To truly enjoy your road trip experience you’ll need to arm yourself with a few practical tips. So road trippers rejoice: here are 10 ways to make your road trip hassle-free.
1. Use Travelmath’s driving calculators
We recommend using the following calculators when planning a road trip:
- Driving time
- Driving distance
- Cost of driving
- Halfway points
Driving time calculator allows you to calculate the time needed to drive between point A to point B. For example, the driving time (non stop) between Dallas and San Antonio is four hours and 32 minutes.
Driving distance calculator shows you the distance between both cities. In this example it is 275 miles.
Use the halfway point calculator if you can’t tolerate sitting in a vehicle for long stretches of time. In this example, Killeen is the halfway point between Dallas and San Antonio. You may want to take a rest and stop at Killeen before proceeding to your destination.
Travelmath offers ways to help you work on a budget for your road trip. Use the cost of driving calculator to estimate gas prices and cash needed when you are on the road.
In this instance, it costs $23.34 to drive from Dallas to San Antonio.
These calculators will take all the guesswork out of road tripping.
2. Have a Wi-Fi hotspot in your vehicle
If your vehicle is not equipped with Wi-Fi, turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for the whole family. Wi-Fi is essential when going on a road trip. You can search for the latest weather or road conditions, look for last minute meal or hotel stops and even download a movie if needed. Your options are endless. You have the capabilities to stay connected with loved ones at home or send urgent message to your business partner.
3. Up to the minute weather conditions
Rain, snow, wind and ice are beyond your control when planning on a road trip. But you don’t have to drive into bad weather without knowing it. Get up to the minute weather conditions on the road by using apps like Weather Underground and MyRadar NOAA Weather Radar apps. According to Weather Underground:
Powered by 200,000+ weather stations,Weather Underground provides the world’s most accurate hyper-local weather forecasts, radar, maps, and severe weather alerts.
MyRadar is a fast, easy-to-use, weather application that displays animated weather radars around your current location, allowing you to quickly see what weather is coming your way.
Note: These apps require real time Wi-Fi connection to be fully functional.
4. Check out stopping points
In case you need to know which are the best stopping points, Travelmath will show you how. Our example of Dallas to San Antonio has Austin as a suggested stopping point.
However, you can use the calculator to customize your own stopping points according to your preferences by clicking on the “customize this trip” link.
5. Get the latest traffic alerts
The worst part of a road trip is when you have to drive into road blocks and heavy traffic jams. To ease the pain, use Waze traffic and navigation app. Waze says you can get
- live maps
- automatic rerouting as road conditions changes
- accidents, road closures, hazards, police traps and more
6. Utilize E-Z Passes for tolls
Beat the lines and avoid waiting for your change or looking for cash in your wallet, get the E-Z pass. E-Z pass allows you to drive through toll booths with less hassle. All you need is to pre-pay and get an E-Z pass transponder for your vehicle.
E-Z passes are accepted in 15 states. Sun Pass is available in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, Fas Trak in California and Plate Pass is available in Colorado and Texas.
7. Water and snack supplies
Part of the fun of road trips is the unlimited amount of hot coffee or tea, soda, water and snacks you can bring while on the road. Take time to prepare your family’s favorite drinks and snacks before your road trip.
Here are some of our favorites:
Hot coffee in insulated mug
Hard boiled eggs
8. Pre-book hotel rooms
We like pre-booking hotel rooms that do not require advance payment and waive cancellation fees until 24 hours before arrival. You can easily change the date or cancel your reservation without penalty if you follow the cancellation policy.
Having pre-booked rooms allow you to have the peace of mind especially during peak season.
Use Travelmath hotel calculator to find the best deals and hotels at your destinations.
9. Vehicle maintenance
Get your vehicle checked by a professional before hitting the road. DMV recommends:
- check the engine oil and automatic transmission fluid
- check engine antifreeze or coolant level
- check the car battery
- check brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer reservoir
- change the air filter
- check the tire pressure
Let your traveling companions, yourself included, talk about expectations for the upcoming road trip. Knowing each others’ expectations will help lessen conflicts and misunderstandings.