The Best Tips For A Road Trip - Experts Roundup
What makes up a good road trip? Is it the music, the people, the preparation? Here at YourParkingSpace.co.uk we asked well-seasoned travel experts what advice they had when it comes to planning, and having, the best road trip ever!
#1 Make sure your car is in good condition
Plan ahead! Not only can you save money on things like RVs, which offer early bird discounts, you can also snag the best campsites that sell out 6 months in advance. Keep an eye on your favorite camp ground and make note of when the reservation window opens. Or, let experts plan for you (hint: Tracks & Trails)!
Utilize your phone while on the road. There are many apps that can benefit you – like GasBuddy,which can help you find the cheapest and nearest gas station (bonus, it helps you find diesel!), or Roadside America to point out all the weirdest, or coolest, stops along your route.
- Ashleigh Rudolph, Marketing Manager, Tracks-trails.com
#3 Stock up on supplies before leaving
What makes a road trip is the people and the journey. Obvs. Get the vehicle serviced before going and pack a safety kit (for the car and people). Download navigation and listening apps (eg Waze and Spotify). Camping gear is good to have when there aren’t other options. A small cooler can be used for food that’s not from a gas station or fast food. A payment app, (eg Paypal or Venmo) so family/ friends can send funds for emergencies. Check the weather (I’ve been stuck in a remote town for 2 days b/c of snow).
- Sarah Emery, Writer & Founder, Sarahwithasmile.com
#8 Download offline maps or carry a paper map
Download offline maps or carry a paper map for the route you are going to take as well as your destination. This avoids panicky situations when your phone GPS fails or battery runs out on the phone when you are navigating. Mark your points of interest on the paper map and stick to the routes you marked. Take care to mark the visitor information centers along the way so that if you are ever in doubt, you can make a stop there and ask for more information for your journey.
- Priyadarshini Rajendran, Travel Blogger, Glorioussunrise.com
#9 Use a roadmap (yes real fold-up detailed maps!)
#13 My number one tip: Podcasts
As someone who grew up in the U.S. midwest in the 1980s, road trips were a way of life. My family drove from Minnesota to Florida, Colorado, the Dakotas, Nebraska, and all around the Great Lakes states. As a teen and adult, I’ve carried on the great road trip tradition – covering at least 20 U.S. states, half the South Island of New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Iceland. Along the way, I’ve learned plenty about what makes a road trip happier and more fun for me. My number one tip: Podcasts. Yes, I’m a podcaster, so I’m admittedly partial. But I’ve found that even the non-podcasters I know these days queue up at least a dozen podcasts before each road trip. Podcasts provide a great entertainment during long stretches, great information on destinations you’re heading to (if you pick the right one), and great company no matter what. Check out one of my podcasts if you’re looking for a place to start! Tip number two: If you have kids, have them help you plan the trip. Look at maps with them, let them do some research on foods or attractions, and allow them to say, “let’s pull over and look at that!” once you’re on the road. Doing so will help them to take ownership and pride in the adventure – and make things more fun. Tip number three: Talk to the locals. At each stop, ask what store merchants and petrol station attendants like to do in the area. These kinds of tips have led us to a field of resting seal pups in New Zealand and outstanding BBQ in the Carolinas. And these tips are rarely in guidebooks. Above all: Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
- Kristen Meinzer, Writer, Author of "So You Want To Start A Podcast", kristenmeinzer.com
Extended road trips are a lost art. We can take the easy way out by flying but what makes a road trip is the potential bonding. There should be playlists to keep you energized during long stretches, reminiscent music to get your fellow passengers to sing along or share memories with, and perhaps a chill playlist during times of traffic or stress. Podcasts and audio books are also always good options. Amazing road trips are a combination of conversation, reflection, silence, and music.
- Tricia Wolanin, Author, unfoldyourbliss.com
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