Surviving a road trip

How do you survive a road trip?

After travelling 5044 miles across America on my road trip with my best friends, I think I have a few answers as to how to survive the long, sometime’s seemingly endless journey. At least, these are what helped with my journey; hopefully they help you too.

 

Firstly, you need some good music in your life. When you’re driving long journeys especially, you can’t rely on the radio to keep you going because you’re constantly losing signal and having to jump between stations, believe me I know. Our music was all on my phone, so whenever it crashed or when I’d lost/left behind my wire’s to charge it the radio was all we had. We had to make do at these times. When my phone was working though, oh we were in for some good times. I’ve already given you a glimpse of our playlist in my previous post but we listened to such a variation and loved every minute of it.

Now good music is great, but great company is better. If you happen to be heading on this journey make sure it’s with people you get along with, people who can hold a conversation and give you some laughs along the way. There’s nothing worse than being bored, especailly when you’re confined into a tin can with people who aren’t making things any better.

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Tying into the company, having someone else that can drive is a massive bonus. Depending on the length of your trip you don’t want to be the one constantly stuck behind the wheel. On our trip, we had 3 drivers in total and we all took our turns behind the wheel, with a month long journey and some drives being upwards of 7 hours you want to be able to relax and let someone else deal with the driving part.

Make sure to stock up on snacks and water before you hit the road. You don’t want to be on a long drive having to stop more regularly than needed/wanted all because someone feels peckish and wants a packet of crisps. Bulk buying water is a must, not only will it last you a good while, it will also save you money rather than continuously buying single bottles.

Fill up yout tank. It’s just common sense, make sure you have a full tank before you hit the road and have a limit for how low you’ll let the gas go before you stop to refuel. For us, we wouldn’t let our tank get below a quarter full, just to be on the safe side we also checked where gas stations were along our route so we knew where to top up if the next one wasn’t for a good while.

Music and conversation are good but sometimes you’re not in the mood for either. Bring some books, make sure to have some good apps on your phone/ipad or whatever to keep you entertained, car games. Just things to keep you sane really.

Stop whenever you want to. Don’t just stop because you need gas, the toilet, stock up on some snacks or stretch your legs. Some of the best places you’ll find will be the places you don’t intend to stop. I know we stopped at a random wee gas station in Texas and found they had some maps on the wall (both a map of america and rest of the world) along beside the maps were pins and they asked you to put a pin where you’re from. It was amazing to see where everyone had come from to this random gas station, more amazing that we were the first Scots.

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The best thing you could do, take pictures. I don’t mean just to post on some social media site either (instagram, facebook, twitter, tumblr, wherever), I mean yeah it’s great to share your pictures with everyone but sometimes it’s best to take some random snaps just for yourself. Make a scrapbook, pin them on a wall, take pictures of the memories.

 

 

Do you have any good road trip ideas? Leave a comment of them below to share with us all.

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American road trip: bad luck comes in threes, not for us.

Now we didn’t quite expect every single detail of this month long trip to go to plan but considering we’re on day 3 and everything that could go wrong has, well luck just isn’t on our side.

So it started off in Glasgow airport, we hadn’t even left and things were going wrong. I feel like I need to list this all to show the extent of how unlucky we’ve been so far (and bear in mind, we’re 3 days in).

1. Firstly we get delayed by 2 hours because of the weather in Amsterdam. Obviously we’re like this is shite but whatever. It’s a delayed flight we’re not going to cry over it.

2. We ALMOST and when I say almost, I mean the minute we got off our flight in Amsterdam we had to run through Schipol airport to get to where our flight to Boston was. We got on the plane and 2 minutes later, and I mean 2 minutes they shut the gate!

3. Now if you know anything about the process of planes and airports you’ll know what’s coming next. Yep. You guessed it! We arrived in Boston, but our luggage didn’t. Obviously once again another bummer but we can deal with it.. Until, we enquire about it and only 3 of the 4 cases were found and going to be on their way to join us.

4. So you’re thinking, what else can possibly go wrong for these 4 girls? Plenty. We pick our car up, all is going well. Shona drove it to the motel, we picked up clare and then I drove us to Salem. All was going well and then BANG! (And I do mean that literally) someone fucking crashed into me. So not only am I driving in another country, on the opposite side of the road, in the opposite side of the car and then someone crashes into me. Not to mention, the same accident had happened 2 minutes previous so the police witnessed it and it was all the guys fault as he was doing an illegal manoeuvre. We had to drive back to the rental company, luckily they were great and gave us another car.

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Car number 1 (bye bye).

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Car number 2 (hello beautiful).

5. Surely by now you’re thinking, we’re on number 5? They’ve only been there 3 fucking days, what more could go wrong? Oh little do you know. So we’re in the car driving to NYC (no crashes this time), we stopped off to grab some food and water etc only to check our emails and see an email from the motel saying they tried to take the payment which was cancelled as it was an old card and to contact them by 1pm; it was currently almost 9pm. Our phones can’t phone american numbers either so we had to go into burger king and asked to use their phone which they kindly let us, phone the motel and they inform us the booking is still there. Everything is all good!

6. Is it fuck! We get to the motel, thinking great get in, pay, get to sleep as it’s almost 12. Nope. The guy tells us the booking was cancelled and he only has a room for 1 night; we’re meant to be staying 4! So we’re currently in the motel patiently waiting to find out if there’s any cancellations etc for us to stay our next 3 nights here.

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FML.

Every time we seem to say “surely things can’t get any worse” they do. So you know, whatever. I’m over it all now. I just want a little bit of plain sailing for the next 4 weeks, please.

Has any of your trips ever went this terribly wrong? Leave me a comment below and tell me. Make me feel slightly better about our situation.

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First trip being 23

If you read my previous post you’ll know that yesterday was my birthday and I turned 23. Well today I’m off on my first trip being 23 and also of this year (out of Scotland at least).

Currently sat on a megabus heading towards Paris from London, having already travelled from Glasgow to London earlier on today. I’m really excited as I haven’t been to Paris since 2009 and even then that was a trip with my school so I didn’t get to fully experience it.

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I’m only heading there for the day but I can’t wait to jam pack it with lots of sightseeing, wandering, eating and whatever else there is to discover.

A few of you gave me some great ideas on what to get up to in Paris on a previous post of mine and I’m thankful for the advice on where in Paris I should visit.

If you have any other advice of places I must go/see, little places to eat/drink etc then let me know!

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Unusual city breaks

After our weekend in Amsterdam my friends and I have decided we need to be going somewhere for a city break at least once a year. 
The thing is, a few of us don’t want to do the usual city breaks. We’ve done Amsterdam but we want to be going to more unusual places. Some of us are throwing ideas about and it includes places such as: 

  • Copenhagen 
  • Stockholm
  • Kraków 

Although I would love to visit these places and think they would be amazing, theyre just not unusual enough for me. I want random places that most people won’t even have heard of! 

This is where you all come in.. I was hoping you all would be able to give me ideas of places? 

Is there anywhere you have visited? Somewhere you’ve heard of? 

I keep searching, trying to find really unusual places and I’ve found a few such as:

  • Olomouc
  • Valletta
  • Sibiu
  • Wroclaw

We don’t have any specifics at all, as to where, what there is to do, weather etc. 

Please guys, any advice on where to go would be much appreciated. Leave a comment and let me know! Thanks. 

Newcastle with the gals – Wey aye man.

You really don’t have to get on a plane and go somewhere exotic to really travel and experience different things in the world. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the best memories.

For me, as long as I’m with my 5 best friends I know I’m going to have a great time full of laughter, fun, banter and many stories; that may be best staying between the 6 of us! A simple weekend driving over the border into England can be just as exciting as going on a plane and spending time in, Berlin for example.

If you’ve never got in a car with your best friend and driven somewhere planned or unplanned you’re truly missing out. For us a 3 hour car journey from Glasgow down to Newcastle was in store. It isn’t all fun and games, let’s be honest even when you’re with your best friends car journeys can be boring you just have to make the most of it. For the 3 of us in one car, this involved 20 questions (someone thinking of a famous person and the other 2 taking no more than 20 questions to guess who; although at one point this may have turned into Unlimited questions… Shh don’t tell).

I’ll be completely honest. Our weekend was going to be filled with one thing, and one thing only.. Tanning as much alcohol as we could possibly consume. Let’s just say “Hey we’re Scottish” you take a guess as to how much we may have got through because your guess is as good as mine. We know how to handle our liquor. We did go down with the plan to be cultural, tourists and actually learn something about Newcastle, maybe visit a museum or two, but this plan quickly went out the window.. We did however take a trip to visit The Angel of the North before we headed back home so I guess we get to tick that cultural box after all?

Unlike myself, my 5 friends hadn’t been to Newcastle before. So obviously because I’ve been once before for the weekend this apparently turned me into an expert of where to go and what to do (according to them) which obviously was not true. Our first night was spent in TupTup and yeah it was okay, not as good as I remember it being before but I can’t complain. Our second night was spent in Tiger Tiger which we definitely enjoyed as we got a booth for us all which for £30 each included entry, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of prosecco, a large cocktail pitcher and 3 normal cocktail pitchers which was pretty good.

All in all, it was one of the best weekends I have had in a while, mainly because I spent it with my best friends.

Newcastle is definitely a must visit place if you like your nightlife and hey, maybe unlike us you’ll try be a little cultural and learn something about this city.

Newcastle anyone?

I’m planning on going to newcastle upon tyne this month, 25-28 to be precise and I’m really struggling to find somewhere relatively cheap to stay!
There’s five of us and everywhere I’ve looked is either fully booked or too expensive. I’ve tried hostels, hotels, apartments…

Basically if any of you have any idea of where we could stay it would be a great great help.

New York for New Year is a MUST!

So it’s now 2014 and don’t I know it because I spent my new year somewhere I’ve always dreamt of going to and that’s New York City. ImageI brought the bells in on Times Square with my mum and it was incredibly. The atmosphere was just wow.. If there’s one thing you have to do in your life it’s spend new year in New York, trust me you won’t regret it. 

I went on a mad shopping spree, seen loads of sights, ate loads of food and probably one of the best parts was getting to see the Lion King on broadway in New York. Topped off the whole thing.

 

New York, you really have stolen my heart, just like I knew you would. I’ll be back, maybe not one day soon, but I’ll definitely be back one day.