10 Ways To Make Your Summer Road Trip Memorable

If you are hitting the road this summer check out our top ten ways to make your trip an unforgettable experience you and your loved ones will talk about for years to come.  We researched the internet and found a couple of great tips from the Huffington Post, Travel Channel and several other great sites.

1. Have a plan, but make it flexible. If you’ve got a time limit (as most road trippers do), it’s smart to plot out which city you’ll sleep in each night before setting off. Plan so your driving time is eight hours or less per day, but don’t plan anything more than that. Then watch as your days become hilarious sagas of driving, wandering, and following your wild road trip whims.

2.  Find the “world’s largest” everything. Ok so if there’s one thing you’re allowed to map out, it’s all those places that claim to have the “world’s largest” version of whatever, because they make for some hilariously off-beat sights. There are tons and tons of “world’s largests” along our highways– like the World’s Largest Potato in Idaho!

3.  Car Safety – Prepping for Your Road Trip Make sure you can stay in touch with work and home, as well as handle unexpected events on the road, with a cell phone, it is essential. Before leaving on your trip, ask your service provider about roaming fees and countrywide coverage.  Make sure your car is fine tuned.  Whether you do it yourself or go to a garage, pre-trip auto maintenance is key to comfortable cruising. Check the wiper blades, all fluid levels (oil, water, etc.), belt and hose connections, tire pressure, turn signals, horn and headlights. If your car is still not instilling confidence, consider an all-out professional inspection.  The following should always be within easy reach when you open your trunk door: a tire iron, bottled water, fire extinguisher, first-aid kit and reflectors/flares.  Just because you have a spare tire doesn’t mean it’s in working order. Give it a good look before hitting the road to ensure it’s properly pumped and the treads are intact. If you’ve got the space, swap out doughnut tires for a full-size spare.

4.Classic Road Trip Eats A well-stocked cooler is to the road trip what in-flight entertainment is to a trans-Atlantic haul – it’s nearly impossible to imagine the journey without it. Herewith, some of our favorite on-the-move munchies; trail mix, bottled water and juice boxes for the kids, spreads (like peanut butter and Nutella) on your favorite crackers or cookies.  Opt for a block of cheddar or gouda over gooey brie and camembert. Hard cheeses keep longer once the cooler starts to warm up, and leave less mess.  Protein-packed and easy to eat, they’re the ideal road-trip snack.  Baby carrots, celery sticks, radishes, sliced green pepper and cherry tomatoes (neatly packed in Tupperware) are easy to pass around the car to share.

5.  Pack Smart When you’ve got an entire car, SUV or minivan for a suitcase, the impulse can be to bring along everything. Lighten your load (and increase your gas mileage) by packing lightly. One perk of having your own wheels is that a fresh set of clothes is as close as the nearest coin laundry.  The 1-suitcase rule is ace for preventing over packing. Avoid bulky hard-case suitcases if possible; opt instead for soft duffel bags and backpacks, which can be more easily squeezed into limited trunk space.  A sturdy canvas bag kept within easy reach of the front seat and stocked with items such as road maps, games for the kids kept in plastic baggies, a first-aid kit, sunglasses, handi-wipes and a pocket knife will make dealing with surprises on the road easier. Don’t forget blankets and travel pillows for sleepy passengers.
6.  Plan Ahead to Find Good Places to Eat Go to roadfood.com to map out the best small-town eats on your route.  Skip the rest stops. “The point of road-tripping is not to see the interstate,” says Pauline Frommer, creator of the Pauline Frommer Guidebooks. “Get off the highway to explore, and patronize local eateries―clam shacks, barbecue huts, and soda parlors.”  Stick to a meal schedule. “The hungrier you get, the worse choices you’ll make. Skip lunch and Pizza Hut looks like the gates of heaven,” says Carll Tucker, who spent nine months road-tripping to write The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Finding America, Finding Myself ($10, amazon.com). If you stop at regular intervals, you’ll be less likely to settle out of desperation.  In a pinch, find a grocery store.“Supermarkets offer plenty of safe and healthy foods,” says Tucker.
7.  Budget Yourself and Financially Plan Ahead of Time According to Bankrate.com you want to start a savings account prior to your planned escape, and when you have the dollar amount you need, use that first. If you received a tax refund, you can include 10 percent of it but don’t dedicate all your refund to travel.  A prepaid credit card can help to keep you within your budget. Just make sure it doesn’t have excessive fees associated with it.  To avoid going into debt, save money with a detailed budget for what you’ll spend on lodging, meals, activities and gas. Include about 10 percent over that estimate for unforeseen expenses like car repairs or medical expenses.  You should also take some cash in case you run into a place that doesn’t take credit cards.  Another way to save money is to limit your time away to less than 10 days.
8.  Bring a real, actual map and a really big Sharpie Google Maps is awesome for driving directions, but it’s infinitely more fun to track your progress on a real, printed-out atlas. Trace your route on the map as you go along, then hang it in your bedroom or office to smile at every day.  Plus, what happens if your phone runs out of battery or your charger stops working?  
9.  Safety Above All Else Absolutely no texting or tweeting unless the parking brake is on. Obey all traffic safety laws, including using your safety belt correctly; if the belt is too tight you can use a seat belt tension adjuster like LooPo to make your drive more comfortable without compromising your safety.

10.  Have a great Music Playlist Ready Whether you’re driving across the country or just down the road, it’s always a brilliant plan to have some carefully-selected tunes to make the trip go down smoothly. But which songs would make that perfect playlist for your next expedition? Scrounging around in your parents’ CD collection, sifting through friends’ iTunes libraries and revisiting high school mix tapes can give you some great ideas. Have a great rest of the summer and enjoy a road trip with the folks you care about the most, you’ll never know what adventures might find you.  Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get updates from our LooPo Products Lab.

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