How to Survive a Road Trip (a guide for tea lovers)

Those of you who love tea and need a regular dosage daily (in fact, several times per day) know the trials and tribulations of a road trip. That trip can be a nightmare without tea. You can survive, though, and here’s how:

One of these will keep your inner tea drinker satisfied! (ETS image)
One of these will keep your inner tea drinker satisfied! (ETS image)

Planning Ahead

Lots of things go better when you do a little planning ahead. Just as you plan your trip route, where you’ll stop overnight, what sights you’ll take a detour to see, where the rest stops are, etc., you need to plan your tea breaks. This will include which teas to bring with you, what form they should be in (sample-size pouches of loose leaf teas, a small box of your favorite bagged tea, or some travel-ready teas in small packets or even those K-cups), something to steep them in (if you don’t want to get stuck having to use whatever is available at the rest stops you encounter), and maybe even something that will heat the water, such as a small travel electric teapot. You might also want to identify good tea shops or tea rooms to stop at on your trip.

Packing Carefully

A travel mug, gaiwan, or other steeping vessel is quite likely breakable, so pack these things with care in something that you can access fairly easily on your road trip. My personal experience has shown that digging into a suitcase just isn’t practical when at one of those rest stops. Have a special carry pack for these things, with room for the tea, any special implements needed, any additives such a your choice of sweetener, and that electric teapot. Be sure they have some cushioning and are in an area of your vehicle that is not too hot or cold or likely to get kicked or fall out when you open a door.

Preparing for Contingencies

Roads wash out. Cars break down. And so on. Be ready. When your 11 AM buzzer goes off for that “Elevenses” tea time, as the British call it (to me it’s the “after-mid-morning-snack-but-before-lunch-tea-time”), or the 4 PM buzzer goes off for “Afternoon Tea,” and you’re still sitting in that traffic jam because you didn’t figure on arriving in that big city during the rush hour, you’ll be fine if you prepared a thermos of tea before leaving that last rest stop.

Practicing Road Trip Maneuvers

Let’s face it – fixing tea while on the road is quite different from fixing tea at home. You will need to practice a bit. Even weddings get a rehearsal. So why not rehearse how to fix tea while on that road trip? Go to a local gas station that has the facilities similar to those rest stops. Most have hot water spigots and space for you to prepare your special tea just the way you like it. If you have a cell phone with a timer app, you can use that. Otherwise, you might include a timer in your array of tea implements.

Wishing you a successful road trip full of great tea experiences.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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