in the tank for months and the fuel is about to go bad. If you’re really looking for a quick way to experience the culture of the place you’re passing through, there are few ways better than tasting that culture. Wherever it is you end up, whip out your phones and Google the most standout places to eat in the area, and give them a visit. If you’re on a budget, snack shops with a more local flair work too. This also applies to other types of destinations. You could even make it a reward for road trip games such as 21 questions or zitch dog. The top three best scorers in those games get to pick one roadside attraction to make a stop at.
Start Deep and Fulfilling Conversations
Awkward silences are an ever-present inconvenience in road trips, but not if you and your party are good at spotting conversation pieces along the road. You have hours upon hours to burn, so it pays to get skilled at drawing entertainment from the things zooming past the window. You can also talk about the places you plan to visit, stops to look out for, and fun detours to take. And if that doesn’t work, there are always podcasts to stimulate the mind. Used correctly, all of these conversations can help you learn something new about the world and each other.
The edge that road trips have over other means of leisure travel is their fluidity and spontaneity. Banking on that strength is how you can guarantee a fun and memorable experience that you’d surely want to repeat.