With Spring break right around the corner, many UConn students might find themselves having to drive to their destination. A stressful drive may put you in a sour mood for the first few days of your vacation, so here are five tips to help make your road trip goes by smoothly.
Whether you're driving for an afternoon or an entire day, snacks are essential for any road trip. Snacking will keep you busy and full for the entire trip. The last thing anyone wants are "hangry" passengers. It's smart to stock your car up with snacks before the trip begins, that way you won't have to stop at a convenience store every time someone gets hungry. Try to stay away from anything too messy, since it can be difficult to clean a stain in a moving vehicle. Instead, opt for big bags of chips, candy or boxes of cereal. Although snacking may temporarily get rid of hunger pains, snacks are no replacement for meals, especially since meal breaks may be the only time the driver gets to eat.
Get gas when you can, not when you have to
I know that no one wants to drop $30 or more on gas, but when you're road tripping it is smart to get gas well before your tank reaches empty. If you have less than a quarter of a tank left, it would be smart to get gas as soon as you can. In some areas in the United States, gas stations are few and far between, and there is nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere because you ignored the gas warning light.
Create a road trip playlist
Before you leave for your trip, load up a road trip playlist with all your favorite songs. This is especially important if you are making the trip alone because it ensures that you don’t have to fiddle with your phone while driving. Music can be used to fill the silence when you are alone or if there is a break in conversation. Also, a great playlist can make your car the life of the party as you and your passengers sing along to your favorite songs.
Check for traffic before you leave
Since you are already going to be stuck in a car for hours on end, traffic conditions can make or break your trip. If your drive is relatively short, be sure to check the traffic report online or on TV before you leave to make sure that your route is clear. Traffic is always changing throughout the day, so if you have a long drive ahead of you, checking the traffic report before you leave may not be too helpful. Check your route in advance, and if you see that you have to go through any major cities, try to plan your trip so that you don’t go through these areas during rush hour. If you do get stuck in traffic, navigation apps like "Waze" may help you avoid severely congested areas.
Road trip with friends
Most important of all, make sure you fill your car with great people. Even if your air conditioning and aux cord break, you get stuck in hours of traffic or you run out of food, good company can make the time fly. Traveling with friends also means that you get to take turns driving and that you can split the price of gas. Road trips are a great opportunity to bond with your friends, and you are bound to create some great memories before you even arrive at your Spring Break destination.
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.