It’s road trip season! Whether you’re driving for three hours or three days, there’s something transformational and adventurous about hitting the highway and going on your own journey as you separate yourself from the rest of the world.

I’ve crisscrossed through North America more times than I can count and I learned something new every single time. Here are my tips for having the best road trip ever!

Consider the Company

The occupants of your vehicle will make or break your road trip. There are times when you will travel best alone with your own thoughts and itinerary and then there will be times when the right posse turns everything to magic.

Ultimately, it depends on the nature of your trip but don’t hesitate to be picky about your squad. If you’re driving, protect that front passenger’s seat like your life and energy depend on it. If you know someone tends to be negative or distracting, find a way to keep them in the backseat (or leave them at home)!

Low-Key Planning

Unless you are on a really tight schedule, plan your road with lots of flexibility. Check your intended route for food/gas options, hospitals (because you never know), high-traffic areas and constructions. Have a backup plan just in case.

That said, you should also expect the unexpected. You could get a flat tire or have an accident. You could come down with food poisoning or lose your wallet. You shouldn’t dwell on what could go wrong but don’t let yourself get blindsided by life.

The Right Snacks

While your appetite might wane a bit while you’re on the road, you will need sustenance, especially if you’re trying to get somewhere quickly and don’t want to stop for food. It’s important to pack the right snacks to get you where you need to go.

Avoid anything greasy that will leave a film on your steering wheel or clothing. Also, steer clear of anything that will leave a strong odor in your vehicle. Nuts, jerky, bagels and fruits/veggies are safe choices. If you’ve got a cooler, you can also pack yogurts, boiled eggs, and cheese. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water. You need to stay hydrated!

It’s All About the Soundtrack

Before technology changed things, we used to be at the mercy of whatever was on the radio but, today, we have many options. If you’re happy with a sleeve full of your favorite CDs that’s great but, if not, a little preparation can create a truly magical experience.

Think about where you’re going on your trip and then create a fantastic playlist using your own digital music library or favorite streaming service. Include more songs than you need in case you want to skip something. Consider your mood and who you’ll be traveling with and then let the music move you. This might be the best part of your whole journey!

Take the Scenic Route

We are in such a rush to get where we want to go these days that we really don’t stop to enjoy our surroundings. If you’ve got the time, consider taking the road less traveled. The scenic route might have more to offer than picturesque landscape too.

For example, it might take you a little longer to get to your destination but it could be worth it to skip the heavy traffic and speed demons. You might even find hidden culinary gems off the beaten path. There may be fewer refueling options and rest areas so be sure to plan accordingly.

The warmer months are a great time to get out and explore the world around us. If you’ve got a road trip in the works, consider these suggestions as you plan your adventure. It will help take the guesswork out of the preparations and allow you to focus on the excitement. Happy trails!