The Art of the Mountain Road Trip

Let’s just say that when it comes to road trips, I’ve been through it all and I’ve learned a lot.

As a Colorado travel and festival writer, I spend a lot of time traveling mountain roads. I travel year round and have been caught in nearly every conceivable traffic and weather created situation. Let’s just say that when it comes to road trips, I’ve been through it all and I’ve learned a lot.

Despite all these hairy and sometimes frustrating situations, I love road trips and I believe the art of the road trip is to make it part of your travel adventure, not merely a means to an end.

Here are some of my tried and true road trip tips.

Give yourself extra time. When you are traveling in the mountains there are photo opts around every corner. You may want to stop to snap photos or to take a short hike. Also, you may find yourself in an unexpected traffic backup due to an accident or pass closure. Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination will assure that your road trip experience is less stressful and more fun.

Be prepared. While mountain travel is beautiful, it doesn’t come without risk. The potential for pass closures and accidents is high and it’s good to be prepared. Also, it’s wise to have an emergency kit in your trunk. Colorado AAA created this helpful list of items that should be in your vehicle at all times.

Pack snacks and water. Nothing can ruin a road trip faster than hangry people. The Urban Dictionary defines “hangry” as “when you get so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.” We’ve all been there. When my husband and I start arguing on a road trip, 90 percent of the time it can be contributed to hunger. I always pack beef jerky, sunflower seeds and water.

Books on Audible save the day. On an especially long road trip, the picturesque mountain scenery might not be enough to keep you entertained and conversations with friends and loved ones may grow stale. Years ago we discovered books-on-tape and then books on Audible. We download books to our phones and listen on the road. A good book makes time fly.

See also: 
A Southwest Colorado Road Trip

Categories: The Heidi Guide