We are often told to do things before it’s too late — to experience what the world has to offer before we have a full-time job and to step out of our comfort zones when we still have the chance.
College is the perfect place to do this, but it is just the beginning. Of course going to college and joining clubs is often times a huge step toward trying something new, but what if you take it to another level by taking a step away from campus?
VALLEY has put together a “How To” guide for road trips: one of the best ways to step out of the box and experience the world.
This may be the biggest reason why people decide not to travel. It can get super pricey to fly anywhere both nationally and internationally. Obviously a road trip becomes more expensive the longer you go, but there are so many easy ways to make a road trip cheaper. You may not be able to eat at the fanciest restaurants or stay at the nicest hotels, but the main point of the trip is to experience the natural world, not to experience extravagant hotels and food.
Where the Road Takes You
You need to plan a route that makes sense for the amount of time you have, and who you are travelling with. If you are planning to go alone, you have to account for the amount of hours you can drive each day. If you are planning on tackling this trip with your favorite travel buddy, you can most likely double the amount of hours you drive daily!
Lodging Along the Way
Instead of staying at hotels every night, you can stay at Airbnb’s to make sleeping a bit cheaper. Staying at an Airbnb is a great way to really immerse yourself into the culture of the city you are in. It’s as if you are living in the city like the full-time residents — in a house or an apartment! Many hosts also provide insight into great places to eat and sightsee!
Another option is camping! There are many places along country roads that allow for overnight parking, so that you can take a break from driving. These campsites are often cheap or completely free, especially if you are only staying for one night!
What to Wear
Packing for a road trip can be pretty difficult because you never know what you are going to run into. One of the most important things to do is pack comfy clothing that you won’t mind driving in for long periods of time. Try to pack items that are both comfortable and cute, so that if you find an insta-worthy stop along the way, you can take as many pictures as possible!
Cherish Every Moment
From the outside looking in, road trips seem so fun and carefree, but they can also be incredibly daunting. It can get really difficult when you’re spending a ton of hours in a car with the same person for long periods of time, and by the end of it, you’ll probably be extremely tired. It’s so important to enjoy every aspect of it, though. Don’t be opposed to stopping on the side of the road if you see a pretty view and make sure to take a ton of pictures or keep a journal!
Anthony Covell, a Penn State political science major, went on a cross-country road trip this summer from Pennsylvania to Arizona in just six days. Covell says that it is pointless to plan a road trip meticulously.
“No matter what, something unexpected is bound to get in the way of the plan,” Covell says. “It’s best to just go with the flow.”
A road trip is not all about getting to the next destination; some of the most memorable moments will happen along the way. Happy road tripping!