Rules of the Road from the Road 101

Here we are a good 4+ weeks into this road trip. I almost can’t believe it, but then I start thinking about all the ups and downs and lefts and rights that we’ve managed to cruise through relatively smoothly. Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself an ‘expert’ quite yet, but I have learned a thing or two. So I thought I’d take this rather uneventful driving day (though we passed through some pretty highway scenery,) as a blog opportunity to share the must-haves on our road trip:

BRING: A Tide to-go stick – love this thing. Don’t leave home without it because the moment you do, BAM coffee stains galore.

BRING: A Map – not really for practical reasons because I’ve never claimed to actually be able to navigate with one…but simply because tracing out the route is A) truly impressive when I realize how much ground we’ve covered and B) fun to remember/preserve for that time 10 years from now when I’m reminiscing about that one summer when I did an all-American 360 in the Wagon Queen Family Truckster – once again, it’s impressive, right?

BRING: A travel buddy – I don’t know if John or I have mentioned this yet, but our lovely stereo system has contracted the tranquil habit of only playing a song or two (at best) before SCREECHING at us with static. Needless to say, I’d be a lost puppy on America’s highways if I didn’t at least have someone to converse with, share stories and laugh at the absurdities we encounter. Plus, John does a good job of helping me find my way (I wasn’t kidding about my map skills – or lack thereof.)

BRING: A journal/computer/tablet of sheet rock and a chisel pen – whatever your preferred method of documentation might be, bring it. Plain and simple. You’ll want to remember the little things – so keep record of them. Plus, an amazing teacher once told me that your writing will never be as good and true as it is when you’re writing in the moment.  I’ve been convinced ever since.

BRING: A book of stamps – every one loves a quick “hello” from the road, and it’s incredibly easy to snag a postcard at whatever tourist hot-spot you might pass-by.  I’ve found that having stamps at an arms reach is a good idea for anyone who’s day doesn’t typically consist of snail mail, especially if you’re like me – someone who often forgets. The stamps in my wallet serve to remind and motivate me! (If you’re waiting on a post card from me right now, please don’t call me a hypocrite. Just make sure I have your address and I promise I’ll live-up to my own road rules. After all, its in print… you can hold me to it.)

BRING: Sunglasses!!!!!! Or buy some on the road – I’m a huge fan of sunglass shopping! (See pix below)

DON’T BRING: More than you can carry in one trip from the Truckster to the HomeAway vacation rental – seriously, one small suitcase is more than enough when you’ve got laundry machines. (BTW does anyone else use that term: “laundry machine”? I’ve recently been ‘corrected’ for not saying washer/dryer by a certain PR guru. It might not be AP style but I still don’t think it’s an incorrect term for machines used to do laundry.)

Disclosure: (One of the things we learned at the TBEX convention this past weekend was to always include a disclosure notice if needed.) I was NOT endorsed by Tide, I just love their travel sized stain-remover stick. Also, note that this list is in no way exclusive. There are a number of things that have made our Great American Road Trip successes possible and you’d probably never get through the whole list if I included them all.

Cheers, Steph


About Jennifer Stafford
Jennifer is the Social Media Manager for HomeAway and has been with the company since 2007. She works on global social media programs and helps manage all of the US social media accounts. Prior to joining HomeAway she was the SEO lead for GEICO in Washington DC. Outside of work Jennifer travels as much as possible and is always planning her next trip!

5 Responses to Rules of the Road from the Road 101

  1. Liz LaBauve says:

    Any apartment hunting in New York?

  2. Anthony says:

    I kind of think of a ‘machine’ as a do-it-all kind of thing. If I had a real ‘laundry machine’ I’d toss in all my dirty clothing now and when I wake up it will be all washed, dried, folded and put away in my dresser. That’d be my kind of ‘machine’

  3. Mara says:

    This post made me laugh and miss you guys even if I did just see you over the weekend. John, I think that if things don’t work out for you in PR you could have a great career as a state trooper. At least you’ll have the shades anyway…

    I’m working on a post about our time in VA Beach right now.

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