Road Trip hacks

Frank Lillig

Spring Break is a great time to decompress from school and road trip around.   Driving across the country can allow you to see some amazing things and meet some interesting people.  While flying may be faster, nothing comes close to the intimate nature of seeing the world go by right outside your car window.  So while you are planning your next trip, here are a few things to remember to make it a memorable and awesomely fun-tastic journey.

  • Use a fuel calculator to figure out how much you will be spending on gas.  There are apps and websites to help you out which show the average gas prices in an area and where the cheapest gas is going to be. (insert photo 1)
  • Maps/GPS are an essential tool for your trip.  Knowing where you are going is vital.  Also, knowing where some cool attractions or scenic byways are makes a trip even more memorable.
  • Know your route, unless the point of your trip is not to know how you’re getting somewhere.  Knowing how you are getting to your destination is a good way to get a better grasp on how much money will be spent on gas.
  • Organize your stuff.  When you pack, pack only what you need and try to organize it in the car or truck in such a way that everything is easily accessible.  You can pack more clothes when they are rolled rather than folded. (insert photo 2)
  • Having spare keys, spare tires, jumper cables, tools, extra fluids and the like are extremely important.  Hopefully you never need to use them, but you will be much happier if you need it and you have it.  So be prepared.
  • Plastic cereal bins are good as trash cans.  You can fill them with plastic shopping bags as long as you are in a state that has them.
  • Dryer sheets are much better than regular car air fresheners.  They also help keep bugs out of the vehicle.
  • Make sure you have lots and lots of music ready for when the radio gets to be too repetitive.
  • Exit signs will tell you which side of the highway the exit will be on.  Look at the top of the highway sign and notice which side the exit number is on.  If it is on the left it’s a left side exit and if it is on the right it’s a right side exit. (insert photo 3)
  • Wal-Mart parking lots are the ideal spot for sleeping in your car at night, because management won’t kick you out.
  • Some parks and rest areas across the country are free for a one-night stay.  There are other parks that cost to sleep in, but there are three-day camping pull-offs off the highway which are free.  There are also some pull-offs which are meant mainly for truckers, but one can stay there for a night for free.
  • When you park in an unfamiliar place, drop a pin at the location on your phone or take a picture of the streets or surroundings to help remind yourself where you parked.
  • Take pictures or write journal entries.  You are going to want to keep a log of all the sights and meetings.
  • Hypermiling is a practice of driving which maximizes fuel consumption.  Things like coasting for as long as possible when going down hills or coasting to a stop rather than slamming the brakes at the last minute.  You can search for more of these tips online and learn many other ways to achieve this, as well.