Growing up, my family would take yearly road trip vacations to new places near and far. Ranging from a close drive to Big Sur to longer drives to Yellowstone National Park. And driving up and down the California coast my entire life, I’ve picked up quite a few road trip tips along the way. I thought I’d share some of them with you all today!
General Road Trip Tips:
- Have a plan, but be flexible with it. Check out Roadtrippers for stops and ideas.
- have a killer playlist or a couple of audiobooks (audible) on deck
- make sure your car is up to date with oil changes, tune-ups, etc. You don’t want it breaking down in the middle of nowhere or the check engine light turning on across the state from your trusted mechanic.
- Have a backup plan. Construction can create detours. You may hate the city you thought you’d spend a couple of days at. Or you may love the one that was only a few hours rest stop.
- Go off the beaten path occasionally. Did you see Cars? You miss some small town charm by sticking to the five-lane highway that completely bypasses it.
- You may encounter tolls, so be sure to have some cash (especially small bills) handy.
- Prep for the unexpected. Brush up on how to drive in different terrain (snow, dirt roads, flooded, etc.). Do you know what to do if you are hydroplaning?
- Know some car basics. Like how to jump-start your car (keep this handy printout in your glove compartment) or how to change a tire. Or be a member of a roadside assistance company.
- Did you know that exit numbers on the highway can let you know if the exit will be to the left or right? I didn’t either until I saw this!
- Pack a physical map because sometimes technology can fail you
- Pack light, but not so light because you’re not limited to a carry-on suitcase, you have an entire car!
- You may take spontaneous detours so pack some items for any occasion i.e. swimsuit, fancy dress, appropriate gear for a hike, etc.
- Don’t forget the snacks and drinks! Maybe pack them in a cooler so they’re nice and cold for ya.
- Always have an emergency kit in your car. I like Mom with a Prep’s list because it hits all the essentials and then some.
Technology is Wonderful!
- Fill up on the cheapest gas using GasBuddy
- Get around the traffic with Waze
I’ve been wanted to take a cross-country road trip for the past few years, but never found the time or other travel buddies to join me. But ever since my solo trip to Europe, I’ve decided I shouldn’t wait around for schedules to align. Instead, I think I’ll start planning a trip for this summer on my own!