10 Tips to Super Charge Your Road Trip

10 Tips to Super Charge Your Road Trip

We love road trips. Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend adventure, there’s something so freeing and exciting about heading out on the open road. A great road trip doesn’t need to lead somewhere in particular. Sometimes we have a destination in mind but other times we just want to see the sights along the way. All our road trips have taught us important lessons on how best to enjoy them and we want to share some of the items we’ve learned to have with us. Here are our top 10 tips to improve your next road trip.

1. Trash Bag

If you spend any serious amount of time in your car, you’re going to produce some kind of trash. Gum wrappers, food bags, empty cans… they need to go some place and you can’t stop every time you need to throw something away. You don’t need anything special for this. We just use a shopping bag.

2. Cash / Change

In today’s day and age, we don’t usually keep cash on hand for our everyday activities. But when on the road, we’ve encountered a number of places – including a county park outside of Austin – that just don’t have the capability to accept anything other than cash. Or if you need air in a tire, you might only be able to find a place that accepts old-fashioned coins. We’ve learned that it’s a good idea to keep at least a few dollars (maybe $10-20) with us on our road trips for these kinds of scenarios. Be sure at least a couple of those dollars are in coins as well.

3. Halo

We don’t have a brand-new car so sometimes we encounter issues with it. Of course, even a new car can experience some kind of unforeseen problem. We like to keep this device on hand to give us a little bit of reassurance while away from home. The Halo comes with jumper cables and allows you to jump your battery should it go dead. It also has standard wall outlet plugs to act as a charger for devices that don’t connect through the car’s charger, like computers. This is a handy little item to keep in your car. Just be sure to charge it before you head out on the road!

HALO Bolt 58830 mWh Portable Phone Laptop Charger Car Jump Starter with AC Outlet and Car Charger – Black Graphite


4. Cooler with Goodies

It’s always a good idea to bring some road drinks and snacks along for the ride. We like to keep our water and sodas cold in a small cooler bag. And since we enjoy sampling some of the local delicacies (read: greasy diner eats and fast food), we often need to keep some of our leftovers cold so we can enjoy them again later.

5. Hiking Bag

We won’t spend a lot of time on this since we already wrote a post all about it. But you never know when a hike might break out so it’s always good to be prepared and keep this bag in the car.

6. Podcasts

We love jamming out to music but sometimes you need something more stimulating or engrossing when on a road trip. We listen to a lot of podcasts (especially true crime) and it’s nice to have something to concentrate on when you’re traveling through a very repetitive landscape. Also, remember that radio stations and cellular signals are hard to come by in some places so make sure you download your music and podcasts when possible.

7. Download maps

Likewise, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in an unfamiliar place and suddenly our phone tells us that our “GPS signal was lost”. If you know where you’re going in advance (or at least a pretty good idea of the vicinity), you can download your maps so you don’t have to worry about losing a signal. Note that the link is for Google Maps because we use Android phones.

Or you could use paper maps! Bonus tip: you can often find state maps available for free at official state welcome centers!

8. Games

Sometimes you need to pass the time and you want to engage with the other folks in your car. This is where having some games ready to go comes in extremely handy. From the old “License Plate State Game” and “Eye Spy” to fun little game boards like Road Trip Bingo and travel versions of your favorites.

9. Places to Eat

As mentioned above, we like to stop and try out little food establishments when we’re on the road. Especially places where we can order and eat in our car or at least have outdoor seating to accommodate our doggos. Before you head out, try searching for diners or restaurants along your route that sound promising. Be sure to check the business hours and make sure you’ll be passing by when they’re open!

10. Plan for Places to Stop & Stretch

Finally, if you have a long road trip planned, you need to think ahead about where to stop so you can stretch and use the restroom if necessary. These might be rest areas or roadside attractions or the aforementioned greasy spoon.

We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to make your road trips safer and more fun. If you have any special tips of your own, please share them with us in the comments!

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