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Home Road Trip 5 Tips On How to Have a Successful Road Trip Coming From a Mainlander – Chaminade Silversword

5 Tips On How to Have a Successful Road Trip Coming From a Mainlander – Chaminade Silversword

by Staff

Moving to Hawaii came with many culture shock moments, but the one that stood out the most to me was how most people from Hawaii would not get to experience the road tripping across the country. Growing up in Illinois, I was constantly going on roadtrips, and going all over the states. A few of the big road trips that my family did was from Illinois to Cape Cod, Massachusetts but we stopped in Hershey Park, Pennsylvania and in Cooperstown, New York for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and then going to Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side of course. Overall, that trip up through the upper east coast would have been over 3000 miles in total. Another long road trip that my family and I completed was from Illinois to New Orleans through Alabama and Georgia just to end up at Walt Disney World in Florida, and round trip my family traveled about 2500 miles.  I have been to 39 out of the 50 states and more than half of these states I have been to because of road trips. So to anyone who is thinking about road tripping, here are some of the best tips to have the best experience and see as much as possible. See the photos within the article to get a glimpse into my family road trips and if you need a thousand more feel free to contact my mother.

1. Proper Group 

It is important that if you are traveling with quite a few people that you are prepared for however long the journey might be. You will be cramped up in a car for long periods of time, and it makes people very uncomfortable and irritable. You have to have everyone assigned a part, for example the person who is the main driver, the navigator, the DJ, and the person in the back is in charge of snacks. In my family my grandmother was always the driver because she was the only one who could stay awake for long periods of time, and who could control her road rage. My mother was the navigator of the family, since she was tech savvy back in the day, and knew how to read a map if GPS was inoperative. I was just the entertainment for the family on these road trips by talking about random topics, and would be in charge of our dog, if he tagged along on roadtrips. My family had traditions every roadtrip which included playing the whole soundtrack of Hamilton right after we pray the rosary to ensure our safety on the long journey ahead. 

Garden of the Gods National Park located in Colorado Springs.
(Photo courtesy of Desiree Frasure)

2. Planning a proper route

Going on a road trip requires having a proper route planned out. You want to make sure you are on roads that will have rest stops or frequent gas stations. If you are coming up on an area with no stops make sure you mark that so everyone gets a bathroom break and you fill up your tank. If you are traveling a long distance schedule ahead your hotels so you have a final destination in mind for the day. In many states there are tolls on main highways, so if you want to save a few bucks you can find a route to avoid those tolls and not get stuck in the toll traffic. If you are driving through states with many national parks it can be a great place to stop and explore, while stretching your legs.

3. Controlling food and drink intake 

When you are driving for long distances you want to have a goal of not stopping every hour for a bathroom break. I love my mother a ton, but when she eats something that will upset her stomach we might as well all dig our own graves. My family believed in keeping the windows up and child lock on, so if someone was making the car stink everyone was grumpy. Chugging liquid should be avoided at all costs. You want to mainly stop for the restroom when you are getting gas. If you have someone in the car that is chugging liquid as if it is going out of style, it will create some tension in the group. An important part of a successful road trip is keeping everyone happy, especially when you are still in route of your final destination.            

International UFO Museum and Research Center located in Roswell, New Mexico.
(Photo courtesy of Desiree Frasure)

4. Planning cheesy stops on the way 

One tip for when you are planning road trips is to add fun stops along the way. There are always random little towns that have some fun little museums or random one of a kind items. For example, in Collinsville, Illinois you can see the largest ketchup bottle in the world or you could see the world’s largest ball of twine which is located in Kansas. It seems silly, but it is a fun thing to say and a great way to stretch out. When my family did a road trip out to New Mexico we made a stop in Roswell. This small town is known for their frequent UFO sightings and they have a museum dedicated to UFOs and aliens. It was a weird town and everyone seemed a little freaky, but it has become one of our favorite stories. When spending hours through Texas make a stop in Valentine to see the random Prada store in the middle of nowhere. 

5. Be prepared for car troubles 

When driving far and through areas with not many stops you should have knowledge of how to do simple fixes to a car. For example changing a tire, jumping the car, making sure you have roadside assistance. Luckily for my family, we have never had a car problem during a long road trip, but we are always prepared. If you are driving in the winter you should have an ice scraper if you are in an area that will be below freezing. 

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