Road trips are the stuff of vacation legend. They’re bound to be an unforgettable experience for you and your family, friends, or significant other. The key, however, is making sure that you never forget this trip for all the right reasons. (We’ve all had that vacation we never talk about.) Make your American road trip a smash hit with these vital tips.Gas prices in America can fluctuate wildly (and they are often different state-to-state), but it’s always a safe bet to err on the side of caution when choosing your vehicle. Because road trips can expand and take on a timeline of their own, you’d hardly want gas to become an even bigger expense. Depending on the time of year you’ll be traveling, an SUV makes sense for practical purposes. And while in the past they’ve been known as gas guzzlers, recent developments in the auto industry have resulted in some fairly fuel-efficient vehicles. One final note: while electric cars may seem sexy, there are still not enough places outside of urban areas that offer charging stations, so we don’t recommend renting one of those for a road trip.The days of planning every single stop for gas on your road trip are a thing of the past—thanks again, internet—but it’s still useful to have a rough outline of where you think you want to stop, and how much ground you want to cover in a day. You should also make hotel reservations for most of your planned stops. If you do decide you want to stop spur-of-the-moment, you should remember that most hotels prefer at least 24 hours’ notice to cancel your reservation or they’ll charge some sort of fee. Cheaper motels and the like shouldn’t, though, but they also may not take reservations.Many road trips—especially those in the southwest—feature big-name items like the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, etc. Or, if you’re doing the Cali trip, places like the SFMOMA, Hollywood joints, and the San Diego Zoo. These are all wonderful things to do, of course, but there’s also a lot to be said for taking your time to savor the weird and wonderful things in America. There are quirky museums, bizarre roadside attractions, and plenty of hidden gems to round out your road trip and make it a truly unique experience.You don’t want to stop every hour for food, water, or caffeine, so it’s important to bring a stock of snacks and beverages with you in the car to keep you going on the road. Bring a cooler to keep your water, soda, or juice cool, and sufficient car-friendly snacks. If you’re traveling with little kids, snacks split into individual serving sizes can be useful, too. It’s also vital to make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks. Eating nothing but junk food is a surefire way to make sure you have a few upset tummies—thereby necessitating more stops.
How to Plan Your American Road Trip