Recreation on the Road

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My friends here at school and I have decided to take a trip together this summer. The consensus seems to be that we’re going to head on a road trip. I’m pretty excited, but I have to admit that I have some misgivings, too. Going on a road trip puts us in awfully close quarters for an awfully long time, and I would hate for that proximity to add any strain to my best college friendships. None of us owns a particularly large car, so we’ll probably take two small ones, and things will be pretty cramped. And I don’t think we’ll have a ton of money for accomodations, either, so there will be a lot of people in each motel room. What can I do to make sure that we get through this trip without learning to hate each other?

Road trips are an American tradition, and they remain a very popular choice of vacation, particularly among young people like yourselves: 84% of us travel to vacation destinations by car, and for some of us, the journey is the destination. But you are right that road trips come with their own unique types of strain. Experts and vacation advisors do caution about the strains of road trips, which can include stress from driving, dangers on the road, and the proximity issues that you refer to.

So what can you do to ward off problems with your upcoming road trip? The best thing that you can do is plan, experts say. Planning a vacation is the most stressful part of the vacation process, which is no surprise to those of us who have struggled to book hotels and map out trips. But a properly planned vacation is immensely more enjoyable and relaxing than a poorly planned one, so be sure to get things done right!

Given the nature of your trip, you’ll want to focus on a few key things. First of all, where are you going? An aimless road trip may sound romantic, but the tourism developers in Athens, Georgia – who know a thing or two about what appeals to college kids – say a great destination makes a big difference in a vacation. But don’t plan out every stop, and be careful about booking motel rooms in advance. You absolutely do not want to be driving further in a day than you feel up to, and pushing it can be stressful at best and dangerous at worst.

Speaking of where you stay, that’s another thing you’ll want to consider. Motels and hotels are the obvious answer, but you may be able to set up your trip in such a way that you can take advantage of campsites or even the homes of friends and relatives (be sure they’re open to hosting you, though!).

You’ll have more lodging options – and more space – if you choose to take your trip by RV, say recreational vehicle retailers. It’s easy to rent an RV, and it may be worth the expense in what it saves you on lodging and gains you on space.

Good luck! Good friends make good vacations, and as long as you plan well enough to avoid big unnecessary stresses, you’re sure to have a good time with your friends this summer.

“There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” – Charlotte Eriksson

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