Travel: 16 Road Trip Tips

Travel: Road Trip TipsGrowing 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.

Route Tips:

  • 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.

Driving Tips:

  • 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!

Packing Tips:

  • 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!


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