Travel Tip Tuesday: Five Summer Road Trip Tips


Travel Tip Tuesday

CD pack full of music. Bag full of sandwiches, chips and cookies. Cooler full of Mountain Dew and a thermos full of coffee. Ahhh, nothing beats a good road trip … and I’m nostalgic for my road trip days of past.

Yes, my road trip days have dwindled since relocating to the Bel Paese and although I did just visit Reggio Calabria, I’m looking forward to heading to Texas this summer and hitting the roads again.

But like all good vacations, even a weekend road trip needs to be planned.

Here are five Tips to Pulling Off a Perfect Road Trip.

1. Divide and Conquer

A few years ago my cousin, my sister, her son and I took a Spring Break road trip from southeast Texas to southern Florida to meet up with some of our other cousins. While any of the three of us could have easily planned the trip, we split up the responsibilities. My cousin found the music, my sister ordered us groovy “Cousins Gone Wild” t-shirts, I navigated and drove and we all brought snacks. It was perfect.

2. Start Clean and Stay Fresh

Clean your car and have a mechanic check your fluids before you hit the road. If you are a messy bunch, and let’s face it, most of us are on road trips, then carry wipes so you can easily freshen the car when you make a pit stop. Also keep a plastic bag nearby to store your trash between stops.

3. Check Maps, Documents and Chargers

With everyone and their grandmother owning a GPS these days, a paper map might not be high on your list of priorities. But just for kicks, and in case your GPS flakes out on you like they sometimes do, print directions, the address or phone number of your intended destinations.

Also, ensure your license and insurance cards are up-to-date and in your car and be sure to carry your GPS and car-compatible cell phone chargers.

4. Agree on Your Degree of Flexibility

Some people like to travel without boundaries, preferring to stop only when they are tired or hungry. Others like to know where they are going put their pillow when the sun goes down. Be sure you and your fellow road trippers agree on your degree of flexibility.

Keep in mind that heavy traffic or road construction can cause delays and even the best laid plans can get offtrack. Ensuring you and your crew are on the same page-or at least reading from the same book-will help relieve any road trip stress that could creep up.

5. Beat Your Budget

Road trips are a great bonding experience and offer a fun alternative to flying, but given the rise and fall of the national gas prices, along with hotel rates and eating out, they can still cost a pretty penny. Check out MapQuest Gas Prices for the cheapest places to fill up and-even if you don’t want to book a hotel in advance-look online for less expensive alternatives to staying in a metro area.

Do you like a good ole’ fashioned American road trip? What other road trip tips can you offer?

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

5 Responses
  1. Great tips.

    I love to go on long drives. As long as I have great music it’s all good.

    Driving from New York City to a friend vacation home in Maine was one of my favorite trips. L.A. to Big Sur is another one.

    New York to DC was not. Why does it take forever to get through Delaware? The state’s not that big. Austin to Houston was a fun trip too. I liked passing all the ranches.

    Someday I will have a car here and look forward to road trips in Italia.
    All of those trips sound great. I’ll be going to Austin as soon as I arrive in TX in a couple of weeks. Haven’t been in a loooong time!
    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Big ups to Mother Nature….it’s cherry season!!

  2. I love road trips! My father is a truck driver so, all of our family vacations were spent on the road. When we (us kids) were young, our trips were only in TX but as we got older we our trips got longer. I think our longest trip was from Dallas to Seattle. It was fun but way too long.
    Oh yea … that is long. My longest RD was from SETX to Ft. Lauderdale. I’ve done that several times, though … it is about 18 hours.
    Sonia P.’s last blog post..What it means to be Poor…. but Happy in Italy

  3. Layne Wesolowski

    If you’re traveling to another country, take some local currency. In some places, it can be difficult to get your money exchanged outside of regular business hours. You can go to any large bank and exchange foreign currency before you go to the airport.*:

    Catch ya later

  4. Nieves Canelo

    MapQuest provides some extent of street-level detail and/or driving directions for a variety of countries. Users can check if their country is available via a pull down menu on the MapQuest home page. A MapQuest-branded Yellow Pages service is provided by AOL. Other services include a world atlas and MapQuest Mobile. MapQuest Mobile is a service providing maps and driving directions to any Web-enabled mobile phone or personal digital assistant..:*;

    Our website

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