There are two types of road trippers: those who plan and those who don’t. I wish I could be the spontaneous type and whisk myself away in the spur of the moment. However, I have learned that this doesn’t always end up well. Especially if it is 4th of July weekend. And I tried to find a hotel after 10 pm. Near Niagara Falls. On the PA Turnpike. Whoops! Therefore, this blog post is a guide for road trippers who love to plan. Read on for the top 15 road trip tips.
15 Road Trip Tips
1. Take care of your car
Get your car serviced. Buy AAA if you can afford it (it pays for itself). Clean your car. Bring a bag for your trash. Bring a spare key. Just please get AAA…Don’t end up like me. On the side of a mountain. With a shredded tire and dying cell phone. And a $90 cab ride to go buy my new tire.
2. Bring Cash
These days, people don’t typically carry cash but this is the time to do it. You will need it for toll roads, tips, and mom/pop shops.
3. Find your happy medium
Decide how much/little driving you want to do each day. I have found that 4 hours of driving leaves plenty of time to visit on each stop while also covering enough ground. We adjust this depending on our plans for the day and where we want to end up.
4. Get inspired with some road trip movie time
Vacation (the original) and the new Vacation. A Goofy Movie. <3 You’re Welcome!
5. Staying Healthy
Pack a cooler and healthy snacks like fruit and trail mix. Some hotels have gyms if you are extra motivated. Consider looking into local trail systems to stretch your legs. Bring appropriate toiletries. I also recommend applying those $3 face masks for a fresh face at the end of a long day.
6. Make a soundtrack
See my recommendations here! —> Vagabond RN’s Road Trip Playlist
7. Keep an itinerary
This doesn’t have to be absolute. However, I recommend having a destination in mind for the evening. We like to book our hotels ahead of time after the turnpike incident. But…hike your own hike!
Have an idea of how much you will spend and break it down each day depending on the activities you have planned. It is easy to over spend.
9. Hotel Advice
Embrace the questionably cheap hotels. Embrace the fancy spa resorts. We like to do both to have a well-rounded trip. Also, bed bugs don’t discriminate based on the price of your hotel room if that helps you sleep at night. Take advantage of free breakfast and coffee. Don’t use the duvet because the hotel probably never cleans it. Housekeepers work hard so tip them. Bonus points if you strip the bed sheets for them.
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Plan your trip on a real map and taking it with you to draw out your journey on paper. It is a tangible keepsake.
11. Apps and Websites
Find websites and apps that will help improve your experience. I like TripAdvisor.
12. Road games
Let’s face it. The road can be monotonous at times. There is the traditional license plate game. However, we like to play “Find the Weirdest Locale Name”. I won last time with Fishkill Creek. If you are feeling extra adventurous, do some geocaching.
13. Tell someone where you’ll be (in case you die)
Or worse. Take a wrong turn and end up lost in Florida. Just kidding! That is actually where we are going next.
14. Learn how the locals live
People watch. Pick up and read a local newspaper. Ask locals for advice on restaurants and things to do. Stay in an Airbnb once in awhile.
We have a minimalist lifestyle because we relocate often. We choose our souvenirs based on size and function so our go-to is the ever popular fridge magnet.
Wait! Don’t leave yet! Check out my road trip playlist!
Got some road trip tips? Let me know in the comments!
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