Taking a road trip has always been exciting for me. I enjoy the journey as much as I enjoy the destination, and I like driving, so that makes car vacations a lot more fun for me than hopping on a plane to get where I’m going.
However, I’m also the first to admit that while road trips are fun, they get dead boring after the first hour. You pile in with your friends or family, chants of “Road trip! Road trip!” fill the car, and you play your favorite songs on the radio.
After about an hour, when everyone has (hopefully) quit chanting and you’re tired of the music, you realize you’ve got another 18 hours and 900 miles in front of you.
So how do you survive — both literally and figuratively — a long, multi-state, many-hour road trip? As a road trip veteran, I’ve got a few ideas, but I also checked with Lily Brooks-Dalton, the current Kerouac House writer-in-residence, world traveler, motorcycle road tripper, and author of Motorcycles I’ve Loved, about some of her suggestions.
1. Get your vehicle checked out
“Get your vehicle serviced before you leave,” Lily said, “and know how to handle it if things go awry.”
That means get the oil changed, get the fluids topped off, check the tires, check your battery life, and make sure your spare is properly inflated. Also, make sure your AAA card is somewhere handy.