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10 Helpful Road Trip Hacks & Tips to Fuel Your Next Adventure

The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are steadily rising. You know what that means, right? That’s right – it’s almost roadtripping season! Every year, millions of car lovers and adventure enthusiasts set out to experience the thrill of the open road and all the hidden wonders dotting the American countryside.

Whether you’re planning to go solo or ride with family, take a long, winding trip or a short weekend trip – whatever, we’ve got you covered with some of the most helpful road trip tips to make your adventure the best it can be. Next time you’re itching to get on the road, keep these handy road trip tips on hand for the best experience possible.

1. Use a cereal container for trash

Sure, plastic bags are a quick fix for road trip garbage, but they fill up quickly and can be quite messy if you don’t tie them tight. Instead of fumbling around with bags, make your next adventure a little easier by creating a mini trash can out of an old cereal box.

Just add a small trash can liner to an old cereal container, add a lid and BAM. An instant mini trash can you can stowe away under seats or in your trunk.

2. Find Cheap Gas

Even if you’re eating cheap, high gas prices can make your road trip more expensive than you might have originally planned for. Work around that by downloading GasBuddy, an app that shows you the cheapest places to fuel up. They also offer GasBack, a program that allows you to turn everyday purchases into points you can use to lower your gas bill!

3. Use an iPad for a makeshift TV

Want to keep whoever’s riding shotgun entertained? If you’ve got an iPad with a foldable case, try hanging it off of their sun visor for a makeshift TV monitor. The only challenge? Trying to keep your eyes on the road when they’re on their 4th episode of Parks & Rec.

4. Make eating easier with a shower caddy

Trying to eat in the car can be a disaster if done wrong – especially when you’ve got kids. Keep everyone organized (and clean) by bringing along a few shower caddies for easier meal time. Pop your fries and drink on one side, and keep your nuggets and dipping sauce on the other. Perfect on-the-go meal solution!

5. Buy a trunk cover

Now this is a road trip tip you might not have thought of, but it’s a smart one that can save you a lot of peace of mind.

Whether you’re making a quick pit stop or taking an extended hike away from your car, it’s never a good idea to have all of your valuable supplies and personal items just out in the open for anyone to see. A trunk cover can help with that.

6. Bring an air mattress

If you’re planning on sleeping in your car, you’ll want to maximize comfort wherever and however you can. One of the easiest ways to get a better night’s sleep while roughing it in your car is by packing a small air mattress to sleep on. Don’t forget your favorite pillow and blanket, too!

7. Go analogue

Imagine this: you’re riding down an old desert route, having a grand time, and then your phone dies because you forgot to bring your charger. Whoops.

That’s why it’s so important to bring a few analogue necessities with you, just in case. Bring along paper maps, extra batteries, and card games to make sure you can stay on track and keep entertained – even if your devices are out of commission.

8. Stay hydrated

We all know that staying hydrated is important, but it’s even more important when you’re going to be in a potentially hot car all day. Dehydration can cause headaches, body aches, and overall grouchiness, which is something no one wants to deal with on a road trip.

Before you head out, make sure everyone on the trip brings a reusable water bottle! Tip: Keep them color-coded for easy organization!

9. Bring a 5-port charger

If you and your road trip mates absolutely can’t live without your phones, tablets, and portable gaming consoles, it might be a good idea to invest in a multi-port charger. That way, there can be no accusations that Karen is hogging the charger (although let’s be real, Karen always hogs the phone charger).

10. Pack an emergency kit

Whether you’re heading out for a long weekend or plan to keep on the open road for weeks, it’s always a smart idea to pack an emergency kit full of necessities in case something goes awry.

Consider adding these items to your kit: a flashlight (along with extra batteries), distilled water, a first aid kit, jumper cables, granola bars/other snacks, extra maps, and flares.

Embarking on the road trip of your dreams soon? Make sure to keep these 10 road trip tips in mind, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable time!

Claire Biggerstaff
Claire Biggerstaff is a freelance writer and photographer from Charlotte, NC. Her curiosity leads her to write about a wide variety of topics. On her off days, she enjoys reading Polygon articles, and curling up to a good YouTube playlist.

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