A cheap way to see the sights, road trips can either be one of the most memorable bonding experiences you can have or leaving you needing another vacation stat. In order to ensure it’s more of the former, here are a few tips for planning a successful car getaway. Just don’t forget to yell, “padiddle” for all the cars you pass with one headlight burnt out.
Have Really Good Co-Pilots
You really don’t want to bring the guy who always complains, the girl who has to pee every 30 minutes or the kid who’s constantly asking “are we there yet?” or you will rip your hair out after hour one if you don’t kick them out of the car first. Pick your travel companions wisely as road trips can really test your patience in close quarters for extended periods of time.
Do your homework and identify key attractions and interesting places to stop along the route to break up the trip. This way you’ll have mini-milestones to look forward to and the time will pass quicker because there will always be something fun just around the bend. If you set out just hoping to stumble upon cool stuff along the way, you may miss something great if bad weather or night-time obstructs your vision. Plus, if you check a calendar in advance, you can time your trip just right to coincide with special events or festivals in the area.
Technology is your Friend
There are apps for cheap gas, directions, things to do nearby, you name it. Waze is a free tool that enables drivers to build and use live maps with real-time traffic updates to avoid construction and delays. If you don’t have a set stopping point in advance, Priceline has a “Tonight-Only Deals” tab on their app that you can use to find cheap lodging wherever you end up. Need fast food or a rest stop? iExit can show you what amenities are upcoming at different highway ramps.
Granted the car bingo and license plate games are a little outdated, but you don’t want to be so anti-social that you’re playing Angry Birds on your phone for hours on end. Make fun iTunes mixes with throwback songs and pass the time learning each other’s deepest darkest secrets with a riveting bout of “Never Have I Ever,” or “Hot Seat,” asking the burning questions you always wanted to know.