Your car may be gassed up and ready to go, but has it been serviced? You may have all the top attractions planned for each day, but what about each night’s accommodation? These tips and plenty more will help you achieve that cross-country road trip you’ve always dreamed of going on! Each tip comes with a useful website and a fun app that will get your road trip into the 21st century!
1. Mapping out Your Trek
The first thing you should do is plan exactly where you want to go and for how long. Although spontaneity is admired and even treasured in such a free-flowing environment like the open road, you’ll thank yourself later for planning and mapping out the routes you’ll take.
- roadtrippers.com (app)
This website (and app) is very useful in allowing you to create and plan your own road trip complete with the ability to sync your entire route onto your mobile device! And completely free!
- Navigon (app)
Although Navigon is steep in price, it’s abundant in useful tips and navigation abilities. A Garmin Brand, Navigon is a top quality navigation system for any mobile device you may have.
2. Budgeting Beforehand
In order to fully enjoy your trip, you’ll need to know exactly how much you can afford to spend (and splurge).
- Gasbuddy.com – With the convenience of their app, Gasbuddy calculates your trip’s cost in gas by showing you the cheapest places to fill up!
- Set aside vehicle expenses beforehand as well as during the trip. DIY car maintenance tips can be extremely helpful for those who are on a tight budget!
- Factor in funds for lodging, food, and sightseeing. More on that below!
3. Planning Attractions and Accommodations
- Priceline.com and Hotels.com are two great websites that offer incredible savings on hotel accommodations.
- Download LivingSocial and Groupon apps to find great deals on eateries.
- Roadside America is an ideal assistant to helping you get to where all the kitschy attractions are located! The world’s biggest ball of twine? The largest shoe house? Find all those crazy cool tourist traps with Roadside America’s app.
4. Music, Movies, Munchies, and More
With the technology today, listening to tunes on-the-go, as well as watching movies on the road, has never been easier! Gadgets to store your goodies is also worth the bucks to shell out for those munchies at any time of the day or night!
- Spotify, Pandora, and Audible help bring the sweet treats to your ears for those long expanses of road.
- If you have a Netflix account, you can easily download the free app onto any device and stream plenty of movies!
- When there’s not a city in sight and you have hungry passengers, it’s best to be prepared with snacks. Here are five must-haves for your snack pack:
- A big cooler – enough for one drink and one snack every two hours for each passenger.
- Cleaning supplies like paper towels and wet wipes.
- Grocery sacks for trash.
- Long lasting ice packs (better than melting ice or ice packs that melt in a short amount of time).
- The snacks! Here are some great road trip snacks!
5. Servicing and Vehicle Checklist
According to HowStuffWorks, here is a quick checklist of everything to maintenance and service before your big road trip:
- Oil change
- Battery check
- Brakes safety check
- Tire tread and pressure
- Spare tire and jack packed away in vehicle
- All belts and hoses are checked and serviced
- Windshield wipers are checked and replaced (if needed)
- Headlights and brake lights are cleaned and serviced
- Fluid levels check
Also, it’s important to be prepared for an emergency. You can create your own emergency kit that includes:
- Jumper Cables
- Flashlight (and plenty of batteries)
- Blankets and pillows
- First aid kit
- Bottled waters and nonperishable snacks
6. HAVE FUN!
Sometimes you don’t need technology to have a fun time on your road trip…here are some classic road trip games!
- I Spy
- 20 Questions
- The Alphabet Game
- Name that Tune
- Geography Alphabet Game
- License Plate Game (several variations) (even has an app)
No matter where you go, what you see, or who you’re with, road tripping can be exhausting and stressful (by the end), so be sure to get plenty of rest beforehand and a nice massage afterwards! Enjoy the sights and sounds!
Do you have a certain road trip tip? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!