The following content was written by Kyle Schmidt at BluePipes.org
It’s always best to keep people posted with your progress. Provide your family with an itinerary and let them know you’ll be checking in daily. You can even use many of the apps we discussed above to keep your family updated with your progress.
When you’re road tripping on a timeline, forgetting to drink water can be really easy. You may even make a conscious decision not to drink water in an effort to cut down on pit stops. However, make sure you don’t get dehydrated. As you know, dehydration causes all sorts of side-effects that can ultimately slow you down, negatively affect your sleep and lower your immune defenses. In the end, it’s just not worth it.
With that in mind, prep your cab with water and snacks prior to heading out. Keep them easily accessible to minimize stops and maintain your attention on the road.
Consider moist towelettes for your hands and bathroom needs. Also, a small pack of Lysol wipes for cleaning the car will help you stay tidy and focused.
Paper towels are versatile. They can replace tissue and napkins. They’re more durable and easier to use on the road.
You never know when you’re going to end up in a place with a mosquito infestation while you’re road tripping. It’s always best to carry a small bottle of mosquito repellent just in case.
Coolers, or Ice Chests, can take up a lot of space. However, having a small cooler handy to keep various fruits, vegetables, meats and beverages chilled is well worth the space.
Sitting in a car for long periods of time can cause you to sweat through the seat of your pants even when the Air Conditioner is on. And even if it doesn’t, being in the same pair of underwear for extended periods while sitting in a car is uncomfortable anyway. Exofficio provides the best underwear I have found for traveling. They have both men’s and women’s underwear that are breathable, lightweight, quick drying, and antimicrobial.
Truck stops, roadside hotels, motels and camp grounds can be really noisy and brightly lit. Plus, it can be tough to get comfortable when sleeping in your car. So, consider bringing an eye mask, ear plugs and travel pillow.
Backpacking pillows like the Thermarest Compressible Pillow are great because they pack down really small to save space.
Many people love satellite radio. It provides access to over 140 channels depending on the subscription you select. There’s commercial free music, television shows broadcast via radio, sports and much more.
If your car isn’t pre-equipped with a satellite radio, then you’ll need to purchase a unit that is. You can get these all over the place including directly from SiriusXM. The units cost as little as $50 and the monthly subscriptions start at $15. For me, that’s a little too expensive so I opt for the options below.
When you’re road tripping, finding good radio stations can be a pain. Moreover, you may lose your cell connection. So, having your favorite music or podcasts downloaded in advance is always a good idea. Of course, we highly recommend The Truth About Travel Nursing Podcast which can be found on iTunes, Stitcher and most other podcast services!
Audio books are a great way to make time fly while road tripping! There are tons of options out there for purchasing and playing audio books. My personal favorite is Audible which is an Amazon company. They have a monthly subscription service which gets you one free audio book per month regardless of price. You also get discounts on all additional books you purchase. The cost is $15 per month. You can also forgo the subscription and purchase the books straight from Amazon at full price.
You can have the Audible app downloaded on several devices so you could potentially share your library with a couple of friends or family members if you wanted. One helpful thing to know is that if you already have an Amazon account, then you automatically have an Audible account. Use the same username and password for both. If you want to share your account with someone, then you need to provide them with your log in information.
Did you know that Cracker Barrel has an audio book service? It’s pretty old school, but some travelers love it. Here’s how it works. Visit a Cracker Barrel where you can purchase an audio book on CD. They have over 200 titles. Then, return the book to any other Cracker Barrel location for a refund minus a fee of $3.49 for each week you’ve had the book.
Many travelers use the Cracker Barrel service because their cars are old-school, like mine. These cars don’t have a convenient way to connect to a mobile device. However, the next two tips are options that I prefer.
Cassette?! Yes, I said it…cassette. I have a 2001 Toyota Tacoma with 90,000 miles on it. Clearly, I’m not taking many road trips. Either way, lots of people still have cassette players in their cars. The great thing is that they can help you connect your mobile device to your car stereo. Here is one example adapter for iPhones.
Maybe you don’t have a cassette player, or it’s broken because it’s too old. If so, you can try a bluetooth mini speaker to enjoy audio from your mobile device on your road trip. These units have a wide range of quality, options and price. You can certainly get by with something cheap like this. However, I’m a big fan of the Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker. The newer version of this unit costs $20 more but has a USB charger…which isn’t a big deal if your car isn’t equipped with a USB port.
As always, we hope you found this information useful! Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this topic by posting in the comments section below. And please let us know if you have any additional tips or recommendations for travel nursing road trips!