How To Get Back On the Road

July 26, 2023

I learned a new word recently — a hodophile is one of many words used to describe someone who loves to travel.

There are countless reasons why one might feel the pull of the open road, including the desire to meet new people, experiment with farflung cuisines, explore a different place, experience an unfamiliar culture or just to get outside and relax. Rachael Levitt at Fodor’s describes the natural excitement of possibility that comes with travel:

“There’s that golden time between making a decision to go somewhere and executing it that is full of magic and wonder. The space between the steadfast decision to do something and the actual doing, offers unbridled possibilities and creates a space for daydreaming.”

The true hodophiles among us, like Rachael, have had it rough for the last few years. Travel options have been severely limited or sometimes non-existent and restrictions are still constantly changing. But with many of those restrictions lifting this year, travel is once again looking mostly like it used to.

The Big TripIf you’re like most Americans, you’re probably traveling at least as much as you did last year — by the numbers, almost half of you will actually be getting out there even more.

So in the height of summer and with travel once again on everyone’s mind, let’s go on a little adventure of our own. Let’s explore some of the ways people travel and how you can help prepare them for the trip, wherever it’s taking them.

The Big Trip

One thing hasn’t changed much – cross-country or international travel often requires getting on a plane, which means figuring out what to pack and how to make it all fit is always a challenge. How you pack has a very real effect on how much your trip costs and how long you’re waiting in line at the airport, with most airlines allowing for a free carry-on bag while charging extra for each piece of checked luggage. Decisions, decisions!

Finding the right set of bags often depends on what you need to pack. The Downtown Tote from OGIO® can work as a free personal item to hold the essentials, while the Vault acts as a specific organizer, keeping smaller items like power cords, memory cards and charging bricks in one handy place. Meanwhile the Passage Wheeled Carry-On Duffel can carry enough for several days away while being small enough to be a convenient companion throughout the journey. When more space is needed, the Passage Checked Duffel is a more expansive take on the same idea.

The Road TripThe right bag choices can take the stress out of a lengthy trip, meaning travelers can get to the fun part faster.

The Road Trip

When your chosen mode of transportation is on the ground, options can get more creative, and more complicated. After all, it’s often the case that a road trip is less about where you’re going than experiencing the joy of the journey itself.

“Aside from giving you a chance to immerse yourself in landscapes, they also give you a chance to see the human side of new places…These drives can be a destination in their own right — even a good enough reason to go to a place entirely.”

Preparing for a road trip is less of an exercise in luggage Tetris, but involves more thought about what you might need with you when the closest gas station is 60 miles down the road. Putting together a go-bag with some clothes, a variety of snacks, a change of shoes, something to drink and maybe some reading material…that should cover it, right? Throw it in the back and let’s go.

With this more relaxed approach in mind, rugged and flexible duffels and backpacks are ideal. Carhartt’s Foundry Duffel and Dual-Compartment Backpack are perfect for carrying bigger loads. The Ripstop Backpack is a more compact option, and a crossbody Zip Bag can be taken with you anywhere on your journey.

The Micro-Trip

The Micro-Trip

The idea of becoming a tourist in your own city became popular during the pandemic, but it still offers its own unique pleasures, including learning something new about the place you call home or meeting people you might not normally run into otherwise. “Staying curious can lift your spirits during difficult times…You may feel like you know your city inside and out – but trust me, there’s always something new to learn.”

These micro-vacations can offer a new perspective to a familiar place. Walk slowly along a route you normally speed by in your car, try out the touristy restaurant most of the locals shun or visit that out-of-the-way viewpoint that you keep meaning to check out. Letting your curiosity guide you to new discoveries is the key to getting the most out of a vacation like this.

Since home is close, you can pack light for these short trips. Recycled totes and backpacks are comfortable and versatile options to carry the basics, like snacks or comfortable shoes, while a sturdy tote cooler means you can carry food and drink to turn a walk into a surprise picnic.

Next month we’ll be looking ahead to my favorite season of the year and exploring how engaging our senses is defining what we do, how we get there and of course, what we wear. Until then, whether the journey ahead takes you across the world or to the local park, I hope all you hodophiles have a chance to get out there and enjoy the adventure.