Since the 1950s, road tripping has been as much of an American pastime as hot dogs and baseball games. In fact, with the rising costs of airline travel, more and more families are taking to four wheels and hitting the wide open road to seek new adventures. If you want to make some memories that will last a lifetime, follow these tips for a trip you’ll want to recreate every year.
It Isn’t the Destination: It’s the Journey
This old adage can certainly hold true to your road trips when you have a grand total of eleven historic and breathtakingly beautiful routes to travel. Travel the historic Appalachian Trail and soak in these majestic mountains rich with geological wonders. If you have a lot of time on your hands, take the Border to Border route, a scenic journey that takes you from the border of Canada and through the mountainous western states to your final destination of Nogales, Arizona. Kick off your journey with Tim Horton’s in Canada and finish it up with a crisp margarita in Mexico. Don’t forget your passport!
Save Your Sanity with Technology
Save that Rand McNally for the scrapbook and load up your smart phones with the latest in road trip-savvy apps. A definite must-have is GasBuddy so you can find the cheapest gas in the area and save some extra cash for your gas station snacks. The Goby app will let you search for nearby options in almost anything: food, entertainment, even hiking. It will sort the results by location, price, or date so you have an up-to-date list of what’s going on in the middle of Iowa. Keep a bookmarked list on your phone or tablet for important sites like car rentals, car repair places, and emergency services for those emergencies when you don’t have cell data.
Find Some Unorthodox Accommodations
Skip the adventure of staying in a hotel with mystery stains on the sheets and try Couch Surfing. Friendly faces from almost every city in the world offer up their couch, futon, or spare bedroom for weary travelers. Most hosts want guests who only stay one night so they don’t mind fast moving road trippers breezing through. This is a great way to meet new faces and be introduced to some local haunts you might not otherwise know about.
Consider Vehicle Rentals
Rather than putting potentially over a thousand miles on your personal vehicle, research renting a vehicle for your road trip. Although you will have to invest a little more for a rental, the payoff of not wearing down your main vehicle can be the deciding factor. If you have questions about prices and vehicle availabilities, contact organizations like Jamieson Car and Truck Rental for more information.
Keep Your Gear Organized
It’s 11 PM, you’re dead tired, and you open up the trunk only to be knocked over by a pile of stuff. Dirty clothes, suitcases bursting at the seams, and a missing toothbrush are not the way to end your 800 mile day. To begin with, consider skipping the suitcases. Instead, try using stackable organizers with drawers to store your clothes. When you get to your hotel, you can grab a clean pair of clothes and pajamas from the drawer and not have to lug a heavy suitcase inside. Keep your toiletries in a separate bag so everything is kept in one place and easy to locate.
Let the greasy fast food bags, crumpled napkins, and gas receipts litter the car as you roll down a quiet highway with the windows down. Create some of your best memories in the confines of your vehicle and you’re sure to never look at traveling the same way again. Approach your trip with a healthy dose of curiosity, adventure, and flexibility and you’re guaranteed memories you’ll never forget.