10 tips for a successful road trip (as an EF student)
1. plan the route We did our trip without any specific route. That is on one side good because you can discover beautiful places you didn't now and stay some time or maybe one night there. On the other side was it bad when the day was coming to an end and we didn't know where we want to stay. Especially on the highway nr. 1 can it get difficult to find a place to stay if the next village or city is 50 miles away. So you don't have to plan everything exactly but make up an idea which cities and places you want to visit.
2. organise a good car On a road trip you are driving a lot so it's important that you have a solid car with all insurances needed. Especially during vacation season it's important that you reserve your car/van as fast as possible and not to wait till all rentals are booked up. We rented a Chrysler family van from DirtCheap, San Diego which had enough space for us five.
3. reserve hotels/motels/campings If you plan your route and know where you will go is it recommended to reserve the hotels or wherever you will stay. We had problems in San Francisco downtown to get a room and also on the Yosemite Camping were we very lucky getting a cabin. As I learned are especially campings really fast booked up. Outside big cities it's most of the time easier to find something and also cheaper.
4. go with the right people Go with people who have same interests as you and who want to do things that you also like. Otherwise you will have a lot of disputes during your trip.
5. plan enough time If you have like a schedule for your trip, plan enough time between two main destinations. On a road trip you will explore always a lot of unknown, nice places where you want to rest at.
6. not too much luggage The space in a car is very limited so don't bring too much stuff with you. Some clothes, bath stuff, camera, chargers, money and Passport (or California State ID). California gets cold in the evening even in summer, so pack at least a hoodie. Training pants are also very comfortable and safe you the night if you should sleep outside or in a car.
7. enough drinks Not just alcohol is important on a road trip. Have all the time enough water or something else to drink available. You might get somewhere hot without any possibility to buy something. In particular for the driver's concentration is it important too drink enough.
8. buying food If you go camping try to buy the food in a city or bigger village early enough before you arrive. Around the campings are most of the time just small shops with high prices. If you want to do a barbecue buy also a grill because on most campings are barbecue areas but no grills. Also if you stay in a motel with kitchen can it be fun to cook together and it's a good relief to all the fast food. And if you don't like to cook are almost everywhere some fast food or other restaurants.
9. enough music Driving without music can be boring, so make sure everyone take some music that he/she likes and play it. So you avoid some conflicts and all music wishes are considered.
10. RESPECT Respect the people you go with and their wishes. Don't try all the time to make them do what you like. Compare your notions together and find a solution which everyone can live with. Otherwise your trip could escalate into a big dispute.
enjoy your trip - thanks for reading!