8 Tips For A Successful Road Trip
Today we are heading home from our trip in California. We wanted to share some expert road tripping tips with you since Cody and I have driven countless hours across the entire united states in teeny tiny cars, with a teeny tiny budget. From our experience, these tips are the most essential things to know when it comes to road trips. Whether you are road tripping with your significant other, bestie, or dog keep these 8 simple tips in mind!
FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH GAS YOU WILL NEED
One thing Cody and I do before every road trip is to figure out how much money we will need to spend on gas. Knowing a general amount will keep you at ease especially if you are on a tight budget. One of our favorite apps to use is _ it's really great because you enter in your car make and model, mileage, and your destination and it gives you an estimate of how much you will spend on gas, what your carbon footprint is, and also recommendations for gas station stops! I love it! This is especially important if you are sticking with a budget and if you are the planning type.
ADD AN EXTRA HOUR ON TOP OF WHAT YOUR GPS TELLS YOU
Every single time we go on a road trip we always add an extra hour because if you are driving 8+ hours in a car there will definitely be stops. Plan to make random stops because you see something cool! Plan for coffee runs and multiple bathroom breaks. An hour is usually right for us unless we take a big detour (which happens quite a bit) I highly recommend stopping for detours because those are where you find the most exciting stuff! As cliche as it sounds its not about the destination, it's about the journey you take to get there.
PACK HEALTHY SNACKS IN A COOLER
One thing people tend to do on the road is stopping at gas stations for food along the way. Gas stations can have some of the worst food choices. For me, most of those food choices cause a stomach ache and then I end up complaining to Cody in the car about how I need a tums or papaya enzyme. Don't make this mistake! Pack a cooler full of fresh cut veggies(easy to eat, think bell peppers, celery, carrots..), fruit salad, meal bars ( we love PRO BAR and KIND BARS), sandwiches. We love to just buy a loaf of bread and bring all the goodies to make our own sandwiches. Don't forget a butter knife or napkins/plates because we did that and hilariously had to use our Gerber knife to spread the mustard and a cosmopolitan magazine as a plate.
Packing your own snacks will help you save so much money! Think of how cheap it is to bring your own sandwich stuff, your own snacks! Plus you will overall feel so much better eating healthy food. Traveling in a car for long hours can really take a lot out of you so its best to fill up with food that gives you good energy.
USE GPS AND GET A ROADMAP
We bought a road atlas and just keep it in our car. There are times where you will not have service and may need to find a town nearby to get a tire change or something not so fun. We have not yet had to use it but Its so important to prepare yourself for anything that may happen. Driving without service can be scary at times. Also, one of our favorite apps to use for GPS is WAZE. It tells you about traffic up ahead, weird objects in the road, and notifies you of any sneaky cops hiding and waiting to give you a speeding ticket. Definitely, a must have for any road trip!
DONT OVERDO IT & LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Cody and I drove from Portland, Oregon to Austin Texas in two days. That is 32 hours of driving. We had a time constraint so it made it a little difficult. Cody was blasting AC in his face with the music loud..drinking red bull in the middle of the night while I tried to sleep. We don't recommend this because it can be just as dangerous to drive tired as it is to drive drunk. If you are tired pullover and take a nap. If your body is fighting sleep you sometimes just have to bite the bullet and let your body rest. Road trips surprisingly take a lot out of your body even though you are sitting still all day. Also, take a break at a rest stop. Find a nice one where you can have a picnic and make your sandwiches and go for a small walk around the area. Your legs will thank you for giving them a good stretch.
BRING MUSIC & BOOKS
Well, duh. My car stereo is broken so we had to improvise! We borrowed our friends music player and just set it in the dashboard and played our favorite Spotify playlist. Worked like a charm! I also love to read books and magazines. I'm currently reading Girl On A Train and WIld..and My favorite magazines are Cereal and Kinfolk, and we are hoping to create our own road trip mag later down the road.
PACK SOME BASIC NECESSITIES
Think toilet paper, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, nail clippers, a blanket, phone chargers, car adapter, a pillow, a multi-tool, lots and lots of water, oil for your car just in case, cash.all the things you may need just in case! ALSO for some reason road trips make you REALLY sweaty. Bring some deodorant, facial cleansing wipes ( I really like these ones), and hand sanitizer.You will feel so much better with a quick refresh There were many times I needed something and we had to stop and get it. Think and prepare ahead of time to save money. Buying things you already have is unnecessary
PREPARE FOR MISHAPS
Sometimes things don't go as planned but being prepared for those mishaps is crucial. Get AAA. Sometimes we don't pay attention and lock our keys in the car, sometimes tires go flat and we don't have a spare, sometimes cars just don't work the way you want them to. Make sure in your budget you include any car repairs that come up. It's nice to be prepared for an emergency especially when you are hundreds of miles away from home. Being prepared makes you ready for the best road trip of your life!