Best Tips to Stay Safe & Have Fun on Your Road Trip Adventures
Road trips are definitely all the rage post-COVID19! Road trips are also a great way to get back into travel if you are interested in maintaining social distancing. Not to mention they can be a lot of fun if you prepare properly. In this guide I will share some of the best tips to stay safe and have fun on your next road trip adventure.
A note regarding COVID-19 – Due to suggested National and State restrictions over the spread of Coronavirus, many attractions, restaurants, bars, hotels have been temporarily closed or offering restricted hours. Please make sure to check the website, social media and/or call ahead to confirm that the location is open.
Our posts do include Affiliate Links and you can learn more on our Disclosures page.
Also, before you go, be sure to stock up on great items to keep everyone happy on your road trip at DollarTree.
Road Trip Destinations
Planning ahead for your road trip goes along way to making it more fun and enjoyable. Of course planning ahead does not mean you can’t change your mind once you get going. A plan just allows you to have a better idea of when and where you would like to stop and allows you to get the most out of your trip.
A good old fashion Road Atlas is handy to have for planning out your trip. Not only can it be a great help on the road, it’s a life saver if you find yourself without any internet or cell service. Of course when it comes to best tips for road trips and travel planning, Pinterest is absolutely the best place to start. There are so many cool ideas on Pinterest that include itineraries, best places to see, eat and more. Many people use Google, but Pinterest has more personable stories and unique ideas for what to do on a trip.
Road Trip Planner
Once you’re on the road it’s nice to have information on places to eat, get gas, as well as best tips to stay on track in regards to time. Google Maps is great for keeping you on track on the road. It’s safer to use than a bulky atlas unless you have a navigator with you. Also if you have a Google account you can use Google’s My Maps to plot out your entire trip and add any fun places you want to stop and see along the way.
A great plan is important, but in the current COVID-19 environment, make sure to have a back up plan. It’s possible that cities or states could go on lockdown again and you may need to change your itinerary.
Where to Stay Along the Way
One of the best tips to stay safe on your road trip is to take breaks and get rest. Take your time and enjoy the ride if you can. Remember the journey is the destination! Everyone will have fun if they can stretch their legs and stop for silly tourist traps occasionally. If you’re taking a long road trip that is more than 12 hours, you should consider stopping for a good night’s sleep.
Of course sleeping accommodations are the biggest expense on a road trip, but there are lots of inexpensive options. For those who prefer a hotel, you can find an extensive list of hotel options quickly at Orbitz and Travelocity. If you happen to be traveling off the interstate in quaint small towns, then Airbnb might be a better option. Not only will you have access to a kitchen but you could end up in a home that’s more comfortable than a hotel.
For the adventurous and outdoorsy type or those on a serious budget, there’s always Camping and Hostels. Yes folks there are hostels in the U.S., especially if you’re traveling near the bigger cities. You can check out Hostel World to see all your options. On the other hand, camping is probably you’re least expensive option if you have a large family. KOA campgrounds offer a lot of amenities such as showers, hot tubs, and swimming pools. Campspace is a new alternative to camping similar to Airbnb, where you can meet locals and camp on their land.
Road Trip Entertainment
Another of the best tips for a well planned road trip is making sure you have entertainment. Long car rides can be boring but not if you have music, books, activities or games to keep everyone entertained. I always make sure to create fun playlists on my iPhone for the road. You can easily download songs from Apple Music, Spotify, or Amazon. Not to mention both Apple Books and Amazon Prime have free books that can be downloaded to your mobile device.
Games are also a great source of fun to break up the monotony. Ice Breaker Ideas has a great list of games that adults and kids can play on the road.
Of course one of the most important best tips for entertainment in the car is Don’t Forget Your Chargers!
Even though you will want to stop along the way for meals and bathroom breaks, it’s still a great idea to pack the car with plenty of water and healthy snacks. You never know when you could end up on a long stretch of highway with no services or just in case you have car trouble or a flat tire. Things happen, be prepared.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Before hitting the road it’s a good idea to have your car serviced. Make sure all the fluids are topped off, tires are in good shape and brakes and batteries are in great condition. Of course, you may prefer to rent a vehicle and save the wear and tear on yours. It may seem like an added expense but it costs approximately 15 cents per mile for wear on your own vehicle in addition to gas and mileage. Alamo Car Rental has some great rates available if you decide to go that direction.
Another of the best tips for preparing your vehicle is to make sure you have jumper cables, spare tire and spare tire kit, a flashlight and a back up cell phone charger.
Of course, now is a good time to look into roadside assistance if you don’t already have it. One of my best tips is to start with your insurance company to see if this is included in your policy. We have Allstate and because we carry collision, roadside assistance is included. Most of the large insurance companies do offer this service for a small monthly fee.
Alternatively you have the option to sign up with AAA. They offer several different plans to fit your specific needs. From dead batteries, lockouts, flat tires, and a tow AAA can be a bargain when you need it most. In addition, they offer a ton of trip planning resources and discounts for camping, hotels, and RV parks. If you play your cards right you can often recoup most of the expense of AAA through these discounts. AAA also offers free travel maps to its members.
Road Trip Safety Tips
Last but not least are a few best tips to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. Make sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up before you even think of backing out of the driveway.
First thing you must have is a fully stocked First Aid Kit in case you run into any trouble. You can find really good ones at Walgreens, in addition to grabbing extra snacks and goodies for the ride.
Secondly, if you’re traveling during COVID-19 be sure to wear a mask. It doesn’t matter if it’s required or not when you stop, it’s just a good idea. Also, make sure everyone washes their hands before returning to the car. Be sure to have plenty of hand sanitizer in the vehicle for times you can’t wash your hands as well.
Take precautions at Rest Stops and other public places. In addition to practicing Social Distancing, you still need to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk off alone to areas that are hidden or not well lit. Pay attention to anyone or anything that seems off. Trust your gut feelings and don’t stop or get out of your car if you sense trouble.
Take plenty of breaks so you don’t get tired and take turns driving if there is another adult with you as well. Tired drivers are incredibly dangerous on the roadways. Stay alert, keep hydrated and chew gum, as these things can help you stay awake.
Stay on top of the weather as well. Road conditions can change drastically if storms are in the area and be prepared to get off the road if the weather gets really nasty.
Finally, enjoy yourself! Take your time, stop and check out those cute or quirky small towns and make amazing memories. Life is short, but if you have enough time off then savor the journey.
Also, we are always working to make the blog better. We want to make sure the content we provide is informative and fun! For that reason please leave a comment or reach out to us on our Let’s Connect page.