When it comes to road tips, the ride can be just as fun as finally making it to the destination.
This is something I realized last weekend, when my brother convinced me to go with the rest of the family to The Resthouse Laiya, my uncle’s beach house in San Juan, Batangas.
More and more people have gotten comfortable about leaving their homes and taking short trips and that’s great. After being cooped up for so long, it’s really wonderful to be out enjoying nature and getting plenty of sun with the people you love.
Here are some tips to remember for maximum fun:Choose your car buddies wisely. Make sure the mix of people (and animals) in your car get along for stress-free travel. In our case, since my grandparents are scared of dogs, they rode with my brother, his wife and kids. In the other car were Delta the driver, me, my mom and my two dogs.
Get your car ready to hit the road. Check your tires, check everything and make sure you have the necessary tools in the trunk.
Prepare your playlist. Good music makes all the difference. I put together a playlist of my mom’s favorite songs and artists—The Spinners, Carole King, Dionne Warwick—and she had a blast recalling memories associated with those tunes. By the end of the three-hour trip, though, our playlist had switched to Aegis, with Delta singing along with them.
Get comfy in the car. Take a pillow, a blanket, whatever will make your ride more pleasurable.Talk. We spent a chunk of the drive laughing, thanks to the many funny stories told along the way.
Bring snacks. Unless you’re iffy about eating in the car.
Load your radio-frequency identification account for convenient, cashless toll payment.
Use Waze. Let it take care of giving you directions and warning you about traffic conditions so you can just enjoy the drive.
Look out the window. If you’re not the one driving, take time to enjoy the scenery.
Make pit stops. Pit stops are part of the fun of road trips. Stretch your legs; go for a bathroom break; eat something delicious; bond with your travel buddies.
Forget about the drive home . . . for now. When you finally make it to your destination, focus on the fun you’ll have there and don’t think about the drive home. We spent a couple of days enjoying the beach, swimming, soaking up the sun, lying in hammocks, playing games, having a bonfire, making s’mores, spotting birds, chatting and laughing until the wee hours—it was the most time we’ve spent together as a family since the pandemic started and it was really lovely.
Don’t leave anything behind. When getting ready to leave, check, double check, triple check that you’re bringing everything. My nephew forgot his laptop charger at the beach house and we had to drive back to get it—you don’t want to have to do that.
Then do the same thing again—get your car ready for the road, prepare your playlist, your snacks and stories, enjoy the ride and then start planning your next road trip.