Nearly 100 million Americans went on a family vacation in 2019. Of that number, around 53 percent went on the famed “great American road trip,” according to a survey by AAA Travel. Everybody recognizes the unique joy there is to be had in experiencing the country at your own pace, but we’re also all too familiar with the stresses that extended overland travel can bring, and that’s even before factoring in travel expenses. So, to alleviate some of that stress, here are three solid tips to make your road trip less stressful and a lot more memorable.

Plan Your Journey Out To Save You Some Grief Later On 

A lot of travel stress can be attributed to unexpected inconveniences cropping up here and there. They can be small on their own, but piled up, they can put a serious damper on your enjoyment of the trip. So, to save yourself the trouble of dealing with every little hassle that might appear, it’s best to anticipate them beforehand and plan accordingly.

Navigation is always a big part of trip planning, so plot out your main route and some detours in case that route becomes inaccessible at some point. Pack a GPS as an extra safety net. You’d also do well to mark out a healthy amount of stops in case someone suddenly needs a bathroom break or you need some supplies that you forgot to pack. This is also the right time to start making any special requests to the hotel you’re going to be staying at, such as asking for special accommodations.

Keep Drinks, Snacks and Cleaning Supplies On Hand

Any consumables that you might suddenly want or need during the trip and can’t spare the trouble of rummaging through the trunk for should be packed in the car with you. Small tins for garbage, sickbags, wet wipes and little cleaning brushes would do as a basic cleaning kit, and a cooler filled with drinks plus a few bags of snacks should keep anyone from hankering for something to drink or eat. Of course, this measure is only as effective as your car is spacious, so keep that in mind. So long as everyone knows just how much of every item you have, though, they should be able to budget it enough to last for the duration of the trip. If you’re planning on going on long trips, however, perhaps consider looking into cars better-suited for extended travel, which are larger and more fuel-efficient. It’s important to take into account that it isn’t just space that you need when piling in more stuff, but also vehicle mass, as bulkier cars can withstand weight that regular ones simply fail under.

Set Up Countermeasures Against Boredom

Lastly, it’s important to keep entertained during the long voyage to make sure that you’re still hanging onto your sanity once you arrive at your destination. For this purpose, you’ll need to make sure that you bring along all the chargers for any gadgets you’re taking, and pack board and card games too in case that’s not enough. Read up on some fun road trip games too, if you’re feeling a little old-fashioned. In most people’s experience, road trip games are usually the ones that bring the most memorable experiences on the road (Zitch-Dog is a classic!)

They say the journey is more important than the destination, and nowhere is that more true than on a long road trip. It’s one thing to choose a place that’s worth the trip, but to make the trip itself its own reward will lead to fun memories wherever you may be going.

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