5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Road Trip

by Maryrose Mullen

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Road Trip

by Maryrose Mullen

With road trip season upon us, we're ready to let the good times roll – but not before reviewing these essentials before putting the pedal to the metal.

With road trip season upon us, we're ready to let the good times roll – but not before reviewing these essentials before putting the pedal to the metal.

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Road trip / iStock / rawpixel
Travel savings
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Know Your Costs

Driving is often a cheaper alternative to other means of travel. Figuring out the cost of your trip beforehand is a great way to keep the dent in your wallet minimal. It’s also wise to look up gas stations (avoid stops near airports and urban areas, where the prices tend to be higher) on your route ahead of time to find the ones with the lowest prices, and pack plenty of snacks to avoid splurging on junk along the way.

Driving is often a cheaper alternative to other means of travel. Figuring out the cost of your trip beforehand is a great way to keep the dent in your wallet minimal. It’s also wise to look up gas stations (avoid stops near airports and urban areas, where the prices tend to be higher) on your route ahead of time to find the ones with the lowest prices, and pack plenty of snacks to avoid splurging on junk along the way.

Turning music up
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Make a Solid Playlist (or Two)

Radio and cellphone reception can get spotty, so it’s good to have your music ready to go beforehand. Make a playlist that’s about the same length of time as the drive, and load it with power ballads, crooning boy bands, and anything else that will keep your energy up. For variety, make a separate playlist for each leg of the trip. 

Radio and cellphone reception can get spotty, so it’s good to have your music ready to go beforehand. Make a playlist that’s about the same length of time as the drive, and load it with power ballads, crooning boy bands, and anything else that will keep your energy up. For variety, make a separate playlist for each leg of the trip. 

Road Sign
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Reset the Trip Meter

A lengthy trip can be tedious, and it’s hard to take pride in the miles you’ve already covered when you’ve still got a whopping seven hours to go. Break up the drive into smaller increments by resetting your car’s trip meter every hundred miles or so. Each time you hit a certain mile marker, it will feel like a small victory.

A lengthy trip can be tedious, and it’s hard to take pride in the miles you’ve already covered when you’ve still got a whopping seven hours to go. Break up the drive into smaller increments by resetting your car’s trip meter every hundred miles or so. Each time you hit a certain mile marker, it will feel like a small victory.

Rest area
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Plan Stops

You’re eager to get to your destination, sure, but that’s no reason to speed past your surroundings. Don’t waste your break on a random highway rest stop. Stretch your legs at an interesting landmark or site you looked up before departing. Take advantage of your time in a new state: Explore a small town, visit a lesser-known monument, or drive an hour out of your way for the best-fried chicken in the world.

You’re eager to get to your destination, sure, but that’s no reason to speed past your surroundings. Don’t waste your break on a random highway rest stop. Stretch your legs at an interesting landmark or site you looked up before departing. Take advantage of your time in a new state: Explore a small town, visit a lesser-known monument, or drive an hour out of your way for the best-fried chicken in the world.

Highway Traffic
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Avoid Big Highways

Major highways are the most efficient means of road tripping, but half the fun is in the journey. Using smaller roadways may yield more fascinating sights, and give you a better taste of the local life. If you’re feeling adventurous, set your GPS to “avoid highways” and see where you end up. (This option can be risky, especially if you haven’t updated your system in a while. You might get a scenic romp through a national park; you might wind up precariously balanced on top of a mountain.) While it’s a good idea to download travel apps, it’s just as smart to keep a paper map on hand, just in case. Taking smaller highways may tack on some extra time, but the trip will be that much more memorable because of it.

Major highways are the most efficient means of road tripping, but half the fun is in the journey. Using smaller roadways may yield more fascinating sights, and give you a better taste of the local life. If you’re feeling adventurous, set your GPS to “avoid highways” and see where you end up. (This option can be risky, especially if you haven’t updated your system in a while. You might get a scenic romp through a national park; you might wind up precariously balanced on top of a mountain.) While it’s a good idea to download travel apps, it’s just as smart to keep a paper map on hand, just in case. Taking smaller highways may tack on some extra time, but the trip will be that much more memorable because of it.

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