Some people love flying, others can’t even step foot on a plane. So in this chapter we’ll be exploring the different alternatives to flying and where they are best fit. There are a variety of alternatives and depending on what type of trip you are looking for and how much time you have, you can even choose to take a bicycle across the state or the country. Each type of transportation provides a totally unique experience. Let’s explore backpacking, bicycling, rail, RV and car road trip and see what the advantages and disadvantages are for each type.
When Should we Take a Road Trip?
Whether you are traveling around your home state or touring another country, Taking a road trip can be the most exciting adventure of your life. Although I enjoy the short time it takes to fly to a destination, there is something so calming about taking it “slow”. I love packing the car, getting our meals ready, getting our music ready, and planning the drive as we go. Its great to move at your own pace, and have nothing rushing you anywhere.
We’ve taken 4 road trips across country and one trip from NY to Florida. Each time we take one, we learn something new to make our next more enjoyable. So far we’ve learned that you have to be prepared and know what you are getting into, if you don’t like being in a car for over 3 hours, it can be daunting. But if you are ready, prepared, and have a partner to make the job easier, it can be really enjoyable and can slow down time/life/and allow you to enjoy each moment and see so much more. I highly reccomend traveling cross country in the US – It’s a wonderful ride at almost any time of year — We’ve done it through all kinds of weather. I loved being able to stop in all over the country and visit friends along the way, hike little hidden gems, and see parts of the country that you don’t her much about.
Here is a mini-checklist for a road trip to make your experience easier:
Map out your trip: Try to map out every day, it can always change, but it’s good to have a plan before you leave. Plot out hotels in advance that are within your budget, on road trips it could be best to just stay in a hotel or motel – it’s easy to check in and out for one night stays, especially with late night arrivals.
Price out Gas: Make sure you have a budget set aside for car maintenance and gas. Before you hit the road, you’ll want your car to be in top shape.
Use a state easy pass whenever you can, it should be able to help discount some of the costs when driving at least out of your home state or for NY, the tri-state area.
Emergency Contact: Be sure you have contact information for car assistance if something goes awry. Also make sure to have a list of contact numbers in general for emergencies.
Self-Service Tools: Make sure you have a good tool kit incase of emergencies and even flat tires. Be sure to learn how to mend a flat or put a doughnut on.
Entertainment: Make sure you have portable wifi to make researching travel plans and work easier. It’s also great to carry a few cell phone power banks in case of emergencies.
Make sure to have a backup plan: If something goes wrong with your car that will delay your trip, be sure to have a backup plan in mind so you don’t lose out on experience.
Buy healthy food: I can’t stress this enough, but pack healthy. Whenever we drive across country much of it isn’t through healthy cute hippie towns or big cities with tons of healthy options, it’s mostly through farm land where there are lots of gas stations and buffets and fast food, but not much else. Whenever we travel, we pack a bunch of protein bars, fruit, canned beans, chips and hummus, and other snacks that have a one week shelf life. We do the best we can to get some healthy food every day so we have a backup plan if we have trouble finding it on our trip.