Road trips do more than just get you to your destination. A road trip is a journey, and as with any journey, there are lessons to learn and mistakes to be made. Road trips have somewhat become the norm for us. From a quick weekend getaway to Mammoth to Our Epic 24 Day Road Trip, here are 5 life lessons we’ve learned while being on the road:
1. Go slow and take your time.
At the beginning of any road trip, we usually have an itinerary for each day. Excited to see new things and explore new places, we head out with the mentality to squeeze in as much as possible and usually plan to never spend more than one night in a single location. During our Epic Road Trip, within the first week in a half, we noticed how fast our trip was actually going. We had all the free time in the world, yet still felt so rushed with plans. We decided to slow down and take our time, which allowed us to fully experience our surroundings.
2. You can see a lot, but you can’t see everything.
This was a hard lesson to learn. I believed with the right kind of planning and routing, that anything was possible. Even then you can see a lot, but you simply can’t see everything. There’s only so much research you can do prior to your trip. There’s a list of things that you want to do, then there’s an invisible list that only grows once you’ve arrived at your destination. This list can be dangerous; it contains all the fun stuff you might have missed during research. Now you’re stuck having to choose which adventure to do. Just understand that you can see a lot, but you simply can’t see everything. Make a note and plan to return in the future.
3. Spend money on experiences, not things.
Take the tour. Watch the play. Ride the zip line. Do things that you wouldn’t normally do in your hometown. The experience will be far more valuable in your memory bank rather than purchasing a souvenir that will more likely just sit on the counter collecting dust. Less stuff is more. Get the most out of your road trip by spending money on experiences, not things.
4. Be prepared for Plan B.
Life happens. Weather happens. Car problems happen. Never go on a road trip without first having a Plan B. Plan A doesn’t necessarily have to be crystal clear, but it’s always nice to have a backup plan. Be prepared for Plan B. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no service. It’s no fun to think about all things that can go wrong, but if you’re properly prepared for Plan B then hopefully things will fall into place.
5. It’s the journey, not the destination.
Don’t get so caught up in the destination that you forget all that’s in between. When doing your research, look for things to do along the way. Be in the moment, every moment and understand that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Take side trips and road breaks so that the drive is more enjoyable.
I’m sure there will be plenty more lessons to learn along the way. What are some life lessons that you might have learned while traveling or being on the road?