5 Ways to Make your Mini-Roadtrip the Best Ever

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Vacations can be fun. But they can be expensive and time-consuming, too. If you want to let loose a little without destroying your bank account, a weekend day trip can be just the thing.  You can get out of the house, make some memories, and experience something new—without having to step foot on a plane.

Whether you want to bring along your significant other, or invite the girls out, here’s five tips to maximize your weekend fun.

1) Think outside the box

When it comes to dreaming up road-trip destinations, a lot of people assume they have to go to a theme park to have fun. But even if you live within reasonable driving distance, theme parks can be hot, crowded, noisy, and — oh yeah — very expensive. (We’re talking $120-per-person entry to a certain rodent-inspired kingdom. And that’s without food or fancy parking).

If one of your goals this year was to save a little extra, consider options off the beaten route. A few minutes of searching can turn up plenty of semi-local treasures, like art galleries, botanical gardens, aquariums, farmers’ markets and craft shows. These places are often cheaper, more low-key, and not stuffed to the brim with screaming toddlers.

Tip: If you absolutely must visit somewhere with a talking mouse or towering steel rides, make sure to plan your trip a few months out to get the best deals.

2) Have a list of tunes ready

Even if you’re bringing your life partner or a collection of your besties, music can go a long way toward smoothing over long car rides. Depending on what vibe you’re feeling, go ahead and search “Throwback” on Spotify. That way you can hit the middle ground on everyone’s music taste — so they’re not chorusing are we there yet? every five minutes.

Looking for something more relaxing? If you and your pals are more into woodsy, outdoorsy adventures, check out indie compilations on Youtube. Channels like Alexrainbirdmusic, Indie Wolf, and MrOtterMusic offer up hour-long blocks of crooning vocals and acoustic guitars. Most videos even have download links in the descriptions, so you don’t have to worry about chugging through your data plan.

3) Don’t forget car food

Of course you’ll want to stop for bathroom breaks, but don’t subject your favorite people to gas station food. These easy make-ahead sandwiches are perfect for long car rides.

Brown Sugar Bacon Sandwiches

Brown Sugar Bacon
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Get enough salty and sweet to satisfy everyone’s road trip palate.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 brioche buns
  • 1 pack bacon
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise (optional)
  • Half stick of softened butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet securely with foil. (Bacon grease will form, and you don’t want to spend time cleaning it up). Lightly sprinkle the bacon with brown sugar and pat excess sugar off. Do the same with the other side. Bake the bacon in the oven.(Tip: It takes about 10 minutes for regular bacon to cook, 20 minutes for thick-cut bacon to cook. However, every oven is different. Keep a close eye on your meat).
  1. While the bacon is cooking, heat up a skillet. On each bun, spread a small measure of butter on the inside. Press each part of the inside of the bun to the skillet for five seconds to warm.
  1. When the bacon is done, remove it and let cool. Ask your significant other or friends what they want on their sandwich, then assemble each one accordingly, snapping bacon in half when necessary. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and write each person’s name on it with a marker.

There you have it — the perfect road trip sandwich!

4) Challenge everyone to put their phones away

Sometimes it can be hard to connect with people even when they’re right next to you. It’s not advisable to institute a total “no phone” rule — or to limit phone use during the ride itself. That’s a recipe for disaster.

But you’ll get much more out of your trip outside the house if you gently encourage your pals to take a selfie at the beginning, maybe snap a pic of something cool, then try to focus on the experience.

5) Decompress at home with a movie

While it’s worthwhile to get out and experience life, know your limits. If you’re feeling tired after your excursion, there’s nothing rude about turning down your girlfriends’ offers of evening drinks.

Driving, cooking, and talking all day can be draining even if you’re not an introvert. Make sure you have something fun, mindless, and relaxing planned for when you get home — and don’t feel bad for ordering in.

So, there’s our tips for having the most fun on a mini road-trip! Did we leave anything out? And where’s the last place you went? Let us know below! Sign up to get recipes and exclusive content straight to your inbox

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