The cool breeze through the open window. The nostalgic playlist blaring from the stereo. The iced coffee in your cup holder… and the slow realization that your stomach is rumbling and you have to pee.
Classic on-the-road conundrums aside, it’s true that road trips can be filed under self care. “On road trips, being immersed in nature brings me into the present moment and helps me reconnect with myself and forget about the world of technology and hustle for a while,” says Lindsay Stevens, founder of Outdoorsy Gals. “When you step outside of the day-to-day routines you’re familiar with, you start to see life through a different lens.”
That lens can come with all kinds of benefits, including forging new friendships, making meaningful memories, and getting grounded in nature. So in celebration of National Road Trip Day (May 27—but feel free to hit the road any time of year, of course), we asked Stevens for her top road trip tips for making sure your getaway on wheels is revelatory and relaxing.
Stevens says it’s all about the balance between planning every single detail (too stressful) and winging it (too uncertain). From navigation sidekicks to tasty snacks from no cow to stop that rumbling before it starts (scoop ‘em up at The Vitamin Shoppe® before you go), here’s how to nail the care-free vibe you’re after.
Scroll on for three road trip tips for a relaxing getaway.
1. Research driving routes before hitting the road
This means not only figuring out what path to take (highway? scenic? both?), but also what lies along that path. “As cheesy as it sounds, road tripping really is about the journey and not just the final destination,” Stevens says. “Finding things to do on the way to your destination might take you off the beaten path a little bit, but some of my favorite road trip memories have been stops at random fruit stands, thrift stores, or jumping in streams.” Feel free to add novelty attractions, cool antique shops, and natural wonders to your GPS route.
2. Pack delicious and nutrient-rich snacks
Good snacks are the real MVP of the road trip game. Stevens looks for gluten-free snacks that are high in protein to hold her over between meals while on the go. “The perfect go-to snack bar fills me up, tastes great, and is healthy for me,” says Stevens. That’s why no cow dipped bars are a road-trip win: The gluten-free chocolate-dipped bars contain 20 grams of plant-based pea and rice protein with yummy flavors like Chocolate Mint Cookie, Chocolate Coconut Almond, and Chocolate Sea Salt. With 15 grams of fiber (and just one gram of sugar), they’re a solid choice to hold you over until your next pit stop to refuel.
3. Recruit apps as your road trip besties
The key to a successful road trip involves a quick-thinking friend or two. “Apps are your best friend,” Stevens says. “There are apps for finding campsites, last minute hotels, cheap gas, cell phone coverage, and downloading offline maps.” Smart use of tech can banish bumps in the road as they arise—and that’s true of music and podcasts, too (just download your favorites ahead of time in case you lose service). So put in your PTO request—we’ll wait.
Thinking of adding chocolatey, plant-based protein bars to your next trip? Well+Good readers can score a BOGO 50 percent off for no cow protein bar cases, no code necessary, until 6/26/22.
Top photo: Getty Images/Mint Images and Well+Good Creative