A road trip is a long-distance journey on the road, typically traveled by automobile.
The first recorded successful North American road trip by automobile took place in 1903 and was piloted by H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker, accompanied by a dog named Bud. The trip was completed using a 1903 Winton Touring Car, dubbed “Vermont” by Jackson. The trip took a total of 63 days between San Francisco and New York and cost approximately $8,000. The total cost included items such as food, gasoline, lodging, tires, parts, other supplies, and the cost of the Winton.
A fantastic road trip is one that’s about the journey, not the destination. The keys to a memorable adventure? A mix of planning and flexibility.
Road Trip Tips
Set a daily limit for driving time. Never equate the success of a road trip with the miles traveled. It’s crucial not to overdo it.
Is Your Car Ready to Travel?
Ensure your car is ready to go! Have it checked at your local service spot or do it yourself. You should check your tire pressure, tread levels, oil levels, wiper blades, and fluid levels. If it’s close to the time for an oil change, get one. If you need to top off fluids, do it.
The Florida Highway System has put out a great checklist for road trips that will really help get you ready!SafeSummerTravel_TravelChecklist_en
On the Road
Keep your gas tank close to full whenever possible, and, on longer trips, plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, return calls or text messages, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.
Avoid Risky Driving Behavior
Do not text or drive distracted; obey posted speed limits; and always drive sober. Both alcohol and drugs whether legal or illicit can cause impairment. It is illegal to drive impaired by any substance in all states – no exceptions. Alcohol and drugs can impair the skills critical for safe and responsible driving such as coordination, judgment, perception, and reaction time
Know the Laws
It’s important to be familiar with the rules of the road for each state you will be driving through. It might sound like common sense to some but – obey the speed limit. Some drivers think that pushing over the speed limit a little is perfectly acceptable but you don’t want a speeding ticket to ruin your trip and speeding, even when it seems relatively safe, is always a danger. The faster you’re going, the longer it takes your car to slow or come to a stop, meaning you have less time to react appropriately to a dangerous situation.
How to Save Money on a Road Trip
Road trips are often expensive. First you have the gas and then you have to add the food and drinks. However, there are ways that you can cut back on your expenses by eating cheap while on the road. Whether taking a short trip or a long one, follow these tips and save some money today.
The first thing to consider is packing as much food and drinks as you can. This can depend on how much space and how many days on the road, but many items will work well for in your car. Start with things that are easy to eat and easy to pass around the car. Include crackers, chex mix, other types of cereal that you enjoy eating without milk, nuts and seeds, or fruit. Good fruit options include apples, pears, peaches, plums, and bananas. Chips can also be purchased. If you are careful you can shop for some items a couple of weeks in advance and pick up items on sale.
You can also pack whole meals with care. Peanut butter and bread can be brought for sandwhiches. If you are wanting something a bit fancier bring cold cuts, cheese, and other sandwhiches and pack them in a cooler with ice. Prepared sandwhiches and subs can make things easier and faster if need be. You can also bring cheese cubes, summer sausage, and even salads.
Camping gear can make a huge difference in your diet as well. By bringing a cook set you can stop at the side of the road and cook a few meals. This lets you pack hot dogs, canned food, eggs, and other foods for quick and easy eating that will make a difference in your budget.
Take Advantage Of Free Food
Many times there are free food options for travelers. It is a good idea that you take advantage of these options while you are traveling to save money. Choose a hotel with free continental breakfast and make sure that you get there for it. Often times getting there earlier can help you get the best choices. You can often grab a bagel or muffin for later as well.
Bring The Coupons
Many roadside food joints are placed for quick on and off to make your meals quick and easy. You can save money eating at such places by bringing coupons. Most coupons will be honored everywhere and you can save money at McDonalds, Burger King, Arbys, and others. While it isn’t a good idea to depend on this method only, it can make for a quick meal that can also break up the food that you brought with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask around for the best places to eat, for farmers markets, and even for the best local places to shop for foods. This can help you save money, especially after you have arrived at a destination where you will be staying for a few days. Restocking your cooler can be helpful, especially if you aren’t staying somewhere where you can cook.
By following these different tips you will be able to save money on your road trip. Whether you are traveling across a state or a nation. Spend a little time planning out your meals and how you are going to get the food you need and you will save money.
Safety Tips for State Rest Stops/Areas
Practicing safety tips for the state rest stops and rest areas is very important when traveling. Even if you are a person who is cautious, and practices safety with your family, and friends at these areas, sometimes it is just not enough.
It is better to be safe than sorry. A major rule that should be followed is using a buddy system, whether it is day or night when going to one of these state rest stops and rest areas. It is much safer to travel in two’s.
When traveling, it is a great idea to plan out your destination. You can even plan out the rest stops that you are planning to make. You can look up information about the rest stops and know how safe they may be or if they are a shady place. Many of these rest areas are safe, however, you should always use precaution for your personal safety, especially if you are stopping to rest and get some sleep for a bit.
If stopping at night, always stop in very well lit rest areas. Be cautious and be aware of your surroundings. People who have no fears often are the ones that things happen to first, as they are non-caring and they do not have their guard up to protect themselves. It is very unfortunate that anyone can harm another person, but as we all know by listening to the news, things happen.
You should always lock your valuables when you get out to stretch and use the restrooms. There are so many thefts at a rest stop. It can happen so fast. If there are a lot of you traveling together take turns going so your car is manned all the time. Still use the buddy system even in the day time. Be safe and have safety always be a concern.
Check the bathroom stalls before going in to them and make sure no one is lurking in there. Seriously, checking for who may be occupying the bathrooms is a great safety practice to follow.
It is up to you as a traveler to practice safety while going to state rest stops and rest areas. Knowing where you are going to stop can make it easier as you may know the rest area and know where to watch for strangers that could be hiding out. Be safe and always practice using the buddy system.
The most important part of any road trip? Have fun! Have an adventure! Follow these road trip tips and you should be on your way to both fun and adventure!