How to Plan a Roadtrip

My 30-day, 3,800-mile roadtrip is still two months away, but half the fun of a thing is anticipating it.  I’ve been color-coding calendars, putting together lists, and compiling suggestions on how to do this right (aka fun and cheap).

Ways to Save Money

  • Use the GasBuddy app to find the cheapest gas stations while on the road (suggestion courtesy of The Traveling Praters).
  • Stock your car with lots of food and snacks with discounted rates at Sam’s Club.
  • Because you have all that cheap food, try to avoid fast food restaurants as often as possible.
  • Avoid motels.  Stay with friends (or friends of friends) as often as possible.
  • Bring your own water bottle and fill up at gas station soda fountains.

Ways to Have Fun

  • Pick an audiobook that has a story you already know you enjoy with a talented reader.  I’ll be listening to the Heroes of Olympus series.
  • Use the Roadside America app to find quirky and free attractions to keep the drive interesting (suggestion courtesy of The Traveling Praters).
  • Find old CDs from high school and college.  This provides some fun nostalgia and saves your phone battery for the more essential task of giving you directions.
  • Take pictures!  As the days wear on and insanity sets in, channel your crazy into creativity.
  • Throw some comedians into your playlists for a surprise burst of humor (I suggest Mitch Hedberg).

(Extra) Ways to be a Road Trip BOSS

  • Keep an open box of dryer sheets in your car to prevent the inevitable “You’ve Been in Your Car for 30 Days” smell (suggestion courtesy of Buzzfeed).
  • Keep small bills handy for unexpected toll roads (suggestion courtesy of Buzzfeed).
  • Pull into a busy McDonald’s parking lot for a power nap.  Don’t sleep in secluded areas – it’s better to risk several people looking at you rather than one person killing you.
  • Keep some deodorant in the car to re-coat your pits just in case.  You don’t want to greet the friend who’s letting you crash on their couch with a waft of B.O. (suggestion courtesy of Roadtrip Nation Blog).

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