We’re nearing the end of summer, but there’s still plenty of time to get a great road trip in.
The US is a massive country with lots of amazing people, bustling cities, and breathtaking nature. Sadly, most Americans will never get to see it in its entirety, but that doesn’t have to be you. If you’ve got an appetite for adventure, all you need to do is get in the car and start driving.
Today, we’re going to help you plan your adventure by giving you some road trip ideas and tips. Embarking on a road trip is exciting, but if you don’t plan well, that excitement will flip before you get to the next state. Let us get you started on the right track.
Table of Contents
Road Trip Snack Ideas
Let’s be honest, one of the best parts of going on road trips is being able to snack guilt-free on whatever you want. Be careful, however, because a long trip can really take a toll on your body if you’re not getting enough nutrients.
Fortunately, there are many healthy snack options these days and places to get them all over the place. It’s all too easy to fall into a routine of eating fast food, so make sure you stock up on lots of fruit and vegetables, sandwich materials, and trail mix when you go to the store.
Clean Your Vehicle At Every Opportunity
With lots of snacks floating around the vehicle, things are going to get pretty messy if you don’t make a habit of cleaning whenever you stop. It doesn’t matter if you’re on an RV road trip or in a compact car, you never want wrappers and crumbs in every nook and cranny.
This might seem like an obvious tip, but when you stop to get gas or go to the bathroom, find a garbage can and recycling bin and get rid of whatever you can. It’s never ideal to have to throw out recyclables or compostables, but it’s better than having them in the car with you.
Communicate With Your Fellow Travellers
No matter if you’re traveling with your spouse and children or some friends, you’ve got to have an open line of communication about pretty much everything. If one or two people prefer driving, they should let the group know. You should also plan out a few days in advance so you have a good idea of what you’re going to be doing and seeing, how fast you need to drive, and whether or not you need to book any accommodations.
Road trips always end up creating some interpersonal issues. After all, you’ll be spending many hours per day in a car together. However, keeping communication open will mitigate any lingering problems you might have with your fellow travelers.
Purchase Extra Data and Use Wifi When Possible
If you want to stream music and podcasts, look up fun facts, or make sure you’re going the right way, you should get some extra data on your phone plan. Road trippers over a certain age might know how to read a road map, but your phone’s GPS is much more convenient.
Most truck stops on major highways will have free Wifi, so prioritize all of your downloading and do it when you’re stopped. This should save you a bit of money on extra data.
Charging Your Phone
Speaking of your phone, you should always charge it overnight when you’re in hotels and make sure to get a car lighter charging port if you’ve got an older vehicle. There’s only so much charge to go around, so if you’re prone to staring at your phone during the longer, more boring drives, you might want to invest in a power bank.
Plan Your Sightseeing
To have a great road trip experience, you should plan out your days so that you’re not driving around aimlessly. Come up with something fun to do or see every day, even if you’re on your way to a specific faraway place.
The more you can get out of the car and wander around, the more you’ll keep your collective sanity. Besides, America is full of amazing attractions that you’ll never have to go too far out of the way.
Fill Up Frequently
The US is quite densely populated, but every now and then, you’ll end up on a remote stretch of highway with no gas stations around. To avoid getting stranded, you should not only be aware of what’s ahead, but just keep the car full of gas to be safe.
In places like West Texas, Colorado, or Nevada, you might go hours without seeing much in the way of gas. If you’re in one of these places, try not to let your vehicle go under half a tank.
Become Roadside Competent
You never know what can happen out on the road and when you’re car is more than a few years old, you could run into mechanical issues. We’re not saying you should be able to fix a transmission, that would obviously need professional help, but learning how to change a tire will relieve some anxiety in emergency situations.
Budget for Accommodations
When you leave for your road trip, you’ll probably have some idea of places you’ll want to stay, when you’ll stay in them, and the type of accommodations you’ll choose. Unexpected things come up on road trips, so make sure to keep some wiggle room in the budget for extra nights in hotels and motels.
One of the keys to a great time during a road trip is not overplanning. When you have a strict budget and timeline, it doesn’t leave much room for spontenaiety.
Call the Bank
Lastly, make sure to call your bank and let them know that you’ll be traveling and some abnormal charges will appear on your account. Banks and creditors are more diligent than ever about putting a hold on accounts that they think might be subject to fraud. Giving them a head’s up of where you’ll be and when will prevent any issues on the trip.
Coming Up With Road Trip Ideas
Now that you’ve got some road trip ideas and tips to think about, you can start planning your next trip. Going across America is one of the most rewarding trips you can take, so gather some of your closest friends and hit the open road. You won’t regret it.
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