The road-trip has been romanticized for years and for good reason. There is a complete sense of freedom, mystery and anticipation that accompanies leaving your home and setting off for the wide open road. Yes, there will most definitely be setbacks along the way but with some proper planning, you're likely to come home with memories and stories that will be passed down for years.
Last summer, after a few years of researching, my husband and I finally purchased a 2001 Volkswagon Eurovan and have been hitting the road almost every weekend and holiday since. You could say we have a few road-trips under our belt and when you live in a place as gorgeous and majestic as the Pacific Northwest, you can't help but want to explore every chance you get. We've compiled a list of tips to help make your trip a little smoother the next time you set out on an adventure of your own.
1) At the beginning of the year, create a list of places you want to visit in the upcoming months. This way, when free time does come around you aren't stuck trying to decide where to go. This will also help push you to explore new places instead of returning to comfortable spots. Plus, crossing things off a list is mighty fine and really gratifying.
2) Research is your friend! If possible, you want to book your places to stay ahead of time so you can focus your energy on enjoying the moments ahead. We recommend Airbnb, Hip Camp and recreation.gov for campsites + other housing. Recreation.gov is a newer system and there are some kinks still being worked out but you can find amazing campsites (and locate the ones with showers!!) We have gotten some great walk up spots when reservations were filled but we've also ended up on forest roads and parking lots. A little extra prep can't hurt.
3) Pack for warm or cold. As you probably know, the weather in the PNW can change drastically in a few hours. It can sometimes reach high 80s in the day and low 40s at night. I personally hate being cold (yeah so I also hate being hot) so layers are my friend. Don't forget the warm socks!
4) Before heading out, download your favorite playlist + podcasts onto your phone in case you run out of service. Also, be sure to download google maps as well. Being somewhere without service can be fun and relaxing but getting lost on forest roads can really dampen the vibe.
Laura layers up with the best-selling Linnton sweatshirt in Rose
5) SNACKS! You need them. Lots of them. Splurge on good + healthy snacks! We love packing charcuterie board supplies with meats, olives, cheeses and veggies. Some other great options are carrots, hummus, protein bars, instant oatmeal, fruit and eggs. This way, if you're in a pinch you aren't forced to eat McDonalds for several meals in a row. (Not that I have anything against those fries!)
6) This goes without saying but leave no trace when you're camping. Make sure to pack out all of your trash and never start a campfire during a burn ban. The fines can be close to $2,000 and you don't want to be that person anyway. That person is no fun.
7) Document! We bring our Instax + DSLR along on all our trips to snap some photos that we can keep at our home. This way, we're taking photos on something other than our phones. It's nice to put those things away sometimes.
Enjoy it! I would love to know your tips + tricks plus any favorite road-trips that you've been on. We're always planning our next one! Happy trails!