Tag Archives: adventure

An Updated Ten Travel Tips for a Day Road Trip

It’s almost time to get out on the open road on a day road trip. Have you planned ahead? Spontaneity and just getting into the car and going can lead to some great trips no doubt. However there are some things that you should take into consideration before and during your roadie.

Day road trip tips - The Adventures of elATLboy.com

It’s been five years since I wrote my original post on this. The basics have stayed the same. A lot has changed though in terms of technology and in me getting more perspective from additional time on the road. Below is an update on my post and the day road trip tips I have found helpful.

1. Check the weather. The days leading up to a road trip and/or right before you get in the car, head to The Weather Channel website or app and check the forecast. You could also do a simple search like “Charleston weather” in Google, quickly becoming informed. Hmmm let’s see… winter storm? Maybe I should venture there tomorrow instead.

Day road trip tips - check the weather

Follow the weather on your phone throughout your adventure as well. You’ll increase the chances of not running into a sheet of ice (been there), high winds or getting caught up in a deluge of rain. You might change course on the spot. Who knows that could lead to an unexpected adventure and you’ll be safer.

Additional Tips: While you are at it check for major construction along with Googling “<NAME OF DESTINATON> traffic”.

2. Get a good night sleep. A day road trip could last a full 24 hours or more. I look at it like this. The longer you make the day, the further you can travel away from home and double back, meaning the more you can see. I love taking advantage of the extended daylight hours in the summer. If the sleep thing doesn’t work out then you are going to need…

3. …fuel, I mean coffee! Bring some from home. If desperate grab some at a travel center or truck stop ha-ha. As the day goes on make sure to refuel at indie, mom and pop coffee shops along the way. At least that’s my philosophy. I love experiencing something new, sometimes getting tips on things to do from bulletin boards or the locals sipping java inside. Drip Drop Drink in Muskegon is my-go when exploring the beach towns along Lake Michigan in Pure Michigan.

4. Charge, charge, charge. It’s not just you that needs to be fully charged. Make sure your Galaxy 7 or iPhone X and camera are ready to go. You will want to have enough juice to take pictures, post to Snapchat, Instagram live stories, ask for advice on Twitter, etc. Have those chargers and spare batteries, along with a portable power pack or two handy. A lot of people have USB ports in their vehicles these days. Bonus for getting extra juice while you are driving!

5. Fully stock your vehicle. Learning from experience, I make sure to have a blanket, bottled water, extra clothes, wind-shield washer fluid, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire, emergency snack food, etc. Also check your oil and other fluids, along with your tires.

Day road trip tips - have a spare tire, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables

6. Have navigation help. Some people use Gladys (GPS), but many more gravitate to Google maps on their phone these days. The key is to have them available. Back to the word spontaneity. Make sure to put all navigational aids away at times for adventure sake. When I personally seek help I still like having my trusty, old-fashioned atlas alongside. The Waze app can help here as well.

7. Bring cash including change. You never know when you’ll need it for tolls and parking meters. When you call for help to fix a flat tire or for general road-side assistance, a lot of the time cash is the only payment option.

8. Hit the road on an empty stomach. You can snack and have your coffee, but be hungry and ready to eat so you can try some local cuisine. It’s not a day for McDonald’s or hitting up the vending machine at a rest area. How about a stop at Skyline Chili when road tripping through Cincinnati along I-75?! As far as chains go I will allow stopping at a random Waffle House ha-ha. Some of my best day road trip memories started or ended there.

Day road trip tips - stop at a Waffle House

9. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Hopefully there will be lots of getting out of the vehicle to explore. Some jogging, hiking and climbing could be in order. I once traveled fifteen miles on foot while in the heart of Chicago. With the cost of parking in a big city it’s better to centrally park and use public transportation or walk to everything.

10. Even with planning as described in the tips above make sure to have semi-plans. In other words be out there on the open road with an open mind. There it is yet again, my word of the day, spontaneity. Of course there will be places you marked to experience. You must also be willing to get sidetracked with random finds. The unexpected can be the most gratifying.

day road trip tips - lake mead, las vegas, nevada

Checkout my original day road trip tips post.

Any other day road trip recommendations? I can’t wait to see all of you out on the open road.

What Does “Wanderlust” Mean To Me.

Wanderlust. One that has a strong desire to travel. Wanderlust. Someone that can’t sit still and stay in one place. Wanderlust. A constant longing for wandering near and far. Wanderlust. A person that is always looking for adventure, to explore and to checkout something new.

Wanderlust, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

I’d say wanderlust is a term that can apply to me on a daily basis. Goosebumps appear just at the thought of traveling whether right down the street or to somewhere far, far away. The daydreaming never seems to stop. I am always on Google Maps, reading blogs and looking at the pictures of others. Whenever a trip is confirmed, plane tickets have been secured, an excursion has been booked or I have arrived in a new city or at a coffee shop for the first time, a big smile on my face usually follows.

Wanderlust - Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Niagara Falls view from up-top the Skylon Tower

I’ve had this feeling ever since I was a kid. Lots of time was spent out on the open road with the family. My face was usually stuffed in an old-fashioned atlas or pull-out map telling my parents we should go this way, that way, we should stop here, etc. My eyes were always wide open and wanting more.

Wanderlust, Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Wanderlust has led me to see quite a bit, but there is so much more of this world to capture and see up close. Do I want to be cured of this feeling? No, thank you. Back out on the open road I go!

What does “wanderlust” mean to you?

Alaska: Rafting the Taiya River.

During our stop in Skagway, Alaska on an Alaskan Cruise, we went on a rafting excursion through Skagway Float Tours. They picked us up in a van at the cruise ship dock…

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

…and we went on a forty-five minute ride along Nahku Bay and the Dyea Valley, a lot of the time on a narrow dirt road. We went through what was once the Klondike Gold Rush town of Dyea.

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Along the way there was one eagle sighting after another.

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

We crossed over the Taiya River, our rafting destination.

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Once along the shoreline we put on waterproof boots and life preservers and we’re told the proper procedures to get in and out of the raft, as to not fall into the icy cold glacier water.

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

It was then time to get out on the open Taiya River. Our tour guide did the paddling as we mingled with him and the six others sharing this adventure. He shared lots of tidbits about Alaska and the area, seeing greenery, the open river, snow-capped mountains, glaciers and more along the way. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. 🙂

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

About an hour later and a few miles downstream we reached the end point. We took a few minutes to stare at all the Alaskan beauty around us, while enjoying the snacks and Alaskan salmon they provided us.

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

The park bench and…

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

…raft were hanging out and soaking in the Alaskan beauty too!

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

It was time to head back out onto the open dirt Dyea Road and to Skagway.

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Skagway, Alaska, rafting, Taiya River, Inside Passage

Along the route was when I realized how far north we really were. It was only a short drive to the Yukon and Canada. On the way there we stopped for scenic and panoramic views of Skagway and the surrounding area. More on that in a future post. 🙂

It was a fun, memorable time hanging out on the Taiya River. Our tour guide was nice, giving us ideas on things to do back in Skagway. I would recommend checking out Skagway Float Tours and their Scenic River Float trip when looking for an excursion in the area.

What memorable excursions have you done when on a cruise? Any Alaskan adventures?