I am always on the road. Between Young & Free Maine events, visiting friends and family, and attending concerts, I spend a lot of my time driving The Green Machine or riding a coach bus from Portland.
With as much experience as I have with traveling, I’ve picked up a few tips to keep the rides fun and sometimes even productive. Here’s my list of things you must have if you plan to take a road trip, no matter if it’s just an hour ride to another part of Maine or a longer journey to The County, Boston, and beyond.
Road Trip Must-Haves
1. Healthy, easy to eat food
When you’ve got a long way to drive or ride, you’ll need some snacks. I recommend light, healthy food for long trips since you’ll be sitting and not burning too many calories in the process. It’s also important to have food that’s easy to eat if you’re driving. Peeling an orange or attempting to eat anything with a spoon could cause some dangerous complications.
Riding in a car or bus means you’ll be exposed to dry air for an extended period of time. Stay hydrated!
3. A new playlist every time
If I traveled without a fresh Spotify playlist every time I would probably lose my mind. The radio plays the same songs too frequently, and I always need new music in my life. A car or bus ride is a great opportunity to listen to some new tunes. Load up a playlist with new songs and new artists as well as some old favorites and put it on shuffle.
4. Phone accessories (charger, mount, etc.)
I use my phone as my GPS, so without a charger and mount I’d probably get lost. A dead phone is no fun, especially if you’re traveling somewhere you’re not familiar with.
5. Books in any form
Whether on a bus or driving a car, you can enjoy a book on the go. Download audio books from Audible.com, or find some great free options at BooksShouldBeFree.com.
As I’ve found, a GPS will only get you so far. Without cell phone service (up in The County, for example) I don’t have access to the GPS feature on my phone. A good ol’ fashion map really comes in handy during these 4G-less moments.
Maybe it’s silly, but I always have a toothbrush in my glove box. I started keeping a spare in there after traveling somewhere over night and realizing I didn’t have anything to polish up my pearly whites.
Long car drives can make you tired, which can lead to dangerous driving. Chewing mint gum perks me up and gets me focused until I can find a Starbucks and buy all of the soy lattes they have.
Take it easy on your eyes and make sure you wear sunglasses on your drive or ride.
10. A detailed plan
This is the most important must-have when taking off on an extended trip via car or bus. I keep a notebook with a list of all the important street addresses I’ll need along the way. Write down goal departure and arrival times, any contact numbers for people you’re meeting up with, and places for potential pit stops. Keeping a detail, organized plan for your trip will minimize stress and keep you safe.
I’m in Aroostook County this morning, back to Old Town tonight, Boston tomorrow afternoon, and home again the next day. It’s safe to say I’ll get my fair share of travel these next few days. See you on the road!