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20 things you learn on your first road trip
Posted on 28/09/2016

TipUnited States of America

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From realising that the long way round is always preferable to finally accepting that you have too many pairs of shoes, your first road trip will teach you things you'll want to teach your kids.

Take the long way round

Take the long way round
Smileus / 123RF

Sure it will take you longer and you'll likely cover less ground, but who wants to drive the hideously straight highway when you can take the twists and turns instead.

Prepare for the cold
Wherever you are, you'll always run into a hailstorm or a snowstorm. Even if it's just one big jumper and a pair of woolly socks, you'll be grateful for them at least once.

You never have enough money
There's always one thing you'll have to sacrifice from your road trip bucket list. But be patient, the opportunity will come round again.

Maps are essential, as is knowing how to read them
You may be surprised, millenials, but GPS is no good when you lose signal in the back end of nowhere and you have to take a 50/50 decision on which fork to take.

Roadside attractions are always worth a stop

Roadside attractions are always worth a stop
Visions of America LLC/123RF

From huge animal-shaped hotels to larger-than-life sculptures, the small detours made for these little-known attractions will be the making of your road trip.

Never underestimate the kindness of strangers
There are plenty of people out there ready to help you out without even being asked.

You'll be homesick sometimes
The smallest thing can set you off, but it passes after a while and you'll wish you'd planned a longer trip.

Sundays suck
As a general rule, prepare for important stops such as gas stations and supermarkets to be shut unexpectedly and stop on Saturday.

Landscapes always have the power to surprise you

Landscapes always have the power to surprise you
Naruedom Yaempongsa / 123RF

Whether it's an ocean road in New Zealand or a poker-straight road through the Canadian prairies, nothing beats seeing the landscape unfold through your windscreen.

Arguments about driving are constructive for your relationships
Never be afraid of a good bicker they're unavoidable in the confines of a car and you'll feel much better afterwards.

Arguments over the radio are also constructive for your relationships
Seriously, don't be afraid.

Listen to the advice of truckers
They do this for a living, they've got plenty of tips for you.

Dodgy looking place = best food

Dodgy looking place = best food
Brent HOfacker / 123RF

Want to sample the best a region has to offer? Go for the grubbiest-looking bar you can find.

Live music is a winner
Another great way to get to know the region you're driving through, look out for any local performances in bars. More often than not, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Take a shower whenever possible
You never know how long away the next possibility will be, especially if you haven't booked into a motel for the night.

Carsickness should not be taken lightly
The smell never quite disappears...

Delays are unpredictable, as are tolls

Delays are unpredictable, as are tolls
itman47 / 123RF

You'll grow to detest them both.

Don't trust breakfast at cheap hotels
Always have snacks on hand for the long drive ahead.

Car-aoke is essential to survival
Without it, you'll be refined to dwindling conversation and endless games of I spy...

Other drivers will make you mad
There can only be one king of the road, and that's you.


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