Last summer we drove from New York City to Los Angeles, CA. For three weeks we crossed the United States running into characters, scenarios, and moments. It was filled with cinematic encounters…good, weird, and wild. It was incredible. If you’re looking to hit the streets and pave your own adventure –  a quick lesson before the test on how to make it the best…our 7 Road Trip Tips.

1. Remind Yourself to Smile
Sounds obvious but if you’re like a lot of us and have resting “mirror face,” remind yourself to smile. Smiles start conversations. Conversations lead to stories. Stories share personality. Personality makes friends. And friends make memories.

Aside from it just being good practice to be a good person – being nice and making new friends in a new city leads to fun surprises, including but not limited to: the best of the best insider tips, party invites, free drinks and sometimes even free meals. Hey, if it worked for us, it will most likely work for you.

Road Trip Tips - Exercise - Jordan Rosenacker

Road Trip Tips – Exercise

2. Exercise
Wherever you go, wherever you stay, make time to move it. A quick jog in the morning before shoving off or an at home workout before going out, a quick exercise will work wonders. In addition to just keeping you healthy, exercise will give you additional energy for your travels, improve your mood, fight stress, and even help with back pain – one thing that will creep up on you when sitting in a car for long periods of time. Here are some quick at home workouts we love: Men’s Fitness – 10 At Home Workouts,Women’s Health Mag – Amazing No Equipment Workouts.

3. Healthy Eats
Pack to snack. The road is wonderfully unpredictable but we’re willing to bet you’re going to pass a lot of fast-food restaurants on the road and that’s exactly what ya gotta do, PASS THEM. You might enjoy a quick meal but you’ll regret it afterwards. Avoid cravings and temptations by keeping your car stocked with healthy snack foods until you can land a proper meal. Don’t put diesel in your body when you function better on premium. For a list of healthy eats check out some that we love: From the greatest at Greatist 21 Portable Energy Boosting Snacks and from one of our favorites EatThis

Road Trip Tips - Impromptu Stops

Road Trip Tips – Impromptu Stops

4. Stops Between The Stops
Designed or denied, planned or whoops that happened, setbacks and delays are inevitable when traveling. Plan for the unplanned and give yourself some time cushions. Not having a super strict schedule keeps things a little less stressful and gives you the opportunity to stop along the side of the road for wild fun and wonderful photos. One of our favorite moments from our trip was making French Press coffee in the middle of West Texas. Brewing right off the Jeep’s engine we felt the warm breeze and beauty of the empty desert. With a vast landscape as far as the eye could see, it was just us, our brew, and maybe a rattlesnake or two. Part of being on the road is being able to experience the road, the stops between the stops. Give yourself some time to do just that and tack on an extra hour or two for long travel days, a little less for quick trips.

5. Keep Friends & Famly Looped In
It’s easy to get wrapped up when traveling that we forget to call home and or stay in touch. It’s good to go off the radar every now and then but remember friends and family want to hear from you when things are going well too, not just when you need advice, help, or want to complain…ha! And regarding safety – it’s good to let people know where you are and where you’re staying. Bad weather or an unfortunate run-in, you’ll be glad to have an extra set of eyes looking out for you and knowing your whereabouts.

Road Trip Tips - Postcards

Road Trip Tips – Postcards

6. Postcards
Oh the simple and wonderful art of a postcard. When traveling to a new city I make it a priority to pick up at least 5 postcards. Sounds like a lot but it’s not – at around just a dollar apiece it’s a fun, cheap, and easy way to capture the personality of the town you’re in and send some love. Save one for yourself and mail the rest out. For me I know three are going to the most important ladies in my life, the lovely gf, the ever so supportive mother and the local barista back home, just kidding, the third one goes to Grandma – what up, Dotty! You’re getting a postcard from New Orleans and you bet your cigarette smokin’ butt I’m going to write it to you drunk! With the last postcard, track down a friend’s address and send them something weird. It’s fun to think the postman will read your note – “Hi Steven, let’s grab some organic candy from Whole Foods and dance in a pumpkin patch. Tomorrow and forever.” OR, more appropriately, go with words of encouragement – let your friend know you’re thinking about them and how great they are. They’ll appreciate it.

7. Make Your Own List(s)
Put together your own list for your perfect trip. Included but not limited to, road-trip playlists, a collection of specific sights & scenes you want to see along the way, gadgets and apps that can make your life easier on the go, necessary car appliances, adaptors and maintenance checklists, fun and unique personal or shared goals, and even a wish list of things you’re hopeful to do. Whatever you can think of, get it all down before you go, the more organized and prepared you are for your trip the easier it is to be spontaneous and live in the moment.

Keep us posted with where you go! Tag @AtlasCoffeeClub when you brew! We love to randomly fuel adventurers with a bag of free coffee from time to time! Rock ‘n’ roll & Godspeed!