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10 Road Trip Tips & Tricks

If ketchup stains and one-sided sunburns were badges and medals, I’d be the most decorated Road Tripper to have ever hit the musty dusty. And with that humble introduction behind me, I give you my top 10 finest road trip tips and tricks:  

  1. Keep a bag of Important Stuff (note: make sure the bag of Important Stuff is easily differentiated from the bag of garbage.) Within the bag of Important Stuff you can keep those things you want to get your hands on right away: wallet, sunscreen, camera, sunglasses, oversized foam cowboy hat, etc.
  2. It’s always good to decide on an endpoint, including an exact address. Without an endpoint to stop them a pair of road trippers can find themselves in the middle of nowhere, driving into the wee hours without a warm bed in sight. Even if you feel like you can keep going, don’t be a hero. Obey the endpoint.
  3. Work it out so that you’re not driving through major cities during rush hour. One always wants to avoid rush hour, both the time of day and the movie.
  4. Tiny confined spaces, especially those shared by two or more people have a tendency to become very messy, very quickly. I always like to keep plastic bags around for garbage, as well as a handful of contraband napkins hustled from roadside fast food establishments.
  5. Stop at grocery stores instead of convenience stores. There’s a wider variety of snacks (wider variety of chips anyway, and let’s face it, that’s the most important road trip food group) and in the end you’ll find you’ve saved some money.
  6. While you’re in that grocery store, buy yourself a real map. They don’t run out of batteries like smartphones do.
  7. You’ll be happy to have that map when you detour from Google maps. Generally Google maps will offer you the fastest route between point A and B which means boring highways with very few sightseeing opportunities.
  8. Phone cards. Because sometimes cell phones don’t work along dusty, backwoods roads. Just ask every kid from every horror movie you’ve seen since 1998.
  9. BRING MUSIC. Don’t depend on the radio. It will let you down through mountains.
  10. Shoes that slip on and off with ease are an absolute necessity. I’m not sure why shoes feel so much like tiny, stifling foot prisons when riding in cars, but they do.

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Tips by
Ainslie

Deal Expert, Toronto
Thursday, August 2, 2012
See more Tips from
Ainslie Hogarth