Tips for amateur road tripping


Beautiful views while driving on U.S. Highway 101. Photo credit: Carly Plemons

Picture yourself in a car, hands gripping the wheel. The windows are rolled down so the soft song of the wind whistling and brushing against your face provides an instant rush of freedom to go wherever the road turns next.

For any road trip enthusiast or casual adventure seekers, long drives are thrilling. As an impulsive road-tripper, driving along the California coast is not new for me. Here are a few tips for anyone interested in taking a long drive or spontaneous adventure.

Tip #1: Whether you drive alone or with some friends, an abundance of music is vital. Spotify or other music streaming apps come in handy, but what are you supposed to do when there’s no signal driving in the middle of nowhere? CDs turn into the next best thing and even save on crazy data usage and phone bill costs. Making sure the music is never-ending is something that turns driving into feeling like a music video.

Tip #2: Take lots and lots of photos. Every time there is a view and the opportunity arises, pull over. Chances are that a break from driving will be needed and a beautiful view is something to look back on and admire.

Tip #3: Know where to go. Taking pit stops and excursions are all fun and games until someone gets lost or stuck in the middle of nowhere where there is no cell service. Basically, don’t rely on a GPS too much and make sure to screen shot the directions beforehand.

Tip #4: Snacks are important so bring a bunch. Gas stations have a ton, but it’s easier to plan ahead and bring the munchies of your dreams. You’ll thank yourself later.

Tip #5: Always have a backup plan — or several. Chances are there will be traffic, possibly too much time spent at a pit stop or something unexpected may arise. It is important to plan the trip and make sure that help can be on the way when needed.

Solo road trips are a unique experience that I would recommend to any traveler. I recently took one to Santa Barbara, and U.S. Highway 101 was one of the loveliest views. Solo trips can be a great way to clear your head and become comfortable doing things on your own.

Whether taking a long drive with friends or adventuring alone, the experience is always different and filled with painted skies and picturesque landscapes. Chasing horizons could be what the doctor ordered.

Carly Plemons can be reached at [email protected] or @plemnz on Twitter.