Road trips are such a refreshing change from the fast paced frequency of air travel. Despite being fully licensed, I don’t drive - I grew up in Sydney - do you blame me?!
The hubby drives (for some unknown reason this is something he loves doing!) and I can put on some of our favourite music and cruise along until we reach our destination. I love being able to make the transit a part of our travels.
My favourite aspects of road travel are that I’m in control of my itinerary, stops along the way and the pace at which I go.
Make flexible plans
A lot of fear stems from the unknown.
Make plans but keep them flexible, sketch out your route and rest stops but follow them loosely and know that it’s ok if your plans change along the way.
Often the best adventures happen when things get slightly out of our control.
An important part of any trip is having the appropriate documentation. Scan or take a photo of any documents you’ll need and save into an offline electronic folder like Dropbox.
If you’re particularly worried about this, make two photocopies of everything and keep it all in a folder, give one copy to someone back at home and keep one copy with you in case of emergencies.
Better yet, do both!
While most of us don’t carry much cash these days it’s a good idea to have some emergency funds. A lot of times toll booths will accept specific kinds of cards, if at all.
It also helps to have some reserve cash in case your cards are declined for any reason.
Don’t let yourself get ‘hangry’, pack some non-perishable, healthy snacks and keep them for when you can’t find food fast enough for your stomach.
A packet of unsalted cashews, granola bars or dried fruit are tasty as will keep you going until you can find a place to stop and have a meal.
Sometimes technology will fail us. Have a directory at the back of the car with you in cases where a new development area has not been updated to your navigation system or it simply chooses not to work for mysterious reasons.
Sure, it’s a tad harder but it’s a good backup option to get you from point A to B until you can seek further directions from the nearest town.
Checklists are a great way to take away the stress from planning, packing and remembering to bring everything you need. If you’ve travelled before you’ll know the usual things you need to bring with you. Use them to reduce the stress in packing.
During your research note any areas which travellers have been recommended to avoid and be aware of these while you’re on the road. Don’t let this create additional anxieties in you, just be aware of the environment and situations and respond accordingly.
Bring your favourite blanket, pillow or other comfort items that remind you of home and help you relax. Don’t worry too much about taking up extra space in your car, use Compression Bags to take the air out of these bulky items.
Prepare a calming playlist for the road, whether it’s some classical music, jazz or heavy metal! Whatever calms you, have some songs downloaded to your phone ready to connect to the vehicle when you need to tune out.
Download your favourite relaxation apps and bring your headphones. Some of our favourites are Headspace & Calm.
If you’re an avid reader bring a book you’ve been meaning to read for a while. Be aware that this may make you feel car sick if you’re so inclined.
You’ve done your research, planned out your route and you’re on you way - be prepared to get very lost! It’s bound to happen, especially if you’re on a road trip in another country, state or city. I still get lost in the same city I’ve lived for over 20 years! The trick is to remain calm and have a plan for how you will handle the situation.
Know that it’s ok to get lost, accept that it will happen and oftentimes those are the situations you’ll look back on and laugh about with friends and family - they make for the best stories!
Exercise is a proven way to elevate your mood.
Regardless of your fitness level plan to include physical activity into your daily schedule. Go for a brisk walk, jog or run - whichever is your thing.
Bring your yoga mat, find an Instagram worthy spot and cross off ‘outdoors yoga’ from your bucket list!
Bring a frisbee, a bat and ball and bring out the athlete within.
As tired as you may be and as much as you may not want to, unpack your personal items as soon as you get home and get that first load of laundry on. Getting started on these tasks will get you back into the routine of being at home and things are less likely to pile up and become overwhelming later on.
Congratulate yourself on a successful trip and recognise the achievements you’ve made. Conquering and working through fears, anxieties and worries is no easy task and you’ve done so well!