Summertime is the most popular time of year to hit the roads and head out for a family venture.
Heed our advice, grab a couple close friends, and get out there on the best trip of your life.
- Make a plan, but not a rigid one.
Most roadtrippers have a time limit before they head out. It’s wise to map out which city you’ll sleep in each night before hitting the pavement. Plan so your driving time is eight hours or less per day to keep from getting too tired, 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.
- Don’t research your stops beforehand.
Happiness is key. On a road trip, be sure your schedule has extra room, so you can afford to explore. When you don’t know what to expect at a stop, you can’t possibly be let down by what you discover. And when you’re not racing to the city’s most-visited tourist locales, you leave the door wide open for amazing little discoveries… of the city’s true gems.
- 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 (and photo opps). There are a plethora of “world’s largests” along the highways — highlights include the Giant Artichoke in California and the World’s Largest Freestanding Illuminated Man-Made Star in Roanoke, Virginia.
- Bring a real, actual map and a really big Sharpie.
Google Maps can be great for driving directions, but add a little more fun to your road trip by tracking your progress on a real old school map. Trace your route on the map as you go along so you can reminisce in the years to come about your great venture.
- Pack light so there’s room to collect.
You’re going to find an authentic Apache rug in New Mexico or seashells galore along the coast. Don’t over pack only to find you have no room to bring home your latest treasures.
- Get a gas card.
Buying lots of fuel translates into lots of free gas points, cash back on hotels, discounted groceries and many other benefits.
- Bring a CD.
Be sure to do some research so you can have a great road trip play list to keep you company, boost your mood and get in the spirit along the way.
- Practice making new friends.
You can keep to yourself at home, but a road trip is not the best time to do so. Chat up your grocery store cashier. Ask the motel staff for shopping suggestions. Be bold and join a Frisbee game at the park. Locals know their area best, and they’ll lead you to the best activities once you break the ice. You will learn ton along the way.
- Carry cash for tolls.
Toll roads can pop up in the most bizarre of places, and their fares might be higher than you expect. Stock your center console with dollars and coin rolls so your mailbox won’t overflow with fines from the Kansas Department of Transportation when you get home. Those flashing lights at the toll booth are not automated selfie machines. Your license plate will surely track you down.
Safe travels to you all this summer! For more helpful advice or information about our automotive refinishing products, contact a Martin Auto Color location near you!