Ever feel the urge to pack your bags, get in the car, and just drive? There are times in life when things just get so out of hand you feel like you’re going to explode. While you can’t always run from the drama, sometimes getting away by yourself can give you the perspective and clarity you need to overcome it all.

There are all types of options for getting away by yourself for a bit, however, there’s something truly healing about a solo road trip. Just you, your car, the open road, the fresh air, some great tunes, and some snacks and after a few days you’ll feel like an entirely different person. Below, are a few tips for planning the perfect therapeutic solo road trip:

Opt for a Relaxing Destination

The idea is to unwind. So, as you choose the ideal destination for your road trip, choose an area that is quiet, serene, and picturesque. A small beach, a bed and breakfast in a small town, a cozy cottage in the mountains, or a hotel with amenities like spa services and jacuzzis are ideal for tuning out the rest of the world and just being at peace with yourself. As you select your destination, you should also keep in mind that you’re the only driver. Therefore, if you’re not used to driving far it is best to choose a close location.

Take the Scenic Routes

You don’t have to worry about the kids in the back seat asking if you’ve arrived at your destination yet so why not take the longer routes? This is all about you and your mental wellbeing. As you drive down the less-taken roads you’ll find beautiful scenery from farmhouses and animals to wildflowers and trees. With the windows down and the fresh air moving through your hair you’ll feel relaxed on the road.

Prep Your Car

A reliable vehicle is mandatory for a successful road trip. If you’re taking your own car, schedule an appointment for maintenance. Your mechanic should inflate and rotate your tires, check your oil, change air filters, and inspect for any leaks or other mechanical issues that could cause a problem. Once the car has been given the stamp of approval, all that’s left to do is fuel up. It’s best to do this in advance so you’re not searching for gas stations just a few minutes into your trip. If you have an electric car and an ev charging station installation, plug your ride in the night before to make sure you’re ready to go.

Create a Great Music Playlist

When you’re out on the open road, there’s nothing like a good tune to lift your spirits. Keeping with the theme of a therapeutic road trip, create a music playlist that includes songs that are uplifting and positive to boost your mood.

If you’re really into improving your life you might pack a few audiobooks for the drive. Some books with positive messages about self-improvement can really help you think and redirect your life.

Plan Some Outdoor Activities

Being outdoors is very therapeutic. The fresh air helps to clear your lungs while the warmth of the sun improves your mood. When planning things to do on your solo road trip, consider outdoor activities. Taking a hike through a trail in a state park, going swimming in the ocean, canoeing on a gentle river, or walking through beautiful botanical gardens are all enlightening ways to enjoy nature.

Pack Healthy Snacks

What’s a road trip without some snacks to keep you energized? Instead of spending all of your money on junk food that slows you down, bring some healthy snacks with you. There are lots of healthy but delicious things you can pack like yogurt, veggies and dip, turkey and cheese sandwiches, or a nice fruit salad.

Ditch the Technology

You may want your smartphone to keep in touch, use as a GPS, and take photos while you’re away but all other electronics should be left at home. This solo road trip is supposed to be therapeutic providing you with time away from things that cause stress and anxiety. Instead of bringing a laptop or tablet, unplug and bring some books or puzzles for entertainment at your hotel. You can also consider this a great time for some pampering by bringing a bubble bath, candles, and a little bottle of bubbly for later.

Sometimes you have to turn off and tune out to get through life. When you’re feeling like you’re overwhelmed emotionally, consider taking a few days off for a solo road trip. The time alone allows you the opportunity to tap into things you enjoy, care for yourself, relax, unwind, and be free. So, use the above-mentioned tips to plan the perfect therapeutic solo road trip.


  • Gordon Brown

    The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design.

    The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design.