Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to Make the Most Out of Your Road Trip

Last summer, Brandi from Not Your Average Ordinary moved from her San Diego home and drove back East on a solo four-week road trip across the northern states in the U.S. and even a dip into Canada. So I've asked her to share some tips about how to make the most of a long drive and how to relish the experience.

And P.S. we're having a wonderful time out here even if I haven't been popping in so regularly. Internet and cell phone service is pretty much non-existent once you enter parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. It's probably for the best; we could use the reminder to step away from the electronics and enjoy the view. That said, our Facebook maps look awesome with all our check-ins!
When I first told friends and family that I was planning a solo cross country road trip, I don’t think they really thought I was serious. But as my departure date approached, it became clear that I would do it. Most people are unaccustomed to – and sometimes even uncomfortable with – traveling alone. I had never done it before, but I wanted the long miles of road to myself.

It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I met new friends, discovered cities I had never been to before, fell in love with mountains in the distance and alleyways and lazy days. I would do it all over again – and I may. This time, however, I know even better the essential keys to a successful solo road trip.
1. Listen to books. Get some good audio books, ones that make you want to keep driving just so you can keep listening. Maybe they’re bestselling works of fiction, maybe they’re guilty pleasures – but find ones that hook you.

2. Stop regularly. Have lunch in cafes and dinner in nice restaurants. Stop before you think you’ll need to. Stretch. Breathe. Enjoy where you are.

3. Take photos. Photograph your meals, the horizon, the sky, the streets. Photograph it all.
4. Talk to strangers. Chat up the people around you. Ask for suggestions of places to go and things to do. Make friends unexpectedly.

5. Carry a GPS. Because it’s really nice to know where you are, even if you’re in the middle of nowhere.

Images: all courtesy of Brandi of


  1. Those tips could work for a road trip with others too, I think!

    1. Definitely. We used some of these tips and we were in a group of six.


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