Last weekend I took a road-trip to Statesboro, GA to visit my best friend for her 21st birthday. As with any southern college town there was definitely fun to be had. The drive itself, however, had a few bumps along the way. I’ve compiled some useful tips to keep in mind the next time you set off on a great adventure by way of your trusty automotive.
1. Bring a car phone charger
With how advanced technology is these days you are bound to be using your phone the entire trip. No, that does not mean I am encouraging you to text/snapchat/iMessage/instagram your entire drive (please don’t). Between the GPS and Pandora, your phone may die… leaving you stranded… in the wilderness… to be attacked by bears and ax murderers.
2. Study your directions in advance
For some strange reason I decided that it was a good idea to plug an address into my google maps iPhone app and not even bother to read all of the directions prior to my departure. Statesboro is four plus hours through the-middle-of-nowhere, Georgia from my house. Google maps is fairly reliable, but especially since I was driving alone, this was not the wisest decision. This became a serious issue when I got to Statesboro with a dead phone (see 1) and had absolutely no idea where my friends birthday was. This brings me to tip 2.
3. Don’t be afraid to stop and ask for directions
There were two instances during my trip in which I was forced to surrender my pride and ask for directions. After driving around several roads that sounded like the street I was looking for (which I couldn’t quite remember since my phone had died and I hadn’t written down the directions) I stopped at a gas station to charge my phone and try and find my way. Luckily some nice boys inside happened to be headed to the same birthday party as me and let me follow them there. Lesson learned: asking for directions isn’t so scary and you may meet some cute boys along the way.
The other moment in which I asked for directions was during the middle of my trip. My gas light had been on for 10 miles. I asked a little girl driving a golf cart on a dirt road (in what I thought was a town) where the next gas station was. It wasn’t for another ten miles. This obviously gave me tip number 3.
4. Fill up your tank… all the way
Most people have this one figured out. I guess I overestimated my car’s horrible gas mileage, but the half tank I started with just didn’t suffice. When you’re driving to a new place you never know how long it will be till you see the next gas station. And when you see one and you know you’re running low, STOP even if you have to turn around.
5. Keep an eye on the speed limit
This tip is pretty obvious as well and luckily I didn’t have any mishaps regarding it. Speed limits along highways tend to fluctuate and drop suddenly. Cops are out to get you. It’s a fact. So keep your eyes peeled and be wary of small towns. You don’t want a $50 drive to turn into a $250 one.
6. Watch out for road kill… especially while it’s still alive
One thing I learned while driving through Georgia is that animals love country roads. I nearly hit several squirrels, turtles, and even a deer. This may seem normal to you South Georgia folks, but I’m from Atlanta. I almost cried.
7. Make a mix cd for the drive
You don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel. And you can keep it as a memento of your crazy drive to wherever it is you decided to go. It’s always nice to be a little old school.
The best roadtrips are taken with friends, but I hope these tips help when you’re forced to drive alone. Be sure to take some time to enjoy the scenery and alone time. Some great ideas can be born when all you have to do is drive. It’s a long road ahead.