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Remove the stress from your next road trip travel adventure and follow these Ten Tips for Surviving a Road Trip!
Every time July comes around I can’t help but feel a hint of nostalgia when I think of past family road trips. I actually traveled year-round growing up. During the school year, however, they were pretty quick and short trips to Disney World or the family beach house in St Augustine. The big long road trips were saved for the summertime.
I especially loved it when we headed north to visit family in Kentucky and Ohio. It was always nice to get away from the Florida heat plus I got to see family that I didn’t see all that often. I think my favorite part was visiting the old family farm where my grandmother grew up. The beautiful farmhouse was built when she was just a baby. I loved sitting on its wrap around porch, playing with my many cousins, and seeing the animals and crops.
The first time I ever saw lightning bugs
I’m actually heading to Kentucky in a couple of days for this year’s family reunion. It seemed appropriate to share with you these Ten Tips for Surviving a Road Trip.
Research Your Route
I know in this day and age of navigation systems it seems unnecessary to research your route ahead of time. Trust me! It will go a long way to have an idea of the areas you’ll be traveling through.
Take the time to pull up Google Maps or go old school and get a paper map. It will help you know if you need an overnight stay, what are the major areas, and if there are any areas where you’ll be driving without a rest stop or gas station for a while. The last thing you want is to be stranded because you ran out of gas. Knowing when one of those long stretches begins can be a lifesaver!
Download Useful Travel Apps
This may be different for each person, but here are some good ones:
- Waze: I actually discovered this app through my hubby. This app lets you know what’s happening while you’re on the road. It’s particularly handy during those dreaded traffic jams. It lets you know if there’s an accident, where it is, and how long you’ll be stuck in traffic.
- iExit: iExit is actually a pretty cool app. It lets you know what businesses are coming up at major exits. This is pretty handy since not everything is listed on all highway signs. What really makes this app stand out is that it offers third-party integrations with OPIS, Yelp, and Travel Coupons. OPIS helps you find the cheapest gas ahead. Yelp reviews can help you decide which businesses to check out. In case you have an unexpected hotel stay, Travel Coupons helps you find a great last-minute hotel deal.
- Gas Buddy: This one has been around a while and is great to help research gas prices while on the road.
- Weather Channel: Or really any type of weather app to help you get an idea of what kind of weather you’ll be traveling through.
Pre-Reserve Your Hotels
I know many people like to drive till they’re ready to stop and then look for a hotel. Twenty years ago you could’ve gotten away with that. Unfortunately, today there’s a good chance you may not find a room. If you do you’ll be paying a pretty big price tag, especially during the busier travel seasons.
When researching your route get a good idea of where you might be when you want to stop. Don’t forget to take into consideration unexpected stops and delays, like traffic and construction.
Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
You never know what might happen. Having emergency contacts and roadside assistance numbers already pre-programmed in your phone can help in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to keep a portable phone charger on hand, too.
This goes back to number one when researching your route. Derek and I learned this the hard way several years ago when we still lived in Florida. We had a family emergency that involved an all-night drive to Ohio.
We had no idea that there were tolls driving through West Virginia. Thankfully, we had some change in the car to get us past the first toll until we could stop and get cash from the ATM. If you have an E-Z Pass and traveling where they accept them, check your balance and make sure you have enough for your trip.
Pack a First Aid Kit
My dad has always had a first aid kit in the car for as long as I can remember. Since he’s a paramedic it’s a necessity to him. You never know when you’ll need it, but you’ll definitely be glad you have it when that need arises.
It’s a good idea to include some Dramamine along with standard first aid necessities. You never know when someone might get car sick. Make sure to put the kit in an easily accessible place, too!
Bring Plenty of In Car Entertainment
Bring along things like magazines, books, music, movies, or even some good old Mad Libs! Whatever keeps you and your fellow travelers occupied, make sure you’ve got them! Research road trip travel games even if there are no kids with you. It can help get through the monotony of long trips. Also, don’t forget to pack any chargers and headphones that you might need!
Pack Paper Towels, Tissues, and Baby Wipes
Trust me, it never fails, if you don’t, Murphy’s Law will absolutely kick in! You may hit a pothole and spill your coffee. That unsuspecting soda may erupt. Better yet, one of your children (human or fur) may get car sick. Having those supplies on hand are lifesavers in moments like those!
Stocked Cooler and Snacks
Don’t waste your money at the gas station convenience stores! With the exception of coffee, pack all your drinks and snacks to bring with you on the road. For travelers with sensitive tummies, keep some Gatorade, ginger ale, and soda crackers on hand. Saving money in this area will allow you to spend more on activities and souvenirs!
Pillows and Blankets
Pillows and blankets are a must. Especially when you’re alternating drivers and want to get a little shut-eye on your downtime. An eye mask and earbuds are nice to have for a travel nap, too!
You never know what might happen on the road and the better prepared you are, the better your trip will be. I hope you remember to keep in mind these Ten Tips for Surviving a Road Trip for your next travel adventure!
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