Most of you know by now that Ryan and I said a bittersweet goodbye to our life in San Diego and moved back to Connecticut. It’s been exactly a year since our move and I just recently unpacked our last box from the move. Moving sucks, especially when you are leaving a place like San Diego.
Since we leased a car in San Diego, we were either going to have to spend $2,500 dollars and ship the car cross country or drive it cross country.
Despite the fact that I would have to be in a car with Ryan and his road rage for days, we decided it was best to drive cross country and stop half way to visit my sister in Wisconsin. Surprisingly, Ryan was his best self the whole drive. Other than the one time he wouldn’t stop for food until “we get out of traffic”, which didn’t happen for the next 4 hrs. Sucked for him though, he had to deal with hangry Malissa who is a total biiiiatch. I may or may not have slipped a Xanax into his coffee after that.
Anyway, we survived the road trip and I wanted to share a few tips from our journey.
Get your car checked and ready for a long drive
This is very important considering that you will be relying on your car to get you across the country. Make sure you get your oil changed, brakes, tires and engine checked and gas filled up before you start your onward journey. Make sure that you have a spare tire and a jack or at least have a triple A membership in case your car breaks down in the middle of your trip.
Decide what type of road trip you want it to be
You can either make it as quick as possible with minimum stops or you can make it an extended road trip and sight see along the way. This is the first and most important one. We decided that we wanted the trip to be quick because I did not want to take too much time off from work considering that I was going to be going to Mexico for a friends wedding a month later.
Don’t book your hotels beforehand
I know that might be a strange suggestion. But I think it is an important one if you plan on doing the quick road trip route. I say this because you won’t know how much you feel like driving each day and where you will end up to rest at night. Some days you may want to drive 10 hrs and some days you may want to drive 18. Yep, we drove 18 hrs our last day. You can use apps like hotel tonight to book last minute hotels. It’s not like you need anything fancy, just something clean and decent to sleep at for the night.
Pack healthy snacks
Snacks, snacks, snacks are the most important thing ever if you don’t want a hangry driver or passenger. Healthy snacks like protein bars, fruits etc are key because you are probably going to be eating fast food at your stops. If you have the space in your car, pack a little cooler to keep water cold and even pre made sandwiches fresh.
Create a good playlist
You aren’t going to be talking much during your roadtrip. You will most likely be zoned out just wanting to get as far as possible each day. So you will need a good music playlist. Or podcasts. Or audiobooks. Whatever floats your boat. I had music ranging from bob marley to Hindi music to keep us sane. It’s also a good idea to download the music/podcasts/audiobooks before hand because you will likely go in and out of service.
Make sure you have all your documents
When you are driving across multiple states, you are bound to get pulled over at some point. Well, maybe if you are a cop magnet like my husband is. Yep, we made it all the way from San Diego to New York and then ended up getting pulled over 5 minutes from our final destination in Connecticut. Luckily, we didn’t get a ticket. Either ways, we ensured that our insurance and registration was up to date and we had all the necessary paper work.
If you are going to be stuck in your car for hours each day, you want to make sure you are at least wearing something comfortable like sweatpants or a loose dress and wear comfortable shoes. Also, pack some layers because depending on which direction you are going the weather is going to vary. I wore flip flops because naturally it was 80 degrees when we left San Diego. Then I had to pump gas in Nebraska and it was 40 degrees with a wind chill of 30 and I almost got frost bite on my feet. Be smart. Don’t be like Malissa.
Stretch, Stretch, Strech!
Before you start your drive each day make sure you stretch and get your muscles and body ready to be in the same position for hours. Even when you park for a food or pee break, park far away and walk, get your body moving and your blood flowing.
Pack a grab and go bag with essentials
Your car is probably going to be jam packed because your significant other may convince you that they can fit everything in the car and you don’t need to ship anything. Not true. Not everything will fit in your car. Ryan and I argued about it when we were packing the car up. He said he could make everything fit and I said it would not. As usual, I was right about it. Malissa – 1, Ryan – 0. Anyways, with a packed car you won’t want to unpack anything until you reach your final destination. Since you will be stopping to sleep at night, you want to have a backpack or duffel bag with the essentials so you can access them each time very easily. Pack change of clothes, sweatshirt, socks, toothbrush, charger, gum etc.
Make cruise control your best friend
There are some great benefits of using cruise control. The most obvious one ofcourse is to cruise and control your speed. Set it at a certain speed and take your foot of the gas pedal. Personally, I think this one was really good for my husband when he was driving. It kept his speed in check and allowed him to stretch and move his legs a little. It is also know to help with saving gas since you are not stopping and accelerating too much.
Bonus tip: If you have smelly feet or a significant other that farts way too much for a human (ahem, ahem, Ryan), put some air freshener in your car. It may be too cold to roll down the windows.
So next time you are moving cross country and doing it the “fast way”, just remember these tips! Good luck on your move, whichever coast you are headed to.
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