The best road trip tips come from experienced travelers—like you! Our audience gave plenty of helpful guidance when we asked them for road trip advice. Did your road trip tips make the list?
1. Make a Road Trip Packing List
A great road trip starts with a great packing list, espeically if you plan on covering a lot of ground during your getaway. Set a reminder to get your tires checked and oil changed a few days before your trip. The day before your departure, make a goody bag of snacks and water. Print or purchase road maps in case you lose your cell signal, and grab your chargers, too. Download your favorite playlists to keep you singing along for miles. On the road, keep your glasses and sunglasses within arms’ reach in the car. If you do forget something, don’t panic. In reality, most things you can buy or live without.
“Don’t rely on or trust online navigation! I still use paper maps and know my route ahead of time.”
“Be prepared with different clothing for temp changes, have a 1st aide kit and other emergency items.”
2. Expect the Unexpected
Road trips are the type of adventure that demands flexibility. No matter how much planning you do, a lot of things, like weather, are out of your control. The most important thing on any road trip is that you arrive at your next destination safe and sound. Don’t sweat delays and detours, and understand that a change in plans is not the end of the world. Give yourself some extra time in your itinerary, and have a few alternatives planned just in case.
“Take your time, enjoy every second you have. Be flexible and don’t get upset if things don’t go exactly as you plan.”
“It’s an adventure. Always remember that so that you aren’t disappointed when something unexpected happens.”
3. Never Delay Bathroom or Gas Breaks
We’ve all been there. Suddenly you realize you haven’t filled up the tank in a while and now you’re not sure where the next gas station is. Likewise, you keep telling yourself you can “hold it just a little longer” only to realize you’ve made a grievous error in judgment. Don’t get stuck in either of these scenarios. Out west, emergency stops on mountain roads are dangerous and sometimes impossible. And in the desert, you may drive for miles without a cell signal to search for the next gas station. When you need to go, go.
“Fill up at half a tank whenever you can, especially through mountains and deserts.”
“Always carry your own toilet paper and wipes. Nothing worse than getting caught short in the middle of nowhere.”
4. Take Plenty of Pit Stops
Unlike the last road trip tip, these breaks are for pleasure, not necessity. Small towns, historical sites, and scenic overlooks are all great times to pull over and stretch your legs. Just because it’s a road trip doesn’t mean you have to be on the road the whole time. Break up your long driving days with a scenic hike or stop for lunch at that small town cafe with amazing Google reviews. Road trips are about having the time and flexibility to see it all, so be sure to do just that.
“Take all the side trips to small towns that you can!”
“Take all the stops! Scenic pull offs are there for a reason!”
5. Travel Responsibly
Sustainable and responsible travel isn’t just about our environmental impacts. While we should always consider our carbon footprints when traveling, also consider the economic and cultural aspects of your adventure. Support local businesses rather than national chains and engage in meaningful, friendly interactions with locals. Never disturb wildlife, and don’t pass up an opportunity to learn more about the Indigenous ancestry of an area you’re traveling through.
“There is beauty everywhere and some of that beauty is in the people you’ll meet. Take the time to converse a little.”
“Also stay hydrated and respect nature.”
6. Just Do It!
We’ve save the best of your road trip tips for last: get out there and enjoy yourself. Embrace every beautiful, challenging and unexpected moment during your road trip adventure. Don’t waste another minute not exploring and appreciating the incredible world we live in.
“Take the first step and go, life is too short.”
“Don’t put off going on adventures!!…There’s incredible places to see all around us! You only have one shot at this amazing life!! GO!!”