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8 Road Trip Hacks for the Vacation of a Lifetime

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It’s finally summer and that means it’s also the start of the road trip season. According to AAA, a little over half of the families planning to vacation this summer are planning to take a road trip. As we all know, going on a road trip has its good points and its bad. Yes, you’re going on an awesome adventure where you will discover amazing things along the way; but that adventure can be quite costly and a measure of caution is required. If you are planning to embark on the great American road trip, here are a few road trip hacks to help ensure your summer vacation will be one to remember!

curving road through the mountains

1. Be Prepared

Before you hit the road, do your research first. Use a map or the internet to plan your route in advance. You could even go ahead and pick out specific locations along your drive that will be safe to stop and rest for the night. This way you can avoid a frustrating search in an unfamiliar area for a place to eat and sleep when you’re exhausted from a long day in the car.

In addition, since most people who take road trips prefer to take the scenic route to their chosen destination, you’ll have a general idea of what is worth stopping to see along the way.

2. Leave Time for Exploring

One of the most fun parts of any road trip is passing signs for museums, monuments and other attractions that you think would be a blast to see in person. Allow While planning your route, make sure you allow plenty of time in your travel plans so you can make a few unexpected, spur-of-the-moment stops on the way to your destination.  Not only will this keep everyone entertained, but it will also give you a chance to stop and stretch your legs and learn something new.

3 Prepare the Car

When it comes to road trip hacks, making sure your car is road-worthy is a biggie! So, before you hit the road, make sure your car is road trip ready. Let a certified mechanic check for any problems before you depart. It’s also a great idea to get the oil changed, refill all fluids, make sure all lights are in working order and inspect the tires carefully. Doing so will go a long way towards reducing the chances of becoming stranded while on the road.

4. Download a gas app

One of the most expensive aspects of any road trip is gas. Downloading a gas app such as GasBuddy or GasGuru to help you find the most affordable places to refill when you are driving through an unfamiliar area is one of the best money-saving road trip hacks! The majority of these apps are free and update pretty regularly, so you won’t have to worry about being deceived on the price when you pull up at the pump.

5. Bring Entertainment

While the driver needs to focus his or her attention on the road, the passengers, however, might want some entertainment along the way – especially if you are traveling with children. MP3 players, portable DVD players with headphones, crossword puzzles, and books are some excellent ideas for passing the time.

For young children, be sure to pack a fun-filled go bag. Before you leave home, allow your kids to pick one or two of their favorite small toys to bring along for the ride. Also include crayons, paper, a tablet or smartphone with headphones, and some of those small puzzle toys to keep them occupied and cut down on the are we there yet’s. And don’t forget to search online for popular road trip game ideas as well!

6. Know How to Cool Down a Hot Car Quickly

In the middle of summer, stopping for a few minutes can leave your car unbelievably hot. One easy way to cool down a hot car quickly is to roll down one window all the way and then open and close the car door directly across from that window a few times. This will quickly force the unbearably hot air out of the car making it more comfortable everyone to get in so you can go.

7. Know Where to Ask for Directions

Whether you’re old school and prefer paper maps or you enjoy listening to a little black box scream step-by-step directions at you, there may still be times when you need to ask for directions. When doing so most people tend to gravitate towards gas stations. However, the best place to ask for directions is a restaurant with a delivery service. Stop in at a local restaurant like Pizza Hut or Dominoes if you find yourself needing directions. Chances are, they will have a driver who can give you quick and easy directions to a destination in the area.

In Conclusion

When preparing to hit the road this summer for your vacation, make use of these eight road trip hacks, and you’ll be ready for the vacation of a lifetime.

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