Top 10 Tips for Your First Road Trip

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Ditch the nerves: your first road trip is going to be awesome no matter what happens, promise. But here are some travel tips for your time on the road go smoothly.

If you’ve never travelled like this before, make your life a little easier with these tips.

Shine a light

What to pack for TrekAmerica

Trust us, relying on your phone torch for everything isn’t as easy as you think. You don’t want to be panicking and fishing your phone out of a campsite loo at two in the morning. Please, just treat yourself to a headtorch, kay? They cost like five quid (which makes one a perfect stocking filler present before you fly out). And yeah, sure, you might feel pretty dorky at first, but we give it two nights before you love the fact you and can see and eat your dinner at the same time. Seriously.

Throw in the (quick dry) towel

Quick dry towels, microfibre towels, travel towels – they’ve got a bunch of names, but they’re all the same thing: clever towels that pack down teeny tiny and dry super quick. They’re perfect on the road. Sounds bonkers, but they make your life so much easier when you’re moving on every day. A normal towel will definitely do the job if you don’t want to spend extra, but a quick dry towel wins the day for convenience. 

Get snacky!

Dinner TrekAmerica style!

After travelling, eating is probably our favourite thing. Although the eating is damn good with TrekAmerica (think huge camp cook outs, barbecues, all-American burgers), sometimes some snacks for the road are a handy addition. But take it from experienced snackers, not all snacks are created equal, and there are some which travel better than others. Crisps are great, as long as they don’t get crushed to smithereens and the bag explodes. Chocolate may be your BBF right now, but once it’s sat at the bottom of your bag in the sun… not so much. It’s not the sort of thing you want to melt all over your suitcase – what a waste!

Our top snacks which can handle the drive: nuts, cheese savouries, snax crackers, gummy bears, pringles, oat cereal bars, carrots or celery sticks dunked in hummus, apples dunked in a pot of peanut butter (actually, anything dunked in peanut butter is good – ed).

In the bag!

You know those clip top bags you get at the airport? Grab yourself a bunch of them. Or some resealable sandwich bags from a supermarket do just as well. They’re great for all sorts of things, but we use them to put all our toiletries in – then, if you’re unlucky enough to have a spillage, it all stays in the plastic bag instead of all over your favourite shorts. Smart.

Well gel

Antibacterial hand gel

Antibacterial hand gel is an instant clean no matter where you are. Camping in the wilderness? No problem. Hiking up a mountain? No problem. In a gas station loo? Still no problem. Stick it your rucksack, stay healthy – you’re not gonna want to waste a moment of your trip being ill.

Don’t bottle it up (or do, actually)

Get ready for our biggest money saver: bring a water bottle! Sounds crazy simple, and it is: tap water is safe to drink, all the campsites and hostels will have drinking water taps, and you’ll save a fortune on mineral water. Plus, it’s less plastic rubbish so better for the environment. Everybody wins!

Keep your cup

Starbucks Reusable Cup

Every time you get a coffee to go, that disposable cup? It’s probably not recyclable. Most are lined with plastic, meaning they aren’t biodegradable and almost never properly recycled. Solution? Simple: get your own reusable coffee cup! It’s a great way to save money too – lots of coffee chains offer a small discount for every time you bring your own cup. You can even buy one out here, and it’ll double up as an awesome souvenir to take home – how about your own Starbucks travel mug from the original Starbucks in Seattle?!

Pillow talk

Travel pillow

Long flights, long bus journeys: it’s exciting to travel, but sometimes sitting still that long can be hard work! A travel pillow will keep you comfortable – no cricks in the neck means more opportunities for gazing out of windows.

Document your trip

We don’t mean growing your insta following. We mean good old-fashioned documents – your trip notes, your travel insurance documents, your passport – keep them all handily stored together in a safe place. A large plastic wallet is a good way to keep it all together in one place, and it’ll stay dry and intact too. 

Don’t forget to smile!

CN Tower Edge Walk

Sounds cheesy, but a cheesy grin is your way in if you’re nervous. Most of the people on your TrekAmerica trip will be in the same boat (or van!) as you – and 70% of people sign up as a solo traveller. Bring a couple of games, a few stories, and a big ole smile, and you’ll be best buddies by the end of day one.

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