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Tips for an awesome summer road trip

Nikki Shewmaker

You never know what you'll find right around the bend

Grab your gear and hit the road

Summer has arrived and it’s time to hit the road. Instead of lounging by the pool, pack up the car and head for the highway. Here are some essentials for having a safe and memorable college road trip.

1. A fun destination- Whether it’s a hot tourist spot or someplace off the beaten path that you’ve always wanted to check out, use the freedom of summer to finally make the trek. Make sure you have a map (a paper one), a full tank of gas (and some emergency cash, as well) and plan your route. Give yourself enough time for pit stops and any random and fun roadside attractions you might happen across.

2. A travel buddy (or two) – Rustle up a few good friends to come along for the ride. Not only is traveling in a group safer, but who wouldn’t want to spend time with great company? Plus, everyone can pitch in for gas and snacks to keep costs low.

3. Pack lightly- As hard as it might be to head out into the sunset without all of your worldly possessions, bring only what you need. Depending on the length of your trip, pack only the essentials. That means you don’t need your giant makeup bag and multiple wardrobe options. Fit everything into one small travel bag. Also, make sure you have your cell phone (as odd as it sounds – as most of us are permanently attached to our electronic devices) in case of emergencies and keep someone back home in the loop as to where you are. As unlikely as it is, no one wants a fun summer road trip to turn into a “The Hills Have Eyes” scenario.

4. Appropriate footwear- Flip flops are the ultimate summer footwear and great for long car rides, but make sure you bring a pair of sturdy outdoor shoes as well. You never know when you’ll happen across some awesome place to explore that might require a little hiking.

5.  Great music- Have everyone going on the road trip make a play list of their favorite tunes and alternate between them. If it’s going to be a longer trip, don’t dismiss your car’s radio. Between classic radio tunes and personal favorites, you’ll be setting the soundtrack to your summer fun.

A road trip combines all of the best qualities of a great summer outing: Great weather, fun music and outdoor adventures. So, hit the road and celebrate.  There’s nothing better than making new memories and there’s no better time than summer to do it. Combine these tips with a good group of friends, a sense of adventure, and you’ll be set for summer- just don’t forget the camera and the sunscreen.

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