Today’s guest post is by Kacey Mya. Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” She finds excitement in the world around her and this is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can connect with Kacey on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
When you prepare for a road trip, a little foresight before and during the trip can result in a great time devoid of stress. A road trip has the potential to refresh and expand your mind, as well as serve as a truly memorable experience. But it’s more realistic if productivity is kept in mind throughout the entire process.
Here are six productivity-minded tips to hack your road trip and make for an efficient, relaxing and clutter-free trip:
1. Take Time to Research and Use Travel Apps
As romanticized as the prospect of hitting the open road without any plans or directions at all is in movies, it’s not a great idea. Especially in the year 2016, when we have a variety of travel apps to give us directions and help us find attractions. There’s no excuse not to have some foresight and use a few travel apps to help with research.
Knowing where you’re going ahead of time will make it easier to be productive and focus on things that matter, like ensuring that everything is packed and the car is being driven safely.
2. Document Your Packing List on Phone Instead of Paper
Since paper is easier to misplace, it’s more practical to document your packing list on a phone, tablet, or laptop. Email the list to yourself and text it to others, so if your phone or device gets damaged or lost you will still have the list. On the other hand, if you used paper and it got misplaced or lost, there’s no way to recover it.
Your packing list for the trip should be amended before, during and after packing. Start with the list of things you want to pack. Once you figure that out, check the items during the actual packing to make sure they’re all there. Then confirm everything is packed. Also, knowing where it is can save time in the long-run, which boosts the productivity for everyone traveling.
3. Don’t Pack the Night Before or Morning Of
It’s a bad idea to leave packing until the last 24 hours. It’s better to gradually pack over the week. Start with items you generally won’t need for the week prior to departure but still need for the trip. Some examples are non-perishable foods, water, tissues or first aid kit.
One common foresight is forgetting change needed for tolls. A week or so before your trip, calculate your estimated route and toll charges via Google Maps or another map platform. For instance, if you’re traveling in New Jersey or Pennsylvania – the states with the two most profitable toll roads – the frequency and cost of tolls throughout your route would be good to know. This will save you time instead of to being forced to calculate the amount of change needed several times on your journey.
4. Avoid Over-Packing
Reduced stress and minimal clutter will result in a more enjoyable road trip. Pack your suitcases minimally and efficiently. Choose proper luggage and consider using travel gear, like a mini brush or travel-sized toothbrush. When packing, place everything outside your suitcase first, so you can verify that it’s all there without having to dig through everything at the end. Avoiding over-packing so you can make more room for interesting purchases throughout the trip. This will also give you less stress, as there will be less things to worry about losing or cleaning.
5. Become Comfortable with the Surroundings
To ensure the best road trip possible, you should map out your route and become familiar with the roads and landscape. Google Maps provides street views that can help you familiarize yourself with what to expect, particularly whether a particular route is a busy highway or country road. Knowing what to expect can alleviate the stress out of driving a long distance. This will also help clear your mind so you can focus more on the act of driving itself and anything else that needs your attention.
6. Don’t Stop Every Chance You Get
For any road trip, it’s important to make the stops count. Strive to enjoy and savor moments instead of being tied to a strict to-do list or clock. Realize that stopping unscheduled somewhere will take away time from a future destination. It’s important to weigh the consequences of an unexpected lengthy stop. It’s important to be capricious to some extent when on a road trip, but to maintain a productive and stress-free trip it’s vital to be picky in choosing where to stop.
With these six tips, it’s entirely possible to maintain productivity throughout a road trip and, as a result, experience a stress-free and very enjoyable adventure that you’ll always remember with fondness.