Sometimes part of the fun of taking a new assignment is getting there! Whether it’s a five hour drive or 25, traveling to your next job can be a memorable journey. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a road trip aficionado, each time you hit the pavement, it’s a new adventure to be had. Travel nurses understand that the way there can be just as fun as the destination. If you find it intimidating, don’t worry, we’ll help you make the most of your cross country trip with these driving tips.
Play It Safe
Let’s get the slightly boring, but necessary, stuff out of the way first. Always be safe while on your trip! Consider becoming a member of a roadside assistance program. Trust us, it’s better to have it and not need it than the other way around. Don’t drive if you’re sleepy, and if you have to pull over, move your car off the road. Also, keep a close watch on the weather. If you’re driving through a state that has a tendency for, let’s say tornadoes, always have a plan in case of emergency.
Take A Break
We mentioned earlier that it’s important that you never drive if you’re sleepy. It’s also important to take breaks every few hours to get up and stretch your legs. You might be tempted to cover as much ground as possible, but it’s not healthy to drive for too many hours straight. Check out interesting gas stations or welcome centers, load up on snacks, and take a look at roadside attractions. It will be worth it when you take a selfie with the world’s biggest ball of yarn.
Take Care Of Your Car
When going on a long trip, you may want to go to a mechanic for a check up. Be sure your tires are properly inflated and the fluids are at the proper level. Just in case, keep a set of jumper cables, a spare tire, and extra car fluids in your trunk. Also, don’t wait until you’re on empty to refuel (especially if you’re on an unfamiliar road). Apps like Gas Guru and GasBuddy can help you find a nearby gas station as well as price information.
Take The Scenic Route
Sometimes you have to go off the popular path to find make the trip your own. Go off the highway and explore back roads. You might find some beautiful scenery or some seriously quirky houses. Find a local spot to eat at, and ask around for the best recommendations. What’s the point of driving by maryland if you don’t eat some crab? Or trying gumbo in Louisiana?
Plan Just Enough
To make the best of your journey, plan your route ahead of time. That way you know exactly where you want to stop and what are your must-do activities. Keep in mind that sometimes plans change, so be flexible with your itinerary. Or maybe you spot a billboard for something outrageous? You want to have extra time to do spontaneous activities! Just be sure to take pics of everything along the way!
BONUS: Some Useful Items To Pack
- First aid kit
- A cooler for drinks and snacks
- An old fashioned map (some areas don’t have good phone signal)
- Extra toiletries (like TP and sanitary items)
- Sunglasses and sunblock (protect your skin!)
- Cash or change (for unexpected toll roads)
- Wet wipes
- Small bags for garbage
- Plenty of water
- Extra eating utensils (like a spork)
- A killer playlist or audio books
- A spare car key