3. Essential Tunes
Whether it's old-time country or modern trip-hop, whatever makes you excited to be on the road is what you should listen to. Before you head out, load up your playlist with a combo—mix it up with some sing-along oldies, thigh-slapping dance tunes and mellow folk.
4. Good Peeps
Whether it's your grandpa, your kids, your new love or your besties, having the right company on the road is essential. We learn a lot about ourselves and the people we're with when we hit the road together. Look for a travel companion with a sense of adventure, good navigational skills and an easy smile.
Maybe you're keen to get lost. But most of us find following along with a map helpful to learn more about the place we go by. Did you know that historic site dates to the 1880s? That peak was named after a nurse in World War II? So come prepared with interesting facts to help you discover the magic along the way.
6. Good Food
You'll be needing snacks—both healthy and indulgent—and a good thermos for those warm drinks to sip as you go. Maybe you want to do some research ahead of time to find recommendations for the must-see roadside restaurants. Some people would rather just follow their noses and discover on their own. Either way, make sure you work three good meals into your day.
7. Pull Over
You've got to get out and stretch those legs every once in a while. Pick some short hikes and great lookout points to get your heart rate up a bit. Go for a stroll down the main drag in a random town. Jump into a crystal clear lake for a swim. Stop for a scoop of ice cream. Make sure you plan at least two stops each day.
8. Pack Your Smile
The moment you turn right out of the driveway and hit the open road, worries seem to fade. Predictability is replaced with spontaneity and it's essential to make room for the unexpected. All days on the road are good days.
At the end of each day, pick a spot with a nice view for a good night's sleep. Over dinner, you can plan the next day's route and go through pictures from today's.
Whether you have two days or 20, every road trip is worth the miles. So get out and explore the world beyond your driveway this summer.