As previously mentioned in my L.A. coffee shop post, I recently traveled to California. For a few days, my best friend and I road tripped from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We’re almost convinced that the drive, itself, was better than the sightseeing we’d done on foot. Below are four tips for making your road trip the trip. I hope you enjoy your next road trip as much as we did!
1. Choose the right road trip companion. I make this point #1, because your companion is the first and foremost precursor of how your road trip will turn out. When I first told my parents that we would be driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, they said, “I’ve never seen someone so enthusiastic about an 8-hour car ride.” Well, the truth is, it was the adventure I knew I’d be sharing with my best friend which made me so excited! The car ride consisted of endless singing, laughing, and admiration for the beautiful terrains surrounding us. Not to mention, my best friend and I happen to be very similar as far as levels of patience and tolerance go. With that said, the drive would’ve seemed longer and burdensome to travel with someone who isn’t agreeable; missing out on the drive’s sights from potentially arguing.
Another point to keep in mind when choosing your companion is driving. Make sure it is decided before you even plan your trip who will be responsible for driving. Coming from the city, I am not an avid driver, so my friend and I agreed in advance that it would be best if she stayed behind the wheel. She didn’t mind at all — and being from L.A., she’s quite used to it, anyway.
2. Pack more than enough snacks and plenty of water. Although this may seem like a given, it’s also a preconceived notion that you can always stop somewhere for food and water; unfortunately, this is not the case. My friend and I were laughing at how much food her mother packed for us, but the stocked up cooler with food and gallons of water turned out to be really helpful. Had we stopped for food, we would have not only deviated far away from our route to our destination, but end up eating food we wouldn’t particularly like (as there are limited options on the highway). Pack your favorite snacks, and clean, quick meal ideas. Some of ours were washed berries and cherries, green apples, almonds, avocados, and dark chocolate.
3. Put together a playlist. It is important to not only have a playlist of songs you love, but ones which will fit any mood or setting along your ride, narrating every moment of your trip. For the sharp turns and hills of our trip, we’d put on deep house music; for the more mellow times of the drive, we’d listen to chill beats. And when we felt like being ridiculous, we’d just put on an oldie (think Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September”) to which we both knew the lyrics, and sing our hearts out. Regardless of what you decide, let me tell you that it is worth your time to organize different genre playlists. Note: You will most likely get sick of these songs by the end of the trip, however will forever associate them with your amazing trip.
4. Take the prettiest route, even if that means more driving. I could not stress this point, enough. If you want your road trip to be one of the highlights of your trip, you must invest your time, accordingly. My friend and I traveled up the coastline of Big Sur, which was, quite possibly, one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen. Although this pushed us back time-wise, it was very well worth it. Make the most of your drive — take those secluded drives through the forest, or those alleyways passing into small, charming streets.
If my picture above doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.