Compared to other parts of the country, one of my very favorite things about where I live in the South is that it is perfectly situated for road trips. Charlotte, Asheville, Charlottesville, Charleston, Atlanta, Savannah, D.C., the Outer Banks, Hilton Head, and so many other prime destinations are all within 2-6 hours’ drive of Chapel Hill. Though I think road trips are fun in any season, they’re especially enjoyable in the summer, when everything is green and beautiful outside the windows! In keeping with our Summer Love theme, we’re sharing a few of our favorite road trip tips to help us all make new memories and grow in love!
1. Pack light! While this may sound obvious, road trips are way more fun when you don’t have to ride criss-cross-applesauce the whole time! Trust me on this one! — Marissa
2. Pack snacks and a cooler. In addition to the basics (water bottles!), pick up something fun you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to. Marissa loves string cheese and fruit, Lisa likes dark chocolate almonds and Sun Chips, Nicole likes gold fish and gummy bears, and Emily likes trail mix.
3. Clean your car. Take a few minutes to clean out everything non-essential (trash, random items, etc.) so you have plenty of room. Vacuuming and wiping out the cup holders will also help you feel like you’re riding in the lap of luxury! — Nicole
4. Pack other necessities. We recommend an extra trash bag and a car charger for your phone.
5. Download a great audio book or podcast. BDK and I have found that the hours will fly by when you’re listening to something super interesting. We loved Serial, but on our last trip we did Killing Kennedy, and it was fantastic! — Marissa
6. Create a playlist. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to hum along and tune out. The right set of songs can keep you alert and happy for long stretches of open road. Stay tuned next week for the ultimate Southern Weddings road trip playlist!
7. Identify your driver and navigator. If you’re traveling with a companion, it’s worth a quick discussion to see who’d prefer to drive and who’d prefer to navigate. (Of course, on longer trips you might want to switch off!) For example, I don’t mind driving, but my husband and I both very quickly get frustrated when I’m trying to direct us anywhere. — Emily
8. Pick good stops. If you take the same route over and over again, like we do, find your favorite gas stations and stops. Tiny gas stations can surprise you — there’s an awesome Shell in Cottondale, Alabama that’s our very favorite. They even recognize us when we stop. — Marissa
9. Play a game. If someone’s getting tired or the scenery out the window is particularly monotonous, it might be time for a diversion! We love the classic alphabet game, but quizzing each other with fun questions is an office favorite. We included two of our favorite lists in Southern Weddings Volumes 6 and 7!
10. Be flexible with time. Whenever possible, build in a little cushion to allow for a leisurely trip. See something beautiful on the side of the road? Perhaps a sign for the largest ball of twine? Someone need an extra bathroom break? Run into some traffic on the way? No one will lose their cool if you’ve built in buffer.
What tips do y’all have to share? Do you have any road trips planned for this summer? We’d love to hear!