Hello! I’m back! I’m officially no longer on vacation and I have very mixed feelings about it. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing vacation so I have a ton of cleaning, lots of laundry and tons of relaxing to do this week. I also have a lot of other exciting adventures coming up still. So I’m sad that it’s over but it’s okay.
I’ve got a lot of travel guides, and rundowns filled with tons of pictures coming up. But until then I wanted to give you some other travel inspired content. Starting off with the realities of a road trip.
If you are following me on Instagram then you will have seen lots of glamorous looking Instagram shots. But road trips aren’t all glamorous shots and fun… there’s a lot of reality too, a lot that people will never tell you. So instead I’m going to tell you about it and prepare you for your next road trip.
Then to make things a bit more positive, I will give you some road trip tips. So you can have an amazing adventure.
What No One Tells You: It’s going to take way longer to get anywhere than you planned.
I am a meticulous planner, I always prepare for everything to take way longer than I prepared. When I check directions to a place, I check during rush hour, just to prepare for the worst. And yet… most of our drives took at least an extra two hours.
Tip: There’s not much you can do about it. Plan as best as you can, but if you have things booked, make sure they’re lenient. We were supposed to go on a tour in Boston on Friday night at 4:30 (and were supposed to get there at between 1:30-2) instead we got there at 4:30 and couldn’t go on the tour until the next day. Luckily our tickets were for “any day, any time for six months” which was a blessing.
We also had to drop a few things we wanted to do because drives took too long. So plan but make sure your plan is really flexible because traffic, accidents, driving rain storms are all out of your control.
What No One Tells You: You’ll eat a lot of garbage food.
I mean you’re probably expecting this to a point, but little did you know that EVERY rest stop is a McDonald’s and basically nothing else. I was looking forward to trying some fun American chains because there are so many more than we have in Canada. And yet 99% of rest stops are McDonalds, maybe some pizza and a convenience store. Doesn’t provide a lot of options.
Tip: If you see a rest stop with something besides McDonalds (maybe even a little healthy) STOP there. Even if you aren’t hungry, you’ll thank yourself later. Also bring a lot of snacks.
We brought a ton of snacks and ate through them all (may have been eating for lack of anything else to do…. oops). But if at least your snack options are healthy it will make a big difference.
What No One Tells You: You’ll see places you never expected
…and they’ll be way more beautiful than you ever expected.
Tip: I was really really excited to see Boston and Cambridge on our road trip but I didn’t think anything else of the rest of Massachusetts. Now all I can say is wow…. you have to drive through this state if you get a chance. Huge rolling hills, beautiful trees, lakes and rivers galore, big cliff faces. It was stunning. I’m dying to go back and do that drive again in the fall. The whole drive through this state (and we drove through a lot of it) was stunning.
What No One Tells You: your technology will fail.
Whether it’s maps, music or whatever… some technology is going to go wrong. We prepared so well, we both had phone plans for the USA but somedays we’d run out of data, some days my map wouldn’t work for no reason at all. With no explanation it just wouldn’t work.
My partner also made a big Spotify playlist so we could sing along on the road trip and… it just didn’t download. None of the music downloaded, the playlist wasn’t even there. It just didn’t exist.
Tip: get a plan ahead of time if you’re going to a different country and then double, triple, quadruple check your programs. Make sure everything you need is downloaded, turn off your wifi, put your phone on airplane mode and check it’s all still there and still working before you leave your house. Then go with the flow, we heard some really fun local radio. Also this leads me to my next point…
What No One Tells You: most of the time you’ll have no idea where you are.
Sometimes our maps would fail, I’d printed out all the directions ahead of time but they didn’t match the signs. We’d look around and think okay well we’re in the middle of rural New York so I guess we’ll just keep driving and figure it out.
Tip: Can I say go with the flow again? I’ve found that Google Maps tends to give you a lot more details than signs actually do. Which can be confusing when it says one thing but the physical signs in front of you says something else. So what you really need to focus on is what highway number you’re on, and what exit number you need to get off of. Most of the rest of it is extra and confusing. Feel free to ignore it.
What No One Tells You: you need twice as many podcasts and playlists prepared than you think you will.
We were in the car for SO long. This ties in with drives taking longer. But you will burn through podcasts and playlists and radio station and then look at each other like, what now?
Tip: We saved up our favourite podcast “My Dad Wrote a Porno” so that we’d have several hours of entertainment that we were REALLY excited about it. We also listened to Hamilton through a few times. Delay those podcasts and albums you really love, save them up and don’t listen to them for a couple of weeks beforehand. It will make a big difference when you’re excited to get in the car to listen to something.
Also we started playing games with each other. You can look up some on pinterest but our favourite to play was 20 questions with real or imaginary people.
What is something you think people never talk about, that everyone should know about road trips? What are your best road trip tips?
I have so much travel content including a post on how to take the best travel photos, travel guides for several cities and more coming up. You aren’t going to want to miss it so follow me on bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing.