How to Master the Art of Road Tripping Alone

Happy break!! It's so great to be able to be stress-free and relaxed for once back in my own home. Since I brought my car to school this year, I've been utilizing it as much as possible. I drove home for Thanksgiving break, which was the first real test to see how I'd do. The original plan was for me to drive from Fort Worth to Wichita (~5 hours) and stay with my grandparents there, then drive to Kansas City (~3 hours) the next day. Well, this seemed like a great idea until a couple of days before the break I was like screw this, I want to be home ASAP. So I discussed with my parents are we realized, duh. My dad would be in Wichita for business that day and was riding down with a friend so when I get to Wichita, we could trade places and he could drive the last leg for me. Genius. It actually worked out well and I'm glad I decided to go the whole way in one day because I wanted to see my mom and my cat! This also meant that I was probably going to drive the whole thing back to Fort Worth in one day, minus Dad taking the reigns.

With my luck, that Sunday happened to be super rainy and gross, but I didn't really have another option. We decided that instead of going down through Wichita, I'd take a route a little more east in an attempt to avoid some weather. Let me tell you: it was not fun. Not only was it drizzling/raining/pouring the whole eight hours, but this route was not on the interstate and almost the whole way through Oklahoma was through small towns, which meant slower speed limits, traffic lights and two lane roads. Not. Fun. The worst was probably when I got around the DFW metroplex because by that time it was dark, it was still raining, and Texas drivers aren't the most courteous in the world. But hey, all issues aside, I made it in one piece.

Because I survived that trip, it was a no-brainer that I could handle it for winter break. Luckily, with the insane "winter" we've been having in the midwest, snow/ice was not even in the picture, so I was good to go. I planned to leave the day after finals (Saturday) so I could drive all day without dealing with too much darkness and it was perfect! I left Fort Worth around 10 a.m. (after a quick Starbucks stop, of course) then didn't stop again until Norman, Oklahoma at around 1 p.m. From there I got all the way to right outside of Wichita where I literally thought I was going to pee my pants, so after a quick bathroom break, I pushed on until KC. It was a relatively easy trip, and I've convinced myself I've mastered the art of road tripping alone. Don't worry, *casually laughs towards no one* I can show you how you, too, can master the art of road tripping alone.

How to Master the Art of Road Tripping Alone

Plan it out.
This is sort of a no brainer, but figure out your route, how long it will take you and how many miles it is. Do this a few weeks in advance so you know when you should leave. I like to use the Google Maps app rather than Apple Maps, but I'll get more into that later.

Know how you work.
For me, no matter how many hours of sleep I get, if I wake up too abruptly or early, I'm going to be tired all day. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes safely open until 10, and got some coffee just to be sure. Maybe you're like me, or maybe you'd rather get an early start so you can get to your destination before the sun sets. It's all up to how you work.

Snacks & stuff.
Like I've mentioned a couple of times already, I stopped at Starbucks before I began my journey up north (I have an addiction, okay?). This included coffee and a breakfast sandwich to tide me over until lunch. But I was also sure to pack some food, just in case. I brought some Goldfish, a Cliff Bar, and some chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds, yum. These are good for when A) your stomach is growling when you're in the middle of no where, or more likely B) you're bored in the car alone and want something to do. When in doubt: eat.

Pump up the jams.
One of my favorite parts of road tripping alone is being able to blast whatever music I want, at whatever volume I want, for eight hours straight. There's no wonder why I always have a headache after my trips... Be sure to prepare a playlist that can suffice the entirety of the trip. You don't want to be fumbling around on your phone searching for that one song when your eyes should be on the road. I'm such a weirdo when it comes to music. I'll listen to anything and everything, if I'm in the mood for it. I'd say the first five hours were spent jamming to my current EDM/dance/hiphop favorites, and the last three were spent singing along to some country favorites.

Be road trip-savvy.
Like I said above, I prefer Google Maps over Apple Maps. Why? Because Google Maps does this super nifty thing where it knows where traffic is bad and will reroute you to the fastest way possible. This seems too good to be true, I know, but I've experienced its magic a couple of times already. One time, traffic was bad in Oklahoma City, so it rerouted me to take a frontage road for a couple of miles. This seriously saved my ass. I flew past probably an hour's worth of sitting in traffic. My least favorite thing about the Google Maps app is that it doesn't warn you quite as much about upcoming turns, whereas it feels like Apple Maps will never shut up. Guess you really can't have the best of both worlds.

Don't be an idiot.
You've seen it on the news every night: Tragic accident due to texting and driving. Don't let that be you. Whether you're headed to see your BF or your family or back to school, texting can seriously wait. Need to reply to something ASAP? Call them on speaker or ask Siri to read you the text. Siri gives you the ability to listen to your texts and even reply via Siri. It's super helpful for driving, and at just the touch of a button.

I wish you the best on your solo road trips, and I sincerely hope my tips help! What're your must-do's or must-have's for road tripping alone? Comment below!

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