5 Simple Tips to a Successful Road Trip

The road trip; a great North American past time. It’s easy to see why: we’re glued to our desks, clothing racks, papers, and board rooms for 52 weeks of the year, expediently going from home to work.

We long to change the landscape that we are in (we are naturally nomads after all). To satiate this almost innate urge, a road trip is the perfect way to quench our adventurous thirst; it’s budget friendly and unbelievably involving.

It’s great to do with a couple of friends but what if your schedules don’t sync up? Go solo!

I relocated to BC from Southern Ontario in November 2018, driving across the beauty of Canada, completely alone. This was an amazing time to see the changing landscape of a country I’ve called home for the last 30 years. From the never-ending 20 hour drive through Ontario to the endless plains of Manitoba to the humbling and immense rockies bridging Alberta and British Columbia, it was an amazing 42 hours.

I arrived in one piece and this is how I did it:


1. Are we there yet?
Map out your daily distance goal

definitely lost map - gif
I mapped out where I wanted to be by the end of the day and how long it would take me. That way, I knew where I needed to be to stay on schedule. Plus, driving without structure or aim can lead to endless driving, becoming a hazard on the road – no bueno regardless of where you are.

I also booked all my AirBnBs the day before – I didn’t want to plan too far in advance because I know that circumstances can change, such as weather, unplanned stops, etc. It felt great to get to my temporary home for the night but also great knowing I was that much closer to my actual goal across Canada.

2. Black Gold
Plan out your gas stops

Black Gold. Petrol. Fuel. Gas.
Canada is a wild country, with many unknowns along the way. One of those unknowns is when your next gas stop is going to be.

The Trans-Canada / Hwy 1 stretches from coast to coast and some of it is just forest, mountains, animals, the blue skies above, and no cellphone signal… Beautiful sure but not somewhere you want to be left stranded, with no knowledge where the next town, Petro-Canada/Shell/Husky/Esso/Ultramar gas station is. 

What did I do to make sure I wasn’t stuck in the middle of Minnedosa, Winnipeg without any resources? During the first leg of the my trip, I tested to see how far a half tank of gas would take me. Then I would use that as my standard for how far I’d go until my next gas stop. Black gold issue solved!

3. Be Like Play-Doh
Stay Malleable and Make Adjustments
Be willing to make adjustments to your driving itinerary. Be self-aware and gauge to see how long you can drive for before fatigue sets in. 
 
I originally wanted to drive 10-12 hours per day when I set out on my journey but soon realized that was unreasonable. I settled on 8-10 hours per day.
 
Plus, don’t forget to factor in impromptu stops along the way! This is new territory and some of the most beautiful moments are unplanned like this gem below.
little joe lake - JCC road trip Canada
Little Joe Lake in Kenora, ON

4. Google Map Raps
Tunes and Dancing
Make a couple dope playlists. As humans, we have multiple moods and you WILL go through a bunch of them while driving. You’re left to you, yourself, and your own devises; shit can get dark but it also can get super light and happy. Which means you need multiple playlists!
 
And don’t feel afraid to bop, Harlem shake, herk-a-jerk, nay-nay, or whatever dance move you want. Your booty is stuck but the rest of you doesn’t have to be! Plus, this helps you to stay awake and aware.
 
Check out the Spotify playlists I made for my driving moods:

5. Snacks

Guys… let’s be real. There’s a real reason why “hangry” entered the Merriam-Webster dictionary… we’re an emotional bunch.

Don’t let your stomach/emotions get the best of you and feed your damn self. You won’t be able to judge your driving ability properly and you might miss some sweet views because you’re looking for the next pit stop to satiate that munchie habit you don’t admit to.


And that’s it! It’s not a complicated process and though it may seem daunting on paper, it is one of the best moments you’ll ever live through. 
 
After doing it solo, do it with a friend, do it in a different season, do it with no pants on… just keep it interesting! It’s always great to experience things from multiple perspectives, so get out there by any means necessary.
 
If you want to see my journey throughout Canada, check out my Instagram highlight (#JCCtoBC). Let me know if you have any other road trip tips!
 
it girl road trip gif

3 thoughts on “5 Simple Tips to a Successful Road Trip

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