If you are anything like me, you are probably preparing or researching information for your next trip. If you are anything like my boyfriend, you are probably waiting for someone else to prepare or research information for your next trip. Do either of these sound like you?
Lucky for you, I’ve got a few quick tips to help you prep your car, yourself and your patience for a road trip in the upcoming future:
3 Road Trip Tips You Need to Know
Whether you are planning a cross-country trip, or just a little loop ’round a few states, there are some vital tips that will help you keep your sanity.
Always have AT LEAST 1/4 Tank of Gas
Well, no s**t, right? Wrong. If you have never embarked on a multi-state mission, (I.E. My boyfriend), you might not know that gas/petrol stations in the U.S.A. can sometimes be up to 100 miles away from one another. (I’m not kidding).
While driving through “nowhere”, Nevada, along “wheretheheckarewe” Highway this past month, Brandon and I exited onto “anotherwindingroad”. The sun is just about to set behind the mountains in the distance and of course, neither of us has any cellular service. (Thanks, T-Mobile!!!) There was a gas station just as we exited, but Brandon, who has never been on a long road trip, didn’t want to fill up with ARCO, a gas station that sometimes has watery petrol. While I understood his reasoning, I didn’t bother to ask him how LOW his gas tank was, because I thought we would find another station along the way. Little did either of us know, but the nearest station was over 66 miles away!
Sure enough, as we are puttering along, our vehicles’ gas light comes on. It will be another 23 miles after the initial warning light of sweating, petting the steering wheel, and praying before we coasted into the station. We had less than 5 miles-worth of gas left in the tank.
Don’t be like us. Fill up your tank before it gets lower than a 1/4 tank.
Avoid OPEN RANGE Highways, (especially at night)
While major highways are often far less scenic than some of the smaller highways that cut through states, they are often safer. By safer, I mean from these hazards:
This is a Bison. You might encounter this animal along some of the roads in Montana. They will, most certainly, undoubtedly and completely, screw up your road trip plans indefinitely if you hit one. As in “bye, bye, rental car”, “Sayonara, swag-van”, and “so-long windshield”.
Other hazards include “OPEN RANGE” signs. You will run into these ALL OVER the U.S. where there are farming areas. Beware of driving at night on Open Range Highways, where you might come across a cow standing in the middle of the road. There are no lights to illuminate the highways, and cows tend to stand on the asphalt as it stays warmer throughout the evening. These animals are often times black….meaning you might not see them until it’s too late to stop.
I came across these highways in Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California.
If you notice construction: Call ahead for a hotel
If you are driving in the middle of nowhere, and don’t quite know where you will stop for the evening, make sure you google hotels a few hours ahead and reserve a room. The last thing you want to do is roll into a town in the middle of the evening and have to continue on because there aren’t any available rooms.
I’ve discovered that the places located in the middle of nowhere are often booked up with construction workers, or other travelers in advance. If you notice there is lots of construction on the highway as you head towards your destination, make sure to call and check in. Those workers need places to crash too, right?
After talking to hotel staff, I can confirm that sometimes those workers will be staying in one city for quite awhile as they work their way down the highway repairing the roads. I had the misfortune of having to drive another hour in order to find a hotel with an available room due to construction. I hope you find better luck.
Did I miss anything? What tips do you have for a road trip?
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