We’re calling it: 2020 is the year of the road trip. It’s September but hear us out.
Travel has been precarious for most of the year, but one option that is increasingly alluring and arguably safer than most options is car travel. This can include scenic drives in your neighborhood or playing tourist in your own state; regardless, it’s time to adopt car travel as your go-to for vacations right now. And even if road trip planning seems a little daunting at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cruising in no time.
The Chariot team knows a thing or two about road trip planning and have more than a few road trip tips to share. After all, our founder Elisabeth is a digital nomad that regularly travels domestically in her Honda Element - in fact, she just trekked 2,300 miles from Chicago to Portland, Oregon. Other team members have spent stretches of time on Route 66 scenic drives, cross country jaunts, and car camping in national parks. Below are a few of our favorite road trip tips to make car travel comfortable, enlightening, and nourishing.
Aromatherapy on the Road
One of our top recommendations for scenic drives, lengthy car travel, and every trip in between is to use aromatherapy in your vehicle. Aromatherapy can help create the environment you desire during your road trip, whether that’s energized (hello, peppermint), clean and uplifting (eucalyptus FTW), or soothing and calming (lavender – ALL. DAY.).
Chariot allows you to infuse your environment with the mood you want, whether that’s chill, excited, or introspective. Our sustainable aroma diffuser can be easily placed in your car, either clipped into the vent or hung from the rearview mirror. We’ve designed the diffuser so that you can control the scent strength and create have just the right amount of vibe.
Eat to Live, Live to Eat
The worst thing that can happen when you’re on a trip is not eating well enough. Sure, pack snacks, but you’re traveling! It’s time to indulge in some local cuisine.
We recommend searching out some unique regional cuisine along your route instead of opting for the usual fast-food fare. Not only will your stomach thank you, but you’re more likely to mingle with colorful locals, expand your culinary horizons, and have memorable stories to share afterward.
Learn On the Go
Driving is one of the few times where your attention is entirely focusing on the road – and to whatever you’re listening to at the time. Just because you’re in the car doesn’t mean that you have to listen to NPR (no shade, we live for Fresh Air and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me). This is an ideal time to get some learning in – or at least explore a subject you’re interested in. Podcasts are great, so are audiobooks. Doesn’t matter the topic as long as you’re interested, but our marketing director Shannon likes to find podcasts that are specific to the region she’s traveling in to learn more about the area and its history.
Music = Magic
The Chariot team is comprised of melophiles (it means music lovers, not a type of iguana like we originally thought), so music is key to road trip planning. Like, sure, scenic drives are amazing, but you know what makes a beautiful landscape even better? A soundtrack to match.
Chariot has a growing collection of playlists curated by friends and colleagues that you can find on our Spotify. You can also enlist each road tripper to create a playlist of their choice. Or, have a friend create you a surprise playlist to discover new tunes or rediscover old favorites.
Offset Your Travel
While we’re antsy to get on the road and see something new beyond our neighborhood, it’s important to consider your impact on the environment when road trip planning. You can reduce your carbon footprint on the road by packing lighter, tuning up your car before traveling a long distance, and investing in a luggage rack for your roof (seriously! It helps with fuel efficiency).
For us, offsetting travel impacts is crucial. With offsets, you can reduce the emissions from your travel and support sustainability projects around the world. One helpful tool for offsets is EcoCred, which also helps users discover their carbon footprint and build eco-conscious habits. You can also buy offsets from sites like cooleffect.org and carbonfund.org. Before you buy an offset, make sure to do a little research on what your donation will support and look for certifications from reputable groups, like Green-e and Verra.
There, of course, are other more practical tips like fill up on gas every time you stop, but we hope this inspires you to get out on the road, and for the love of god, get out of your house finally.