Americans have a newfound habit, and it involves a whole lot of asphalt. Over the summer, we saw a tidal wave of road trip plans coming together as travel restrictions lifted and people were looking for a more isolated mode of transportation. A recent survey further backed up our observations, finding that 72% of Americans planning to travel over the summer would be doing so in their cars. As we all look for safe ways to celebrate the holidays this year, a good way to spend Thanksgiving together could include a socially distanced road trip to a remote national park or camping grounds.
This time, we'll leave the destination up to you. The road to your destination is our focus today. Long-distance road trips may be uncharted territory for some of this year's travelers, and with a wave of newcomers, we feel the need to share the right approach to a fun family road trip.
Before even thinking of hitting the road, you have to plan your packing. What you bring on the road can make the difference between a comfortable ride and an unpleasant nightmare you may never wish to repeat. Whether it's a cross country drive or just a one-day trek across state lines, you'll want to plan accordingly with the right proportion of snacks, water, toiletries, and more. This doesn't mean you should overthink and overpack for any and all emergencies, but knowing yourself and your family's needs can guide your decision-making process. To get your list started, we can share our top items to bring on the road:
1. First and foremost, hand sanitizer and PPE for a safe experience.
2. Non-perishable food such as granola bars, trail mix, potato chips, or dried fruits.
3. Water, and plenty of it.
4. A small cooler with ice packs - for water bottles or perishable foods.
5. An easily accessible toiletry bag with the basics, including deodorant, toothbrushes, and saline solution.
6. A portable phone charger, just in case.
7. Pillows and blankets for comfort.
8. An AUX cord for the tunes, and a handful of card and party games to pass the time.
Another key contributor to the success of your road trip is, of course, your tires. Conducting routine checks before leaving and during pit stops, such as gauging air pressure and inspecting for irregularities, will ensure that your car is in good shape and maximizing mileage. Keeping yourself at a modest speed on the highway will also reduce wear and tear on your tires, while maintaining a smoother ride for the passengers in the back.
Tires aside, keeping the peace amongst the passengers is an equally important factor in fun road tripping. The best nugget of advice we can share is this: pack plenty of snacks, take plenty of breaks, and don't hog the music. Stick to these pillars and your travels should be seamless.
Without the bells and whistles of a more intricate road trip, this year's Thanksgiving travels can be a simple and fun family experience while staying safe in today's new normal. Making your list and checking it twice will keep the trip stress-free, and it may just become a Thanksgiving tradition for years to come.