Great Road Trips Start With Great Planning
"Luck favors the prepared." ~ Edna Mode (The Incredibles)
The summer is here and I am ready for another great road trip! Soon I am traveling up to Toronto with my friend Heidi and I am sure we are going to get into lots of fun/trouble while we're there!
I have taken some time to think about all the arrangements — having multiple sclerosis has turned me into an uber planner! I have to have everything I need in place, just in case anything were to go wrong or, God forbid, I had some new symptoms to contend with. The only choice, really, is to plan; staying home and foregoing the trip is not an option.
Before You Leave
Firstly, I have to make sure all of the basics are covered:
- I have to have a cooler, loaded up with lots of water and iced tea to keep me and my friend cool and hydrated.
- I need a nice selection of fruits and other healthy snacks to have on hand. Going on a trip does not mean that I am leaving behind the nutrition that is helping to keep my relapses at bay.
- I need my music selection to be in order. I use a lot of smartphone apps that will get me to at least the border of Canada.
- I need to make sure that my cellphone plan is set up for international usage. The last time I took the ferry from Port Angeles, WA up to Victoria Island, BC, I was taught the lesson of showing up unprepared. Fortunately, it was only a day trip, but I could never spend days without my phone. I am tethered to it, like so many of us are nowadays. Fortunately, wifi is available in the hotel we will be staying in and FaceTime is free, so I should be all right for this trip.
Plan Your Comfort Stops
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, ruins a good road trip for me more than having to go to the bathroom in a terrible place that stinks to high… well, you know what I am getting at. One of the most annoying problems from my MS is the fact that I have to go to the bathroom much more often now. I can play it off as just being a woman who has had a kid and needs to pee all the time, but I am pretty sure MS is the reason for at least part of my problem.
When I travel, I need to know where the bathrooms are and I need to know that they are going to be clean. I admit, this is a very hard task to master but I have a few ways of sifting out the absolutely terrible places that I have been forced to use in my time:
- If you know that you are going to be driving this path again sometime, make note of all of your favorite places to stop and keep them handy for the next time you travel this way.
- Pay attention to your favorite gas station or restaurant chains. Chances are that the standard of care and the layout of their facilities will carry over throughout their establishments.
- Use the government-run rest areas and make note of where you will find them along your drive. Often times the rest stops along the highways are a great places because they are frequented by a large number of people every day and therefore they are cared for on a more frequent basis.