Don’t limit your program experience to one city, try shaking things up with a fun road trip! Here’s a few tips to help you make the most out of it.
As I’ve settled into my new city and job and the initial excitement and anxiety of starting a new job began to fade, I was feeling gray again. I love the work I get to do in my office and I love the people that I get to work with but outside, I just couldn’t seem to escape the cloud that hung around me. The truly beautiful architecture and majestic monuments faded into the mundane as I passed them daily. Perhaps what I needed was a change of scenery, so one weekend, my friends and I took a trip to Boston to break the routine.
I’ll tell you a bit about our experience and give you some tips if you’d like to organize a road trip with your new intern friends too.
Find a suitable method of transportation
You need a car if you want to take a road trip. If someone in your group has a large enough vehicle, then good for you. If you’re all poor interns without a car like we were, check out your rental options. There are several rental services at Reagan airport just one metro-stop away! Look online for an automobile that fits everyone comfortably and be sure to set the return time to as late in the day as possible so you don’t have to worry about turning it in late.
Book a place to stay early
Don’t start your trip without knowing where you’re going to stay during your trip. Look online for a motel or hostel in the area you’re planning to go. The towns around the major cities often have very nice options at much more affordable prices than downtown. For our Boston trip, we stayed at a Motel 6 about 20 minutes outside the city.
Make an itinerary
To make the most out of your trip, you should have some idea of where you want to go and what you want to do. A good strategy to avoid wasting time is to create a google doc before your trip and have everyone contribute by adding landmarks, attractions, bars, and restaurants that seem interesting. As you look online for things to do, you may find a neat arcade bar, market center, or historic monument all within walking distance from each other. As we made our basic itinerary for our trip, we were better able to plan our activities each day.
Be flexible with plans
Just because you made an itinerary, doesn’t mean that you have to follow it to the letter. What if you stumble upon a cute tea shop, a Harry Potter themed bookstore, or a bar with a great deal on fresh oysters? There’s a lot of places to go and things to do but sometimes you have to explore a bit to find the real gems out there. Having flexibility with our plans enabled us to do a lot more in the places we visited.
Make a playlist for your drive
To make the long drive more fun, let everyone in your group add music to a playlist. You’re less likely to be bored when everyone’s music tastes are represented during your many hours on the road. Our very eclectic playlists featured all different genres, from Bollywood to Bjork!
Don’t be stupid
It’s good to have fun. While on your trip, be sure that you are representing yourself and your program positively! You’re an adult and you should act like it, be sure that everyone in your group is moderating themselves appropriately. Stay safe!
I hope these tips help you out. I highly recommend exploring outside of D.C., especially in the fall. The leaves are so pretty! Thanks and gig ‘em!