Road Trip Tricks and Tips

In need of a cool adventure this spring break or summer? How about a road trip! More often than not it is a cheaper way to unwind and have fun all while taking in an epic adventure. Here are some tips, tricks and suggestions to make your road trip awesome!

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1. Prep!
Before you head out, plan ahead.

-How many people are going?
-Where are we going? Select a route and plan it out, but give it a loose outline. Here's where we want to go and how to get there, and whatever happens along the way is just a bonus, but it's good to have a destination in mind. There are a bunch of really great websites to plan your road trip for you: here, here, here and here!
-How long will it take to get there?
-Where can we sleep? Where can we eat? Where's the best place to get gas? Research spots on your route that are best for lodging, dining and refueling so that you're prepared and not just driving around hoping for the best.
-Make snacks
-Purchase a gas card (gas cards more often than not have rewards points, after your first few stops you may have enough points to get gas with just the rewards!)
-Stock up on quarters and small bills to pay tolls.
-Get your car maintenance taken care of (change your oil, refill your windshield wiper fluid, clean out your car, take that laundry bag out of your trunk from two Februarys ago, get a new air freshener, etc)

2. Gather your travel pals and watch some road trip movies to get you all in the mood.

-Little Miss Sunshine                          -National Lampoon's Vacation
-Sideways                                           -Zombieland
-Road Trip                                           -Due Date
-Planes, Trains and Automobiles        -Tommy Boy
-Something Wild                                 -Black Sheep
-Away We Go

3. FOOD.
Snackage is important on any journey; however, eating out can get really expensive after your fourth stop at Lucy's Diner in the middle of west Jabip. Stock up on snacks for your trip before you head out!

-Trail mix         -Juice boxes         -Crackers         -Bread         -Cut up veggies
-Water             -Hard cheeses      -Cheez Its        -Dry Cereal  -Nutella
-100 Calorie Packs                      -Any of our Snack Like a Southerner recipes!

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4. Make a playlist!
Driver picks the music. Make a playlist of your favorite tunes to help pass the time. Check out our weekly playlists for some suggestions!

5. Passengers
Road trips really must be done in groups not only for safety, but for the most fun.

-Give each passenger a job: trash, GPS, food keeper, "doctor" (in charge of the First Aid kit), DD (if you find yourselves at a bar during your trip), valuables protector, photographer, etc.
-Rotate out drivers as well as shotgun. It's best to travel in at least groups of three, that way each person gets to drive, sit shotgun and sleep. Shotgun's responsibility is to keep the driver entertained and awake, which is a really important job!
-Each passenger selects a tourist spot he wants to got to or see. When it's his turn to select the destination, he drives!
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6. Safety First!
Don't pick up hitchhikers, just, just don't. Whether they have a handsome face and a six pack or a bloodied axe swung over his/her shoulder, don't pick them up. Also here are some other safety tips:

1. Keep your valuables in a large CD case. It's innocuous.
2. Have a "back home buddy" that you can call or text when you arrive at certain destinations so that your road trip doesn't turn into an episode of Criminal Minds.
3. Know where you are going. Unless it's the absolute worst case scenario, stick to your route as close as possible.
4. Stay charged! Make sure at least two of your passengers have charged cell phones.
5. Be prepared for something to go horribly wrong with your car. There's a high chance that you'll get through your whole trip without smoke coming out of the hood of your car or anything like that, but it's better to be prepared. Keep an extra set of keys in case you get locked out, make sure you have jumper cables and a spare tire, things of that nature.
6. Keep an extra blanket in the trunk.

7. Theme it!
Come up with a fun theme to your field trip.

-Food! (Check out fun restaurants or factories of your favorite places)
-Internet Friends (Your parents have probably stressed to you not to talk to strangers since your MySpace days that you don't want to talk about, but now that you're grown up enough to make your own bad but probably great choices, go pick up the pals you have been Skyping with over the years! Or if you have a friend that moved somewhere far far away, go pay them a visit.)
-Music Festivals or Concerts (We just published an article in regards to country's hottest artists and their tour dates, give it a read! Or make a list of bands or festivals your friends want to see and follow it on the road!)
-Sports (Follow your favorite sports team or go to national landmarks regarding to your favorite sport.)
-Tourist Traps (Those places for fannypackers and moms! Check out the world's largest whatever, museums, monuments, weird historical sites, fun and almost free attractions, etc.)
-Scavenger Hunt (Plan out a scavenger hunt in which you have to get a picture or weird memento from the locations you wanna go on your trip. Make it a points system, the passenger with the most points get some kind of prize at the end-cash prize that you all chip in for, drinks, a pat on the back, etc.)
-Haunted Places or Ghost Towns

8. Pick a famous route.

-California Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway)
-Vermont Route 100
-Georgia Golden Isles
-Northshore Drive Minnesota Route 61
-Route 66 Texas
-Blue Ridge Parkway

9. Document your travels.

-Take photos (tell a story with your pictures, post them to Instagram, make your own post cards, take photos with strangers, do a theme, etc.)
-Take video (documentary style, fun shaky cam, etc.)
-Snapchats!
-Write in a travel journal (expectation vs reality, fun and not fun, letters back home, etc.)

10. Play games!
From ISpy to the License Plate Game to a scavenger hunt. Keep the ride fun and friendly with fun games.

Have fun and stay safe on your road trip. Take some photos and tag us! You could be featured on our social media.