The Great American road trip has always been a thing of beauty; a moment in time more attractive than any other; a means of wanderlust that allows you to leave your worries behind as you point your bonnet toward Nowhere-Ville and chew up the tarmac with hair blowing anyway it likes and a giant smile etched into your face.
It’s what Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper and all that life-loving lot were obsessed with; chasing a world of endless possibilities, people to meet, places to explore and horizons that seemed to be painted gold. It was a romance like no other, enjoyed that much more because of the jazz-inspired soundtrack and style of the day.
But somewhere between Kerouac’s America and now, the Great American road trip lost its magic. It lost what made it so cool, so freeing, so adventurous and off the cuff. It became tame and that’s not what road tripping is meant to be, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Thankfully, the savior is here - Instagram. Yup. For all it’s flaws, duck faces and pointless photos of dinners, Instagram has brought back this sense of style. It’s made style cool again, which is great news for the road trip because traveling was always about the way it looked as much as anything.
So, without further ado, here is your essential guide to making your next road trip as Insta-worthy as possible. Yeehaw.
1. Never Stop Being Stylish
When it comes to traveling, the big temptation is sacrificing style in favor of comfort. Even if that means wearing clothes that are ultra-super-casual behind the scenes and then slipping into something way more stylish when the Instagram-op shows its face. But that’s not the way road trips work. They are unpredictable by their very nature, where every corner throws up another breathtaking moment to capture, which is why you need to be looking incredible all the time. The answer, find an outfit that is both stylish and comfy (but mainly stylish). After all, no one is going to ‘like’ a photo of you at the Grand Canyon wearing those weird sock-Crocs and an Adidas tracksuit.
2. The Motor Matters A Lot
When it comes to setting the tone of your trip, nothing matters more than the car you settle on. You want something that offers so many miles per gallon you don’t care about the fuel usage, something so utterly cool it will have people slow down just to wave at you and something that will ensure there is never a dull moment. Of course, if you’re going on a hell of a long trip (say the entire West Coast), we’d say it’s wise to weigh up your lease options and pick a car that’s as reliable as it is pretty. If, however, you’re leaping on a relatively low-mileage adventure, pick a piece of vintage beauty - a convertible Mustang, an old Jaguar, a Ford Country Squire or even a Land Rover. Have a cool car to pose on - and from - and you’ll have the most Insta-worthy road trip under your belt.
3. Less Luggage, More Shopping
Forget algebra, rocket science and trying to understand the Scottish accent - the hardest thing on earth is trying to pack light. Our advice: pick up your smallest bag, pack it, pour everything out and then take half of that. Road trips are a lot like vacations in that you’ll end up wearing one or two things for most of it, so only pack the pieces you love and worship and trust with your life. We know this will make you feel uneasy, but that feeling will disappear pretty quickly as you start to pick up stuff along the way. The trick is having the basic pieces in your trunk from the outset and then adding specific items as you stop in different towns. Just think. From this day on, every time you pull on a piece bought on a road trip adventure, you’ll get to smile at the memories.
4. New Items Look Lived-In
Don’t ask us why, but new items lack the charm that our more favorite pieces have. It’s like there’s a magic hidden in the lived-in look, which is why you should use your next road trip as a chance to break-in some new bits and bobs. It could be a pair of new boots, some raw denim, light trouser suit or anything you want. You’ll get that two-year-old charm in two-weeks on the road and that’s what will make you love your new pieces that much more.
5. Don’t Stop Making An Effort
The moment you step into a car, turn on the engine and feel the wheels make their first full-rotation, it can be too tempting to go full-on hippy. But a road trip is no excuse to stop making an effort. Quite the contrary. Things like facial cleansing wipes, dry shampoo, trail soap and a delicious perfume you’ve never worn before. These are all essentials and not backseat-just-out-of-reach essentials, we mean in the glove box essentials. Oh, and the reason for a new perfume is simple: pairing your trip with a scent is a surefire way to live these memories over and over again. For the rest of your life, every time you catch a whiff of that scent, you’ll be transported back. It’s just like mama’s cooking.
6. Pick A Filter And Run With It
When it comes to Instagramming your road trip, nothing is going to make this feel like a story more than having one filter to wrap around each image. It will create that sense of continuity that people will associate with this trip every time they catch a glimpse of your photos. It will give your adventure a sort of branding. It will up your Insta-game in ways you never knew possible until you finally look back on your documented drive time a couple of weeks after you make it to your destination. There is a time in every girls Insta-life where they made their profile more professional and it usually starts with a one-filter exploit.
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