It's not quite summer, but if you’re like many Americans, that means it’s time to start dreaming about road trips! Before you hit the open road and explore the sights our expansive country has to offer, here are some tips, curated by
1. Make sure your vehicle is in tip top shape! Check ALL your fluids (not just your oil!) and make sure your tires are properly filled up and ready to roll. Make sure your lights and signals are in good working order, as well.
2. Prepare for the worst. Make sure you have a spare and that it’s in good condition. It’s a good idea to bring some extra oil along, as well as reflectors, flares, and a first aid kit. Double check to make sure you have proof of insurance in your vehicle to avoid an unnecessary ticket.
3. Pack light, pack layers. It’s a good idea to pack lot’s of the essentials — chiefly socks and undies — but don’t forget that you can always make a quick trip to the laundromat if you’re running low on clothes. Instead of packing several of everything, pack lot’s of layers so you’re prepared for any unexpected weather. We’re currently cruising through Southern Idaho, for example, and even though it’s August we’re driving through thunder storms and flooded streets!
4. Bringing along a cooler? We recommend freezing some water bottles with potable water to use as ice! They’ll last longer and create less of a mess than ice cubes, plus they’ll supply you with extra drinking water as they melt. If you’re visiting friends or family as you travel, you can always borrow some freezer space to freeze them again.
5. Pack your snacks. When you’re on the road it’s all too easy to succumb to fast-food billboards and unhealthy gas station snacks. If you think ahead and pack trail mix, fruits, veggies, and sandwich ingredients, you’ll stay healthier and save money. Bringing refillable waters bottle along can also help you stay hydrated without buying lot’s of plastic bottles or being temped to buy sugary fountain drinks.
6. Make your smartphone do the hard work for you. There are a plethora of apps you can download that will make traveling easier! Try GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas prices in your area, try iExit to get an idea of what a given freeway exit has to offer, try TripAdvisor when you’re looking for sights and attractions, and of course, use Yelp to find the best local coffee shops, restaurants, and bars.
7. Enjoy the ride! Remember to enjoy the journey just as much as the destinations. It’s easy to get stressed out about a tight itinerary, so give yourself some time to breathe, relax, and explore unplanned stops along the way!