Here are seven tips for (weary or not so weary) older travelers who are on the road frequently or want to get out and on the road:
Tip 1: Realize that you are not as young as you once were and it’s OK. Plan to alternate the driving duties.
Tip 2: Plan to include more rest area stops than you once would have considered. Both my husband and I were accustomed to our trips being about “Making Good Time.” Every trip was categorized in terms of how fast we made it to our intended destinations, which included doing them with the fewest number of time sucking stops. In our defense, when we were first starting out on our road trip adventures, there were fewer driver distractions, heck, there were probably fewer drivers, and we were younger. But, now we’ve learned how critical these stops are to our attention and focus out on the road.
Tip 3: Don’t be afraid to pack your lunches and snacks. In addition to having more control over having healthy options, you will definitely save money. We have re-discovered the delight of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We now know that you are never to old to enjoy that childhood favorite.
Tip 4: Always bring a cooler. In fact, make a “go bag” with snacks, paper products, plastic cutlery and storage containers. Bring both the cooler and go bag, so if you decide to hit a grocery store instead of a fast food restaurant, you can make your lunch while on the road to eat later.
Tip 5: Likewise, be flexible enough to consider a nice to very nice dinner stop, even if you’ve been on the road for hours and you have several more to go. We enjoyed this surprise treat, after a very long and hectic weekend of heading north to see our daughter play soccer and then heading south to see our son play. We were looking for a fast food option we could both agree on and we were famished. Luckily, we turned into what appeared to be a commercial area filled with options, but was instead an area that was still under construction and had few food choices. As we were about to give up and head down the road, we cruised past a nice looking Italian restaurant that looked packed with people. I told my husband, “Stop, we’re going there! Look at all the people. It must be good.” And, we enjoyed the most delicious Italian meal we’ve had outside of Italy. All because we were willing to take a long dinner break, that we both needed.
Tip 6: Look into whether or not renting a car will help you save money on your trip. The number of trips we are taking is very high, nearly every weekend. Likewise, the mileage on our truck is getting very high also. We cannot save any money on the tolls associated with our trips, but we can save on gas and vehicle wear and tear. We found that renting a car saved us as much as $100.00 in gas alone one weekend.
Tip 7: This much travel puts a significant amount of wear and tear on your body, mind and spirit, as well. This requires that you become diligent about your self-care. Look at trying to bump up your exercise routine, and your yoga, and meditation sessions to compensate for what the strain of travel is taking from you on the weekends. Also make plans to see and to stay connected to friends, family and fun activities that you enjoy during the week. If you are spending your weekends away, your evenings have to become your new weekend.
Safe travels and may the journey be as rewarding as the destination.