We’ve all heard the saying “Getting there is half the fun”. This is a motto that I truly believe. In this step we are going to focus on how to Make It A Great Road-Trip.
Travel Nurse Road Trips can be a bit different than standard road-trips. Since most travel nurse road trips are truly moving from one contract to another, we’ve put together some specific tips to make things go smoothly.
Sometimes you have to be determined to make it a great Road-trip. Road-trips can be disastrous or amazing depending on the circumstances and the planning. I’ve had my share of both, but more often than not they have been amazing. I’ve driven from coast to coast across this great country more times than I can count and each experience was unique and invigorating. Let’s break down the road-trip in three steps.
Step #1 Determine Your Time-frame
Give yourself enough time to explore. Nothing is worse than a road-trip where you are on a strict schedule and can’t stop to explore along the way. Some of my favorite highlights were the ones that I ‘found’ along the way and took the time to explore. I usually give myself about 400 miles/day to travel if I’m tight on time. This is about 6-8 hours driving. This allows time to stop for lunch or take a quick walk through a quaint town. If there is a town/city/attraction that I know of along the way, I’ll give myself extra time to work it into the schedule.
Step #2 Plan The Route
My best advice here would be to BE FLEXIBLE. I generally have a basic route that I plan to follow but many times this has been diverted. When I meet people along my route, I always ask if there is something in the area that they would recommend seeing/doing/experiencing. It’s amazing how many times I’ve gotten to experience something unique by doing this. Who would have know that there was a great ghost town just a few miles from where I was? Or the falls that were hidden just minutes away? Plan a basic route and remain spontanious to new adventures along the way and your bound to have a great time.
There are multiple resources that I utilize when planning a road-trip:
- Roadside America – Lists fun and quirky ‘Route 66’ type attractions that you can search by state or route.
- Trip-It – Easily plan and share a road trip plans with the free online road trip planner tool.
- AAA – This is also a great resource for maps, attractions, service areas, etc.
- Recommendations – I always ask for recommendations from my personal friends as well as the Travel Nurse Community at large. Who better to point you to the best sites
In today’s world of GPS and electronic navigation, don’t forget to also carry a paper map with you. In addition to providing a back-up if your devices are not working, it also provides a good at-a-glance resource for state and national parks, historical sites, etc.
Don’t forget to make sure to prepare your vehicle to ensure that it is in good shape and that you have all the appropriate gear for your trip.
Step #3 Enjoy the Experience
There really isn’t any explanation needed here. Enjoy your time. Make the most of the good and the bad. Realize that what today might seem disastrous….tomorrow it will be a fond memory.
I was traveling with my pre-adolescent daughter from New Orleans to San Diego (I think it was July or August). After just an hour or two on the road, my air-conditioner decided to break-down. We were traveling in the hottest part of the summer in the hot, humid swamps through southern Louisiana. We ended up in some tiny little town at the local ‘mechanics’. There was no office and my daughter and I threw down a blanket on the ground, grabbed the umbrella and had an impromptu picnic while sweltering in the heat and humidity. It was truly miserable at the time but one of my favorite memories with my daughter.
Do you have a funny road trip story? We would love to read it and share with the Gypsy Nurse Audience! Let us know!