10 Must-Do Road Trip Tips

Getting ready for your family’s next big road trip? Here are some timeless tips to make your journey smoother:

1.) Leave extra room when you pack. Between the brochures and souvenirs, you’ll need the extra space. Plus, if you forget something you’ll need to be able to have room to pack the replacement you purchased for the trip home.

2.) Eat local. Talk to people in the area- a barista, the gas station attendant, the concierge. They’ll have ideas of locally owned, unique, must-visit restaurants that may not make the tourist websites.

3.) Plan your gas station trips ahead of time. To get the best prices, consult the Gas Buddy app or use handy knowledge from previous travelers. You can usually count on California, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Maine, Indiana, Michigan, Alaska, and Illinois to have the highest prices.

4.) Add time into your trip to explore off-the-highway points of interest. Maybe it’s a state park. Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon a historic site. Either way, you’ll want time in your schedule to explore. It’s also a great way to get kid travelers a bit of time to get all their energy out.

5.) Pack a small, “at my feet” bag for the front passenger seat. It’s helpful to have a few essentials on hand like headache relief medicine, tissues, snacks, a hairbrush or comb, sunglasses case, microfiber cloth, wet wipes, and a small first aid kit.      

6.)  Figure out how the infotainment system works before you set off. Whether you borrow or rent a car for a road trip, spending a few minutes getting familiar with the touch screen, center console, and steering wheel controls will save you aggravation and allow you to keep your eyes on the road more.

7.) Get on Twitter. Creating a “Road Trip” list of connections to follow, such as the local news stations, will allow you to be more in touch with what is going on in the community. Also make sure you follow the local traffic reporters, CVBs, and your accommodation destinations.

8.)  Check your facts. Sure, you know where you’re going, but does your family? We always let other family members know what route we’re taking just in case. We also let a family member know when we’re leaving and when we’re expecting to arrive.

9.) Make sure the kid passengers know their contact essentials- home address, phone number, mommy/daddy’s first and last name. Should there be an emergency, a little easy preparation can go a long way.

10.)  Relax. If you’ve planned well, you should be enjoying your road trip instead of worrying about it. Roll with the punches. You’ll get stuck in traffic. There will always be construction projects. Remember- this is vacation!

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