Handy Tips for Long Road Trips

There’s nothing like a great road trip to bring all different kinds of people together. Whether its family, friends, significant others, or classmates, you’re bound to learn something new about your co-pilot while spending many hours with them in the car. We think road trips always end up being a great time, no matter who you’re with, but there are certainly a few tips you can rely on to ensure the best experience possible. Here are some of our top handy tips for long road trips.

1. Clean your car both before and during the trip. No one likes to spend hours surrounded by trash and mysterious smells, so get a thorough, detailed clean before you take off on your journey. Then, throughout the trip, designate on plastic grocery bag as the trash bag, and make sure everyone is putting all waste in there. Dump it at every stop, and you’ll never have to worry about odors, stickiness or mess!

2. Consider purchasing a satellite radio subscription, or bring plenty of CDs. If your road trip may take you on highways you aren’t as familiar with, your trusty FM radio can go out at any time, leaving you in silence with your car-mates. Aside from the music, you’ll want a radio to give you updates on traffic information like congestion, accidents and closures if you’re in an area you aren’t familiar with. Finally, curate a good collection of old CDs and cassettes to jam out to commercial-free!

3. Sign up for a roadside assistance service. You may think you know all there is to know about car mechanics, but when it comes to making sure an entire car-full of people are safe, you better call in a professional. Plenty of services exists for a reasonable monthly price, that will do things like change a tire, get into a locked car, and help with accident assistance. When the unexpected hits, you want to be prepared!

4. Pick one weird thing you’ll always make a stop for when you pass it – something like “world’s largest” or “the only existing” or anything to do with a ghost or alien sighting – chose what your roadmates think would be fun, and stick to it! World’s largest acorn up ahead? Better pull over. The nation’s only giant purple banana five miles away? Fit in the detour. Small adventures like these will add a little fun to a long trip.

5. Carry cash on you at all times. When traveling throughout the U.S., you can’t ever be sure what places will not accept credit cards, and you don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you’re stranded simply because you didn’t have paper money. You’re also likely to pass a few tolls, which almost always take cash-only.

6. Play road games! Our sister blog, Adventure Student Travel, has a great list of road games to pass the time, but remember you can make up your own as you go along as well!

7. Our last tip is maybe the most important, considering you’re going to be making a lot of stops for food – only eat at local restaurants, and ask a gas station attendant where the best one is! One of the best ways to experience a new town is to learn where they love to get their grub on, so pass the fast food chains and average restaurants for that weird diner or sandwich shop that the town swears is the best in the country.