About four or five times a year my girlfriend and I pack up the car and make the eight-hour trek from Cleveland to her hometown of Knoxville. The Smoky Mountains are breathtaking when you arrive, but let’s be honest: the eight hours it takes to get there will take a toll on anybody. Just ask Clark Griswold.
Whether you’re gassing up for upcoming holiday travel or planning your next summer road trip, these three tips should help you get from point A to point B in one piece … and with peace of mind.
1) Exercise, get a massage, do yoga … just loosen up before you leave
This is one you probably wouldn’t think of, but it’s a good idea to get loose and relaxed before getting on the road. You will be in a sedentary position for a long time so if you are tense or stressed out, driving will only amplify it.
2) Leave in the morning, NOT after work
For some reason, I still fall prey to the, “OK, we’ll leave right after work” suggestion (my girlfriend can be very persuasive). But leaving after work is a bad idea. Why? You’ve already used most of your mental and physical energy during the workday, depleting your enthusiasm and patience. If traveling for more than six hours, dedicate the entire day to the drive. Get up, work out, shower, have a good breakfast, stretch out and hit the road rested with a fresh set of eyes.
3) Decide on where to stop beforehand
For our most recent journey, we decided that on the way back to Cleveland we would get food, gas and use the restroom in Cincinnati, which is about halfway. Decide with your co-pilot where you want to stop before you leave so you can limit stops along the way. Of course, if you’re traveling with children, throw everything I said out the window. Just try and survive.
Do you have any tried and true road trip tips? Share them below!