Despite the costs of gas, road trips are still an essential part of travel these days. Sometimes there just isn’t a better way to get somewhere than driving there yourself. Everyone knows the best thing to bring along on a long drive is a fun traveling companion, but here are a few other tips, from apps to snacks, to help you plan the perfect road trip.
Buy an up to date map
GPS is great, but a paper copy does not need signal strength, battery, or load time. Get this year’s edition of an atlas or road map and highlight your route so you can pick it up and check your path at a moment’s notice. Pick a place for the folded open map to live while you’re driving, as well, like the passenger seat or between your seat and the console. You don’t want to be distracted by digging and unfolding in the middle of speeding traffic.
Skip the Rush Hour
The stress of navigating unfamiliar routes in the peak of traffic is just not something anyone needs on a long trip. Do your best to avoid it by planning a route around big cities. If you do have to make a stop, plan to drive into the city in the evening or out in the morning, so you’re going in the opposite direction of the worst traffic. If you’re not sure the best way to tackle a foreign city’s streets, try the INRIX traffic app for real-time traffic conditions in cities across the US.
Get a Weather App
Unfamiliar weather can be as stressful as the traffic it affects. Treacherous ice storms, tornado warnings, or traffic-stopping fog can seriously delay your trip. Put your smart phone to good use by downloading a stable, reliable weather app like Weather Bug to help you plan for extra hot temps or possible road-closing ice.
Bring Your Own Cooler
It’s foolish to think you’ll find something healthy or delicious at a gas station or fast food joint. Avoid the hit and miss by packing your own cooler with snacks that your body is familiar with and drinks that you like. You’ll save money not paying for the convenience and save stress on your digestive system by not eating junk. If you do have to stop, check out grocery stores that offer a wider selection of healthy foods at better prices than gas stations.
Record the Memories
Phone apps are a must have on any trip where you plan to make some memories, or even to add some excitement to a boring cross country grind. There are lots of apps available that make taking pictures, creating special effects, and sharing with your friends and family easy. Camera+, Hipstamatic, Pano, and Colorsplash are just a few. Check them out before you leave and pick one to make the most of your memorial moments.
Plan ahead, take your time, and have fun. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the best thing any traveler can bring is a good attitude. Bon voyage!
Photo credit: Road Trip to a New Life by Morgan/flickr
Casey Stevens is a long distance trucker, and knows how to plan and navigate a road trip! If you’re interested in making a career on the road, check out the listings for a used dump truck or maybe you could use a box truck for your next project.Tags: auto travel, road trip