Lessons from my First Road Trip

Lessons from my First Road Trip

Hello from the East Coast! I’m currently on vacation in Sackville, New Brunswick on my first-ever road trip. It’s only been a few days, but I’ve learned a lot already! Here are some of the road trip lessons I’ve learned so far:

Be Flexible…

The prospect of a road trip was initially pretty stressful for me. Planning routes, stops, and excursions was a lot, not to mention having to rely on the weather’s cooperation! I’ve learned over the past couple of days, though, that having an open mind and a flexible schedule makes for a much more relaxing trip. This was especially clear when we realized we accidentally set our Bed & Breakfast check-out a day too early! Rather than panicking and trying to stick to a rigid plan, we took the opportunity to book our extra day in Gaspé to hike in one of its National Parks. I’m looking forward to the (unplanned) adventure! 

…But Don’t Expect Flexibility to Come Cheap

That said, if you’re on a tight budget, it will definitely help to have a concrete plan for your trip. Some attractions and restaurants can end up costing a fortune if you’re not careful. For example, we were warned by multiple people about the $46 toll coming back across the Confederation Bridge from PEI. Extra costs like that can blind-side you! Do your research and make a plan to keep your spending on track throughout your road trip.

Take Photos…

Whether you’re printing out your photos for an album or just sharing online, documenting your journeys can be very rewarding. I’ve got a particularly terrible memory, so it’s important to capture some of the key or picturesque moments for the years to come.

…But Not Too Many

It’s great to share your experiences with the world and preserve memories through photos. But if you don’t immerse yourself in them first-hand, you might as well just read about it online! I’ve never been a big photographer on vacations because I prefer to prioritize enjoying the moment as I live it. Be sure to have a balance!

Get Road Trip Advice from the Experts…

There’s a good chance that you know someone who has been to your road trip destination. In our case, we had lots of expertise to tap into amongst our friends and family. These connections can recommend some can’t-miss experiences and hidden gems. If you’re staying in a B&B (or an Airbnb), your hosts can also make some great suggestions beyond what your typical tour guidebooks will review.

…But Do Your Own Thing

The highlight of our first day in the Maritimes was the only activity that wasn’t a recommendation from friends and family. We visited Island Hill Farm after learning about it from a CBC article about farm yoga trending on social media. I was most excited to cuddle baby bunnies:

Road Trip - Baby Bunny at Island Hill Farm

While Joe’s main attraction was making friends with the alpacas:

Road Trip - Alpacas at Island Hill Farm

The more people you have recommending “must-see” destinations, the more overwhelming your planning can get. It’s important to prioritize for your own preferences, not just what your friends and family will like the most on Instagram!

What lessons have you learned on road trips?