Road Trip Tips
3 ways to make the most out of your next road trip
Kenosha Pass. Photography by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
I was recently on a panel of Colorado content creators at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show, which got me thinking about things. I've been at this job for a long time and sometimes I fail to realize how much knowledge I’ve accumulated about travel, specifically road trips.
As we are about to enter the season of travel, I thought I’d impart some of the wisdom I’ve accrued through first-hand experiences of road trip travel.
San Luis Valley
This is the number one tip because it’s tremendously important. Getting to a destination should be part of the overall fun of a trip but if you don’t allow for extra time in your schedule, you’ve missed out.
“The journey not the arrival matters.” -T.S. Eliot
If a trip takes 3 hours, depending on weather, give yourself one or two extra hours of driving time. If you get to your destination early, bonus, it’s time to start exploring. However, you may find an adventure or two along the way, and if you drive in Colorado like me, stopping now and again to shoot the beautiful scenery is a benefit of traveling here but it will slow you down.
We frequently plan our driving breaks at lunchtime so that we can either go to a tried-and-true restaurant or try somewhere we haven’t eaten at before. A relatively new favorite lunch stop is 4th Street Diner in Saguache. Here, you can order deviled eggs as a side and listen to locals discuss ranching.
Lastly, leave a little time in the schedule for stretching. On a long drive, it is wise to get the blood pumping now and again. The fitness-minded may take a hike along the route, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking in Colorado. However, a short walk is adequate. There’s a birding spot with a restroom building along Hwy 285 in the San Luis Valley that always works for us.
If you are prone to being hangry, defined as “being bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger,” this travel tip is vital. Ryan and I are both prone to become hangry and in fact, if we do start fighting on the road it’s usually because we’ve skipped a meal.
I like to keep nuts and beef jerky in the car, and Ryan likes to pick up the occasional box of candy at the gas station. We always travel with filled water bottles because not only is it smart to stay hydrated, science has proven that it will keep you from getting overly hungry. Water is also an essential road trip safety item and should always be on your road trip packing list.
Some of us remember having loads of CDs that represented just one book. In my car, they’d be piled in the back seat always out of order. Today, we listen to Audible all the time, even at home, and hundreds of books are downloaded to my phone.
On a road trip, use the Bluetooth system in your car to listen to books while you drive. It’s so easy that I don't understand why everyone doesn’t listen to books while they drive. Of course, Ryan’s new truck has SiriusXM Radio, so sometimes we listen to comedy, but mostly we listen to books on Audible. Thankfully, our taste in books overlaps in some areas.
So there you have it, a few tips you can take on the road, and I truly hope this helps your next road trip be the best road trip ever.