How to Road Trip Like a Gilmore Girl

(Images and characters owned by Warner Bros. & Amy Sherman-Palladino)

gilmore-lost-2I know we’re all anxiously awaiting the Gilmore Girls return and counting down the days until November.  Maybe a spontaneous road trip will make the wait go by a little faster? Maybe not. Either way, here are a few tips for setting out and hitting the road in true Gilmore Girl fashion!

Have a general idea where you’re going, but also let the road surprise you

gilmore-almost-thereThe best trips I’ve ever taken never needed a plan. You know how many days you have, how many tanks of gas you can afford; maybe you’re going point to point, on a move or business trip. Having a general idea of what you want to do without the step-by-step itinerary can be a wonderful way to explore new areas. It frees you up to embrace spontaneity. “Hey look, this band is playing tomorrow.” “I’ve always wanted to see the world’s tallest (insert random object here)! Look we’re only an hour away!”  The best rides are about freedom, exploring, and finding parts of yourself that maybe you haven’t seen in a while. Embrace the unknown, take a map, and open up. Because wherever you go, you’re “almost there and nowhere near it.” Enjoy!

Hit Every “Hayden’s Nut House” You See


Road food is the best. Nobody knows that better than world-class eaters Lorelai and Rory.  Eating local can give you a unique view of the town. It’s a chance to sample the local artisans, grab some healthier treats than those at the quiki-mart, and give yourself a much needed break before the cabin fever sets in.

Bring Paper Maps


I love paper maps (Thank god for the free one’s from AAA). Rory can vouch for me. Though, I’m sure today she’d have WAZE or some other up-to-date navigation app guiding her, but I’ll stick with my paper for the exploring and planning stages (then I run it through the app). There’s just something about the finite space and scale of a good map. It’s consistent, reliable, and doesn’t need reception to work. Never leave home without it.

Go somewhere that inspires you!


Whether its your dream school, a cultural museum, historical landmark, or gorgeous view, find somewhere that inspires and touches you. Road trips are a chance to get out of your routine, space, and head. Take advantage of it. Let your imagination run wild and open yourself up to the possibility of more.

Don’t Forget the AC/DC

gilmore-tunes    While Lorelai might have spaced, make sure to never forger your tunes. Make a playlist, burn a cd, download an audiobook or two, but make sure there’s something to break up the silence. Whether you want to rock out, or cruise with some introspection, find the mix that’s right for you (Also see our 62 Of the Best Road Trips Songs Post for suggestions!).

Get an Early Start


“5ish…more like 6ish” “Shoot for 5ish!” Get out early! Grab some coffee & hit the road. An early start makes the day move much more smoothly and leaves more daylight hours for exploring.  Use those fringe hours for pushing past the familiar and in to new territories. You’ll thank yourself later in the day. It also gives you the option of stopping earlier if you want to enjoying whatever activities the local B&B has to offer.

Pack for all Contingencies

gilmore infintile.jpg“Light layers!” in the spirit of spontaneity with just a hint of boy-scoutiness, pack for all contingencies. Grab that extra sweater or pair of boots, who knows if you’ll be caught in a blizzard on Crater Lake in the middle of June (More on that story later)  or find yourself near a pristine lake just begging for a cannonball. Be comfortable. Be prepared!

Eat Healthy

gilmore healthy.jpg

“There was lettuce essence on our burgers?” Is probably one of my favorite lines of the entire series. While the girls definitely weren’t know for their healthy eating or fit lifestyles, it doesn’t mean they didn’t try. Right? Who am I kidding, it’s a road trip. Road food. Go for it! Live a little. Just maybe throw in an actual vegetable every once in awhile.


Last, but not least: Never have a fight in a flowery bedroom with a bunch of Boston dentists singing Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves in the background. It’s too David Lynch.

Whether it’s a week or a weekend, get out there and have some fun! Or stay in and re-binge the first six seasons of Gilmore Girls, either way I hope you have an amazing time and have enjoyed our list. Feel free to add your favorite Road Trip Gilmore-isms in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! Driving in Cars Without Boys the Book is Coming October 18th!


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