If you’re like me, you get to the middle of summer and think, where did the time go? You make a mental list of the BBQs you’ve hosted, the baseball games you’ve attended, the outdoor runs you’ve taken, the simple evenings out on the deck with a cold beverage in your hand, and you say to yourself–it’s not enough. If you’re like me, you start planning to squeeze the remaining summer dry of its fun. And what better way to do that than a road trip with your sweetie? Better yet, a romantic road trip. Here’s how.
It’s the journey…
…which means you can go anywhere. You’re not required to head to the Grand Canyon. Maybe there’s a baseball stadium 12 hours away that you’ve never been to. Maybe you’ve always wanted to drive Route 66, with no particular destination in mind. A road trip, especially one with your better half, should be as much about the time spent on the road as where you end up. Make sure you plan a route with lots to see and do, and one that you’ll both enjoy (hey, there are websites out there that help you do this! Furkot, Road Trippers, and My Scenic Drives).
Don’t feel like you have to visit Yosemite. Visiting America’s strangest diners is just as valid a vacation destination. (image credit)
Pimp your ride…road trip style
Whatever vehicle you’ll be traveling in will need to be comfortable, clean, and clutter-free. Take this opportunity to replace worn-through floor mats, and remove those golf shoes that have been sitting in your trunk for two years. If you’re a freak like myself, you enjoy vacuuming out the crumbs from the crevices of the car, but if you’re a normal person, just spring for a good detailing and car wash. The night before you head out, stock the passenger side door pocket with your girlfriend’s favorite gum and magazines. Pack crossword puzzles you can do together. Load an audio book on your phone. Store a pillow and blanket in the backseat for car naps. Hang an air freshener from the rear view mirror. If you have serious game? Lay a single flower across the seat so that it greets your girlfriend when she gets in the car. Level. Up.
Know yourself…and your partner
What makes you tick? Are you a planner? You probably want to know exactly where you’re headed (Big Sur), when you might stop for breaks (every four hours), what sights or attractions you want to visit on the way to your destination (El Matador State Beach, Ruddell’s Smokehouse), and so forth. Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of soul? Then loose plans (umm, how about we drive to New Orleans?) are ideal for you, and will cater to your desire to be spontaneous. Ideally, you and your boyfriend would be on the same page, but that’s not always true. In that case, you have to meet in the middle. Perhaps you plan where you’ll end up in two days, but the route you take is flexible.
“I’ve carefully marked the places we should stop…what? Too much?” (image credit)
If you and/or your other half aren’t sleeping well while on the road, it’s not going to be fun. Sleeping bags under the stars sounds pretty amazing until you realize at 2 a.m. that mosquitoes have eaten off your face and your girlfriend’s entire backside is bruised from sleeping on the ground. Budget a large chunk of your change towards comfortable sleeping arrangements, however you define it. Maybe that’s always a hotel, or maybe an air mattress in a tent is good enough. Your call as long as you’re both comfortable and sleeping soundly.
“No stop signs, no speed limit/Nobody’s gonna slow me down!” (Actually though, you should definitely stop for stop signs and obey the speed limit. In a very bad-ass, rocker way, of course.)
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