Totally Top-Notch Travel Tips


Photo Credit: AlexGukBO. Caption: The open road stretches out before you.

May has arrived, and the smell of summer is in the air. You’ve been looking forward to it since spring break, and now you can finally start officially planning! It’s your senior trip, or just your first road trip with friends and without parents. But you have to make sure you don’t rush into it! Traveling alone comes with a lot of responsibilities, and a long list of potential dangers. 

Before you set out, it’s essential that you plan carefully. I interviewed student Amber Murphy, who provided a great list of tips she gleaned from her time traveling. First things first, it’s time to dive into your suitcase! Hope you enjoy packing as much as I do, because this might get long. It’s easiest to forget things at this early stage of packing, so make sure you remember the basics. One: clothes. This much is fairly obvious, but you have to make sure you bring the right clothes for wherever you’re traveling. Check the weather forecast! If it’s going to be hot, bring lighter clothes! However, no matter the weather, make sure you have some warmer clothes, like a jacket or raincoat, just in case of unexpected changes in climate. And make sure you have good, comfortable, reliable shoes. You’re going to end up walking, probably more than you expect, no matter the vacation. Break in your shoes first, and make sure they are comfortable and practical.

Next up is food, and you’re going to want to make sure you have plenty, road trip or not. Bring lots of food containers, and food that you actually enjoy and eat regularly! Eating too many unfamiliar foods can make you sick, and that is the last thing you want on a vacation. And while you’re at it, make sure you have reliable water receptacles, but just plenty of water in general! Teenagers cannot live on soda alone (no matter how much in denial you are about that!). Being stuck without water is probably the worst thing that could happen to you. You never know when certain things will be unavailable to you. Don’t even get caught without your essentials!

Photo Credit: DimaBaranow. Caption: Packing is the most essential part of a vacation!

Now that you have your food, it’s time to gather your emergency supplies (probably the most important part). Bring a well-stocked first aid kit, with ointment, sunscreen, bug spray, bandages, gauze, and anything else you may need. Be aware of your traveling companions’ needs, and act accordingly. Bring an epipen if you or your friends have allergies. Gauze is important in case of bigger injuries, and if someone you know is allergic to bandaids…(like me). Plan for even the most ridiculous of emergencies. You never know when you might need barf bags. And trust me, you don’t want to be caught without them if someone gets a little too carsick. Finally, don’t forget your miscellaneous items: various types of entertainment (aside from just your phone and Nintendo Switch, because those things will run out of battery no matter how well you plan), plenty of toiletries, and extra cash for emergencies!!

Now that you’re finally done packing, it’s time to check your route, make sure everyone knows and agrees with the travel plans, and set off. Right? Wrong! Your car is the most important part of your journey, so make sure in advance that your vehicle is running properly, and that you have enough gas. Next, make sure everyone knows your plans so you can avoid contention and maintain a harmonious expedition. Presumably you’ll be spending a lot of time with your travel mates. However, keep some free time in your schedule in the case that someone in your troupe sees a tourist destination they just have to check out.

Now that you’ve officially begun your journey, here’s a few more tips to keep in mind. First, and most importantly, use the buddy system as you’re exploring! It’s never a good idea to go solo in unfamiliar territory, no matter how safe it appears to be. Make smart decisions!! And never park in undesignated areas. People will not like that. Second, as you’re driving, make sure to switch out drivers from time to time. Don’t leave it all on one person, and don’t rely on loud music to keep you awake. Don’t forget your safety is your number one priority. 

Finally, don’t forget to have fun! You’re here to relax and take a break! Just always remember to keep your safety as the number one priority, and happy vacationing!