In the summer I took a road trip around the west coast of America, meaning I spent a lot of time in confined spaces with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family but three weeks is a long time so I thought’d I’d compile a list of tips to make it out the other side alive (whilst also enjoying yourself!)
1. Travel Pillow
First and foremost personally there is nothing I love more than having a nap or two when travelling! So having a travel pillow is essential to avoid that stiff neck feeling on waking. Myself and my partner used the ‘J Pillow’ which unlike conventional travel pillows due to its design also supports your chin, reducing the strain on your neck. My family laughed when they first saw the somewhat phallic shaped pillow, but they soon become envious when we slept in comfort!
2. Food and Drink
This is an absolute must for me! No one likes a car full of hangry people, and often we were on roads in quite frankly the middle of no where, so finding food wasn’t always easy (especially when catering for vegetarians). So we had a bag and cool box stored in an accessible place in the car full of easy to snack on foods and drinks to keep those hungry moments at bay! This is also handy if you arrive somewhere late at night and need a midnight snack as we did. An added bonus is that this can help to keep the cost down as it saves stopping and paying a premium in gas stations along the way.
Yes you’ve guessed it, spending hours on end in a car does tend to lead to at least one person being bursting for the toilet at some point. As there is literally no way of avoiding bodily functions you just have to plan around it. Its worth checking a map at the beginning of the journey as a group and deciding on stops along the way to keep everyone happy. BUT I also strongly advise having something to wee into for those emergency situations where there is no other option! A blanket also doesn’t go a miss so you can hopefully have a little privacy! Toilet roll and hand sanitiser are very handy to have to hand as well.
We’ve all been there, you’ve been in the car for hours everyone is starting to moan and then a song everyone knows and loves come on and it totally brightens the mood! Therefore one of my tips is to create yourselves a playlist that has a little bit of everything on from Justin Bieber to Ludovico Einaudi to keep everyone happy. Having headphone is also handy so you can retreat into your own little world when it all gets too much.
This kind of goes without saying but having something to keep you occupied during the time you spend on the road is so important! Books and magazines are great if you don’t get travel sick, but audiobooks are a great alternative if you can’t quite face staring at a book. Games you can play with each other are also a brilliant way to pass the time whilst being able to enjoy the amazing views. One thing we spend time doing was attempting to name the 50 states of America, or capital cities, we simply made up things to do on the spot!
So there you have it, my 5 tips to surviving and enjoying your road trip wherever you may be.