Ruedi Road trip snow coloradoEnthusiastic adventurists who have taken camping to be their passion strongly believe that traveling cross-country on a road trip can not only be thrilling, but you can get the best out of a variety of activities.

And what’s not to enjoy?

As long as you take care of your vehicle, the open road is yours to explore vast wheat fields, breathtaking mountains and, of course, wondrous sites such as the St. Louis Missouri’s Gateway Arch.  

The vehicle stays fine (most of the time) and sometimes you even get to see the harsh beauty of the environment providing you’re driving in bad weather from the comfort of your car.  Another way to do this, if you’re looking to save money on hotel stays, would be through caravanning.  But if you are not well versed in driving in bad weather, you could easily get stuck in a bad situation.  Luckily there are companies who offer valuable tips and tricks when driving and/or caravanning in bad weather.

But what are some of the things to keep in mind providing you need information now to help you on your next road trip?  Take a look at my 9 essential tips below to get your journey off on the right foot (even if it’s not so sunny outside)! 😉

9 Tips for Your Next Road Trip…

  • Keep a Full Tank of Gas – When driving long distances (especially across the country where you’ll be coming across vast deserts and lone mountain roads) it’s essential that you keep a full tank of gas, whenever possible.  The reasons why are obvious…a good day isn’t exactly spelt out as being stranded on the side of the road when it’s over 100 degrees fahrenheit outside.

  • Map out your Route & Plan Ahead – Sure, I enjoy doing things at the last minute and going on a whim just like anyone else does.  However, I found that you should at least have a general route planned out to ensure you get the most out of your road trip.  Look up exciting destinations, theme parks or simply plan to visit with friends & family. This will both save you valuable time and money; especially if you’re on a budget.

  • Eat at Local Establishments and/or Make Your Own Food – Eating at local establishment, restaurants and street vendors is a great way to get to know the local culture.  The food is usually cheaper and the locals can be a bit more flexible than eating at a chain restaurant or fast food joint.  If you happen to be on a really tight budget, it’s always a good idea to simply make your on food as you go by purchasing local products at the grocery store or farmers market.

  • Lodge w/ Friends & Family – Going hand-in-hand with planning out your route, it’s also smart to try and plan your route around locations that your friends & family members are located across the country.  During my various road trips across North America, I had planned to stay with them.  This not only strengthens your relationships, but saves you money as well.  

  • Keep the Locals in Mind – Once you plan out your trip and discover that you don’t have any relations in certain cities, then look through various methods to contact locals.  Sites such as Couchsurfing and Air BnB not only give you discounted and free lodging, but you stay with people who live in the city you’re visiting.  I actually wrote a blog post about how to meet locals while traveling.  After all, what better way to get to know a place than through the eyes of a local.

  • Carry lots of Water – Water bottles, jugs, coolers and water tanks are big recommendations of mine while traveling.  It only took me one time to realize how serious a situation can get if you don’t have the essentials to keep you alive.  This not only helps you, but can help your vehicle as well.  If your car gets overheated, a gallon of water and be just enough to cool it off and get you to the next town.

  • Consider your Parking Spot – When you leave your vehicle, keep in mind the different locations of where you parked.  Cities like Clearwater Beach & Orlando are well known for overcharging the unknown tourist for a parking spot (sometimes upwards of $30 for the day)!  If you look for local restaurants or stores, providing you purchased a product (like a bottle of water) they’ll usually let you park there all day for free since you were the customer.  Some other great locations to park for free would be grocery store parking lots, parks or even at hotels.

  • Have Good Car Insurance – This is an important aspect when you are pondering on how to protect yourself & your vehicle from natural and manmade accidents.  A decent insurance plan can cover all the unwanted occurrences that might cause damage to your vehicle because the last thing you’ll want to worry about during your trip is forking out $5K to a rental car company for damages someone else caused!

These are just some of the tips that can help you to overcome obstacles during your cross country road trip.  However, the best options for going on a road trip is to simply wait until the weather clears up…even if it does put you off by a few days! 🙂

What are some things you keep in mind while driving long distances?