Road Trippin’ Like a Pro Adult
At a certain point in life, you realize that vacation days are for more than just calling in sick to work when you really don’t feel like working. You start saving them to take off a week when you really don’t feel like working. Then, all of a sudden, one day, you wake up and realize that you can go places if you want, just like your parents used to do when you were a kid.
Congratulations, you’ve finally realized you can vacation like an adult.
Of course, there is more to a good vacation than just hopping in the car and going somewhere, although, that has it’s charm, too. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, and make sure you’re not stranded in Nowhere, Nebraska, you have to make plans and get things ready.
I know, it’s like they expect me to be responsible now that I’m and adult or something.
Getting Things Ready
I’ve spent the last week or so putting together a checklist of what all I needed to get done, and splitting it into 5 parts:
- Planning a Route
- Packing my Bags
- Maintaining my Car
- Buying Stuff I need
- Adding in the Awesome Factor
Planning a Route
This was the easy part, just hit up Google Maps and tell it where I want to go. I’m super glad I did this because if I hadn’t I might have gotten stuck on a pretty long detour where one of the highways I was going to take has been washed out in flooding across eastern Iowa. My new route only ads about 30 minutes to my trip, but the detour would have sent us three hours in the wrong direction.
Now, armed with my print out, I have a pretty good idea of how far I have to drive each leg of the trip, and how long it’s going to take to get to each place. That helps me prepare for the rest of the trip, too.
Packing My Bags
I’m the type of guy that always ends up with last minute damn its, like a forgotten toothbrush or only packing half as many pairs of socks as I need. Not this time, I found a checklist online. Now, I just have to make sure I remember to check off the checklist as I pack.
Maintaining My Car
My car has almost about 8,000 miles on it, now, and will easily have over 10 by the time I get back from my trip. I figure I might as well go ahead and get the oil changed and the tires rotated before I head out. Not only will it probably give me better gas mileage, it will hopefully keep me from being dead on the side of the highway somewhere when a tire explodes and a go careening off a cliff.
Buying the Stuff I need
I double checked all the things on my checklist and realized that I didn’t have everything I needed, or more importantly, I didn’t have travel sized containers for the stuff I needed, plus for some reason I always need new socks. No seriously, I buy socks once a month or so. I don’t know why my feet destroy socks so fast.
Plus, I’m putting together a little shopping list for right before I leave with things like, “Happy fun caffeine drinks” and “Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers” on it. Driving is tough work, I want my brain and belly to be happy the whole time.
Adding in the Awesome Factor
I’m going to be on the road for about 50 hours while I’m on Vacation. That’s a lot of time staring at the pavement, mile after mile. If you don’t add the awesome, you fall asleep at the wheel, revisiting that cliff scenario from before. That’s why I’ve been working on putting together the ultimate road trip playlist, as well as downloading a couple of new books from Audible.
I’m especially looking forward to Ready, player one, which is narrated by Wil Wheton!
A couple of my favorite podcasts will also be on the playlist, which should break the monotony when my travelling companion and brother falls asleep on me.
I’m hoping I haven’t left anything out.