Roadtrips are that classic American way of travel. As you know, a few years ago we moved out to San Francisco and spent a week roadtripping out here. Since, we’ve been driving all around California, our most recent trip being a 10+ hour (each way) drive to San Diego. So, it’s safe to say that I’m roadtrip expert at this point and I wanted to share some of my roadtrip travel hacks with you. Read on to learn my secrets to a great trip!
11 Roadtrip Hacks To Know
1. Bring a jug of water along. On our roadtrip across the country, we bought a gallon of water for about $1.99 at a gas station and used that to fill up our waterbottles. This was WAY cheaper than buying smaller bottles throughout the day, and was easy to quickly fill up when we needed water and weren’t very close to the next rest stop.
2. Use Roadtrippers to find the best route to hit all the fun spots while cutting down on miles. I love using their system to plan out our route that includes fun things to do (like scenic views, weird stores, and famous restaurants, just to name a few). They also will calculate your gas mileage for you. Score!
3. Always use the Gas Buddy App! Speaking of gas, Gas Buddy is a fantastic app that allows you to scout out gas prices around you. More often than not, gas stations aren’t all selling gas for the same price. I know I can’t be the only one who filled up, only to see a station down the road was selling gas for 50 cents cheaper! That’s why, when we need to fill up on roadtrips, I use Gas Buddy.
4. Maintain a constant speed to save fuel. You may remember this tip from drivers ed, but it’s worth repeating. Speeding up and slowing down over and over is a huge waste of gas. It’s better to maintain a constant speed when driving long distances to make the most of your fuel.
5. Pack your own food to save money and to satisfy road munchies. We like to pack along sandwiches, fruit, juices and other snack foods while driving long distances. If your hotel has a fridge, you can bring even more food to last during your trip, or even to eat on the way back. Food expenses can add up when you’re traveling, plus there aren’t always healthy options on the road. Better to bring your own food!
6. Wear the right outfit to make your trip comfy. Nobody likes sitting in tight jeans for 9 hours! I always wear a comfy maxi dress paired with a warm cardigan and shoes that are flat and easy to slip on/off. This way, you can slip your shoes off in the car, but when it comes time for rest stops or a quick exploring session, you’re good to go!
7. Download a lot of audiobooks and podcasts ahead of time. There are so many times you can listen to Adele’s sweet, sweet pipes before you need to switch it up. Books and podcasts are fun to listen to – but consume a lot of data when you download on the go.
My Favorite Roadtrip Outfits
8. Use your credit card for everything. Those reward points can be racked up fast while traveling. Between hotel rooms, meals, gas and activities, you can earn back a lot of points while on a roadtrip. We have the Chase Saphere Reserve and earn 3x points on everything travel related. We’ve racked up so many points were we able to book our honeymoon flights to Europe FOR FREE for both of us!
9. Book hotels in advance to save the most. Take the time to shift through hotel rooms while at home and connected to wifi, where you can weigh the options and find the best one. Nobody wants to be hunting for a hotel while driving! My favorite place to book hotels is hotel.com (earn those free nights!) If you need a last minute place, use Hotel Tonight for one-night stays.
10. Or spend the night camping for an even cheaper room. I’ve heard places like Montana allow you to camp pretty much anywhere (like the side of the road) for free, but even if you pay for a campsite, $15-30 is a lot cheaper than any hotel room you’ll find. Plus a more fun experience! Campfires anyone?
11. Use rest stops for free water, bathrooms, maps and coupons. Rest stops are underrated in the traveling community, but I love having a reliable area to use a clean bathroom, fill up water jugs, stretch my legs and even pick up some local coupons or travel pamphlets. You aren’t guaranteed to be able to use the bathrooms at gas stations, and you have to pay for water there, so keep an eye out for those rest stop signs!
Summer is meant for roadtrips, and I hope you have wonderful adventures bonding with your trip pals over playlists, bad drivers and unique sights. Keep these hacks in mind for an even better trip.