Want Stress-Free Road trips? Use these 8 Important Tips.


Want Stress-free Road trips? Use these 8 Important Tips.

**We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.    While not everyone hits the road like us, most people will take some variation of a road trip. After 20 years of driving and exploring, we have had our share of mishaps along the way.  One could say that we learned about traveling the hard way.  This article gives light to some important lessons from an experienced road tripper.   These tips will help you have a better chance of stress-free road trips.   Whether you are planning on a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive or a six-month road trip, there is a lot to consider before jumping in the car.  Road trips are not all snacks and playlists. So, before you load up the car and head for the highway, there are a few things to keep in mind.  After all, you do want tips for stress-free road trips!   Traveling by auto can be so much fun as there is a lot of flexibility to your itinerary.  It can also be the most miserable experience.  Unfortunately, many road trips end in anxiety, frustration, and missed opportunities.  As experienced Road Trippers, we want to help you make the most out of your adventure.  These are some important lessons we learned along the way, and these tips have helped us have more stress-free road trips.

1. Be Prepared:

Get your vehicle prepared.  Check your vehicle over to make sure your lights and turn signals work.  Look at the tires and check for wear.  Make sure they are in good shape and properly inflated.  Check your fluids. Be sure to have some basic tools, a jack, inflated spare tire, lug wrench, and a can of Fix-A-Flat.  Check your insurance and registration to make sure it is up to date and current cards are in your vehicle. While this sounds elementary, it is better to double-check than be stranded on the side of the road.  Waiting for roadside assistance can cost you hours and may prevent you from seeing the sights or getting to your destination.  Likewise, being fined for expired tags can be costly. As you might guess, we’ve had some frightening road mishaps.  From losing trailer tires to flashing check engine lights we have had some nightmare situations.  Most times, car troubles happen at the most inopportune time.  Prepare ahead of time!  

2. Be Flexible

Sometimes there will be situations that are out of our control.  Wildfires, changing weather patterns, and sickness are all possible at any time.  Making a flexible plan will increase your ease of travel. Unfortunately, most times pre-paid reservations are non-refundable.  Be sure to know what the terms are for canceling your room.  If for some unforeseen reason you do have to cancel, speak to a manager.  Often they are willing and able to make considerations. Has this happened to us?  Yes, many times and very unexpectedly.  Over Labor Day weekend a few years ago, a freak blizzard shut down the highways through Colorado.  We had to sit for 2 nights AND reroute our trip. Likewise, wildfires had much of the Sequoia National Park blocked off.  Through the pandemic, the Native Lands and Reservations did not allow through traffic.  For experienced road warriors, situations like these are common. Know how to enact a Plan B, C, or D if the situation calls for it.  Check highway patrol, obey chain laws, and watch for ever-changing weather.  

3. Make A Plan

Planning is necessary for travel these days.  Like it or not, the pandemic has changed travel for many destinations.  From Disney World to Glacier National Park, you will probably need advanced reservations. Some destinations, like the Wave and Angels Landing work on a Lottery System, where you have to apply for a permit and hope to be picked.  Only a limited number of passes are awarded each day.  A little bit of preplanning can prevent a lot of heartaches if you know ahead of time.  

4. Understand Weather Patterns and Climates

Contrary to belief, there are better and worse times to visit certain places.  Traveling to Yosemite National Park during the winter may not be for you.  Chain laws are in effect from November through March.  With the high elevation, many of the roads are impassible. Likewise, Death Valley is hot, but from April through October, you can expect temperatures of 100 degrees or more.  Traveling by car can be miserable in the intense heat.  The extreme heat can wreak havoc on our bodies and our vehicles.  

5. Consider Traveling In The Shoulder Season

The Shoulder season refers to the travel time a few weeks before or a few weeks after a particular season.  For instance, winter sets in quickly and stays longer in the higher elevations.  For those who want a winter experience without the crowds, the shoulder season, early April, and late November would be perfect.  Likewise, if you are more of a warm-weather person and want to encounter smaller crowds consider Late April or Late October. In-Season rates, as well as holiday travel, are always more expensive.  Hotels, airlines, and rental cars all increase their rates during prime travel time.  Holidays, long weekends, and seasonal travel all come with a premium price tag.  

6. Understand the Lay Of The Land  

Logistics can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  Pick your destination and research what’s on the way.  Route your travels accordingly.  It is that easy, as long as you actively plan your trip. Leaving those quirky roadside attractions to chance means you will probably miss them.  Very few are located in rest stops or on the side of the highway.  Honestly, imagine you are the biggest Eagles Fan ever and you roll right on past Winslow, AZ, and never stand on the corner.  Me, I would be so disappointed. Likewise, after hearing about the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, you have your heart set on seeing it as you travel from Chicago to Seattle.  Our well-meaning and ever so helpful Facebookers would have you think that is a great stop.  Unless you are going to make a strong left-hand turn, hundreds of miles out of the way, chances are you are not going to travel through Texas to go to Washington. Grouping your points of interest by location is a more efficient way to see the sights.  Know where they are and plan accordingly.  Make the most out of your trip.

7. Strike A Pose

Take pictures and lots of them.  Strike a crazy pose, steal a photo kiss, and capture that memory.  This is your road trip and your journey.  There will be a day when you look back and say, boy I wish I had a picture of that place.

8. Enjoy The Journey

It’s easy to get caught up in preparing, packing, and logistics.  Sometimes we are exhausted before we even pull out of the driveway.  Driving for 8 hours can easily add stress to an already tense situation.  Slow down, stay hydrated and rest when you start to feel tired. You are prepared and understand that you may have to adjust your plans.  You are flexible and understand the logistics.  Take a breather, get out and stretch.   Most of all enjoy your journey.  You deserve it! Now, go forth, travel, and share the important tips for stress-free road trips you learned as an experienced road tripper!   Do you need a reason to take a road trip?  Here are 8 good reasons!  
RV Couple with Renegade Verona LELTS



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