How to Survive a Road Trip – Alone!

July 27th, 2011

Now, we all can enjoy road trips every now and then. A lot of the time, they aren’t too long at all, and you can pass through some truly interesting, out-of-the-way locales.  In the meantime, it can be a great experience with your friends and family. But unfortunately, not all road trips work exactly like this.  In far too many of the road trips I’ve taken, I’ve ended up alone for days at a time, crossing the whole of the United States. To top it off, it seems I would always find the dirty and sketchy hotels instead of the charming and classic ones tucked away in the corners of the tiny towns I’d stop in.  So when on these long hauls across a country, what’s your best bet for making it through these harrowing experiences?

In a sentence, the answer is to take your time.  This is extremely counterintuitive, which is exactly why it’s so important to understand.  You would think that on a long, boring road trip all by yourself, you’d want to get the whole experience over with as soon as possible. While that may be true, it seems that haste makes waste almost all of the time in this case. By trying to hurry too much, for one, you’ll be stressing yourself out.  Because moving across the country in this sort of long process is always stressful, not to mention things such as moving or a sick family that are normally causes of this, it’s tempting to rush into the road trip, but this just increases your stress.  Plus, when you take your time on a road trip, you can stop to rest before you normally would. This means you can actually pick from the towns you stop in, instead of having to pick the last one you see as you get sleepy. Similarly, you can actually look around at the town’s hotel selection and talk to locals so you can be sure to find a gem instead of a pig sty.  Finally, I’ve been on enough road trips to assure you that being able to eat at a sit-down restaurant instead of fast food is a blessing.

The easiest way to actually accomplish this is to just be sure to plan ahead.  If you have an extra 36 hours on a trip, it’s hard not to spend the extra time anyway – and you still might end up feeling rushed!  Of course, in a true emergency, you might have to leave immediately and still not have enough time. In this case, just remember, you’ll get there a lot faster if you’re in one piece. Be sure to be smart and safe when you’re out on the road!

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