My husband and I took a winter road trip from Cincinnati to the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania. It was our first visit to the area and we were looking forward to skiing at a few different locations.
Roadtrips are always a great excuse to reconnect and renew your sense of adventure. Long road trips give you plenty of time to share your hopes and dreams……and anything in between.
…..They can also easily become a source of strife.
Roadtrips are a great opportunity for couples to getaway and spend quality time with each other.
Most couples discover that they have different driving styles pretty quickly. When my husband and I were on our first date I almost got whiplash from his sudden stops while he was looking for our dining destination downtown. (this was pre GPS in a city that neither of us grew up in)
Things have only gotten a little better over the years. We both love road trips but our differing driving styles can make many parts of it pretty miserable. Add bad road conditions from the weather on top of that and you have the potential for some pretty big blow ups.
So how do you make the most of your time together in the car?
1. Leave room for spontaneity.
Some of my favorite stops on road trips were ones that were not planned. During our road trip we decided to stop in Columbus for breakfast. We found a place that was highly recommended by local Columbus Blogger “Breakfast with Nick.” Katalina’s was everything we had hoped for and more!
As we pulled back onto the expressway after our stop, my husband said that stop was “Life Giving.” He was kind of kidding but what he meant was that mixing it up with an unexpected adventure makes you feel more alive.
If you go to Katalina’s, I have a few recommendations. Have you heard of a pancake ball before? This place stuffs them with Nutella, dulce de lèche, or apple butter served with sweet and spicy bacon. Seriously AMAZING! If you want savory, the huge Mazatlan Slow roasted pork & egg sandwich (Beeler’s pork on old world loaf with their secret sauce, provolone, avocado, red peppers & aioli) will blow your mind! Share both with a friend for the best of both worlds
2. Build in more time than you need to get to your destination.
One of the first things that I do when planning a road trip is determine how long it will take to get there from google maps or the Waze app. So if I know that I need to be at a particular destination at a certain time, I build in more time to our trip so that it’s not a big deal if we decide that we want to stop for a sit down meal or check out some random Roadside Attraction along the way. When we stopped at Katalina’s in Columbus, it was about 10 minutes out of our way each way. I will tell you that every bite was worth every minute added to our trip!
3. Check the weather before you go.
There is nothing worse than being caught by surprise with extreme weather on your way to or from a destination. Planning ahead can help you remember things like keeping a blanket in your vehicle, packing an umbrella or an ice scraper. Planning ahead will also help you be aware if you need to allow more cushion into your travel time
4. Bring Snacks and Drinks
We tend to bring coffee from home for the first leg in a travel mug and then stop and get more along the way. I always try to remember a few snacks for in between stops in case one of us is getting hangry. I also like to bring water so a vehicle with lots of cupholders is essential.
During our roadtrip to Laurel Highlands we had the opportunity to test drive new 2017 Kia Sorrento. Twist my arm, right??!!!
The next few roadtrip tips have to do with vehicle features that will make your driving experience more enjoyable.
5. Make sure that you have plenty of trunk space.
This is essential because there tends to be an overpacker in most relationships. I’ll admit that I’m the overpacker who feels better packing extra “just in case.” This can lead to many discussions over our differing packing styles and every now and then I get the opportunity to save the day because I did pack something that we needed just in case. As someone who applies “just in case” to a lot of scenarios, I loved the third split seat option, “just in case” we needed to give a group of random people a ride at some point during our weekend.
6. Make sure that your vehicle has Dual Climate Controls so that both people are happy.
In our early days of road trip days, my husband would drive in a short sleeve t shirt and I would wear multiple layers with a grannie blanket on my lap. We could never seem to agree on the temperature of the vehicle. He was always too hot and I was always too cold. Dual Climate control that allows individualized heating or cooling makes all the difference! Heated seats are even better the longer you are on the road on a cold winter day.
7. Let the vehicle do the nagging
Our differing driving styles are definitely a source of fights because I tend to nag when I don’t feel as safe. Not to say that my husband isn’t a safe driver, we just judge space differently on the road. I found that I was able to relax more in the Kia because I knew that the vehicle would alert my husband if someone was in his blindspot, if he was going over the line, or if he was getting too close to another vehicle in front of him while using cruise control because the vehicle would alert him and slow down automatically and the surround view monitors would show if there was anything around the vehicle as we were parking. Oh and I guess those features were pretty good for me as well. ( I LOVE using the camera when I back up) Seriously one of our most peaceful drives!
8. Take advantage of your listening options.
We had plenty of options during our road trip with SIRIUS radio along with the ability to sync our phones with music or audiobooks with Appleplay. Take turns on who gets to be DJ in shifts or find a few stations or options that you both can agree on. Syncing our phones also made for hands free driving to insure that our eyes were always on the road.
9. The more outlets the better!
We found several power outlets for charging our electronics during our trip. There was even one in the very back that would have come in handy if we were tailgating. I use a lot of outlets on a road trip because I’m constantly charging my phone along with back up batteries and even sometimes my laptop. So obviously I’m an outlet hoarder, and it was great to be able to plug both of our electronic needs during the trip.
10. Feel more confident about driving in all types of weather or road conditions with All Wheel Drive.
I’ll admit that dicey roads make me extra nervous but knowing that the vehicle you are driving can handle it makes a big difference.
11. When given the option for a Panoramic Sunroof always say yes!
I feel less claustrophobic in a vehicle that allows me to see more of the sky. My husband is also 6’4 which makes more headroom a bonus. The bigger, the better! A sunroof always puts a smile on my face….especially when the weather is warm enough to open it.
12. Keep in mind that a sign of a great road trip is how desperately you need a car wash afterwards.
Roadtrips aren’t meant to be perfect because where would the adventure be without some bumps in the road. Prepare when you can and try to let go.
You can find out more about the KIA Sorento from the Kia website.
Thanks again to Kia for providing the vehicle for our roadtrip.