The Best Road Trip Tips You Need to Have an Amazing Road Trip

by | June 2020 | 13 comments

With the weather getting warmer and National Parks gradually starting to open back up amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t help but think about road trips. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one ready to start planning a road trip. So I want to give some helpful road trip tips for anyone wanting to have an awesome road trip experience.

I reached out to my fellow travel bloggers asking them to share their best road trip tips to be able to create the most comprehensive list of road trip tips possible. I received a bunch of great tips and narrowed them down to these top road trip tips.

Want to add your own road trip tip? I’d love to include your tip and info! Just fill out this form with your road trip tip, and you may see your tip magically show up in this post!

Road Trip Tips to Have an Amazing Road Trip
Planning a road trip? Check out the road trip tips in this round-up post of travel bloggers sharing their best road trip tips to have an amazing road trip! #roadtrip #roadtriptips #roadtripessentials #roadtripplanning Click To Tweet

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Best Road Trip Tips

BEST ROAD TRIP TIPS FOR AN AMAZING ROAD TRIP

Say Yes!

First of all, go! Road trips are the best! So take every opportunity you get for a road trip. I guarantee you’ll gain unforgettable experiences and memories.

1. “Say yes! Whoever invites you, whatever the offer, say yes! You will learn, grow, and experience more than you can imagine and develop real honest relationships in the process.”

WigglezWorld | WigglezWorld.com

You may also like: 45+ Road Trip Essentials You Need to Pack Before You Hit the Road

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Research and Plan Ahead

One of the best things about road trips is the freedom and flexibility they give you for traveling. See an interesting sign for a must-stop place? Take a detour! You can go wherever the road leads you.

Road trips are perfect for spontaneity! But doing some research and planning ahead of time can help make sure you hit up all the best spots and don’t miss out on any must-sees.

2. “Map out your route. Start by plugging your starting and ending points into Google Maps. This will show you some of the routes you can take. I’m a visual person, so I need to see where I’m going. Plus, by mapping out your route, you can see places you’ll be passing through. That might give you ideas of other places you want to visit.”

Excerpt from “8 Tips for Planning an Epic Cross-Country Road Trip” Next Destination Unknown guest post for Aimless Travels | AimlessTravels.com

3. “Best road trip tip: If you’re getting stuck on where to go, turn to Google Maps. I’ll save locations that interest me right to Google. I then use those locations on the map as a way to plan out our road trips!”

Aimless Travels | AimlessTravels.com

4. “Planning your route ahead of time helps you understand time, mileage, gas, and where you will need or want to stop. There are plenty of sites and apps that can help you out with this including Google Maps. But, there is one website/app I enjoy and recommend called Roadtrippers.com. By using the Roadtrippers app you’ll be able to see the different places that you can stop along the way. The map highlights interesting places like Museums, Outdoor and recreation areas, and more.”

Excerpt from “How To Plan an Amazing Family Road Trip” post by Exploring New Sights | ExploringNewSights.com

5. “My best tip is to pre-plan and research the pit stops as much as possible. When we went to Disneyland Paris we didn’t research how far out were the gas stations from each other which left us needing food and a toilet for a long stretch of time!”

Beyond London | BeyondLondon.uk

You may also like: Utah National Parks: an Epic One Week Road Trip Itinerary

Be Prepared

I like to plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Being unprepared could ruin your road trip, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible.

6. My road trip tip for being prepared: Use a Road Trip Packing Checklist to make sure you have everything you’ll need for a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable road trip.

7. “Check the weather. Depending on what time of year you will be traveling and also your desired destination, it will determine the weather. Winter brings a lot of snow and icy conditions, while spring can bring flooding. Therefore it’s important to check the weather before you head out so you’re not surprised if you hit a storm.”

Excerpt from “How To Plan an Amazing Family Road Trip” post by Exploring New Sights | ExploringNewSights.com

You may also like: 10 Reasons Why Traveling by RV is the Best Way to Travel

Take Your Time

This was by far the most popular tip, and I couldn’t agree more! When we were full-time RVing, our goal was to travel through each of the 48 Contiguous States of the USA. And we did it! 

But… it was exhausting. In retrospect, we wished we had taken our time instead of rushing to try to see and do it all. Try to give yourself as much time as possible, and leave room for unplanned stops.

8. “Leave extra time in your schedule for unplanned stops along the way. If you see a sign on the side of the road that sounds interesting, take a side trip! We have seen some interesting sights this way!”

Travel the World History | TravelTheWorldHistory.com

9. “Limit the amount of time you drive each day and leave plenty of time for spontaneous exploration. Take back roads, stop often to enjoy local features and  restaurants along the way.”

ArtofRV.com

10. “330 Rule of Driving – Don’t drive over 330 miles in a day or over 3 hours 30 min. and finish your driving by 3:30pm. Take time to relax and not over do it. Enjoy a part of every day. Life is too short to make traveling a grind.”

RVOnTheWayside | LinkTr.ee/RVOnTheWayside

11. “We drove from California to Oklahoma and our top tip is to not rush – we had a lot more fun and our trip went much smoother when we slowed down to appreciate the things we would have missed if we were rushing.”

Queer Nomads | WeAreQueerNomads.com

12. “Don’t trust the time Google maps says it will take to get there. Often takes almost double if you are driving in a new country (especially if on the other side of the road) and stopping to take pictures or videos. Better to get there a bit early then completely miss that epic sunset.”

Portly Travellers | YouTube.com/c/portlytravellers

13. “Don’t try to hit so many places at once. Allocate time to actually hike and take in the scenery.”

explo inspo | Instagram.com/exploinspo

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Road Trip Tips - Take the Road Less Traveled

Take the Roads Less Traveled

Several travelers mentioned something along the lines of this tip, and I’m glad they did. You never know what treasures you can find off the beaten path!

14. “My number one road trip tip is to always look for things to do off the beaten path. I always plug my road trip route into Roadtrippers or another site to help me find fun stops along the way to break up the drive. My family drove from New Jersey to Missouri to see the total solar eclipse in 2017 and the drive was 14 hours long. By looking into stops along the way we were able to find the National Museum of the US Air Force in Ohio which ended up being super interesting and one of the best museums I’ve ever visited. Road trips are definitely more so about the journey than the destination!”

Living with Katie | LivingWithKatie.com

15. “When planning road trips, I always live by the old adage that the journey is as important as the destination. We try to build in plenty of good stops along our route, whether it be quirky roadside attractions or multi-night stays at phenomenal spots along the way. For example, if we didn’t follow this, we would have sped through or passed the Badlands on our way to Yellowstone, and that ended up being a truly magical stop.”

Travels With Birdy | TravelsWithBirdy.com
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Talk to the Locals

You can learn a lot and discover new places by simply talking to people. The locals can tell you about hidden gems, so don’t be shy!

16. “Our Number 1 Road Trip Tip is.. ‘talk with locals.’ We have taken many road trips and we love asking advice from locals on best places to eat, great camping, secret spots in the area, really anything special they like to do that may not be known to all. While we were road tripping for 2 months we asked a few times about free camping spots when we couldn’t find any with our resources and the locals always told us or offered us a free spot! You never know what you will find or discover by just asking a locals advice!”

Traveling Found Love | TravelingFoundLove.com

17. “Our biggest road trip tip is always “Ask a local!”. We find some of the best Mom & Pop restaurants and fascinating places by talking with the local folks and asking them what we should see while we’re in their area.”

RV Texas Y’all | RVTexasYall.com

18. “Be open to a change of plan – speak to locals when you are there and ask about places. We have found some amazing hidden gems no guide book mentions from just chatting to people!”

Hollie’s Adventure | Instagram.com/holliesadventure

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Travel with People You Enjoy

Travel with people who have similar interests as and you enjoy spending time with. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together!

19. “My biggest tip has to be travel with people that you get along very well with! Being in close quarters can teach you a lot about a person and road trips often have a lot of time where you are forced to talk! Plus it will make long journeys fly by!”

LifeInPostcards | LifeInPostcards.com

Bring Snacks

Be prepared for your time on the road with some snacks. Your road trip will be more enjoyable (and cheaper) if you avoid the hanger by having food on hand.

20. “Stock up on supermarket snacks! You wave so much money goodbye by getting gas station snacks and take-out.”

Nomads Office | Instagram.com/nomads.office

21. “We like to pack a lunch on travel days. That way we aren’t searching for a fast food place to stop with a big enough parking lot. It’s healthier and we can picnic at a rest stop and let the dog out or eat in the car while driving. No hassles.”

e and j RV | eandjRV.com

You may also like: RV Must-Haves Every RVer Needs to Make RVing Easier

Bring a Map

Don’t rely on technology to get you where you want to go. You may not get reception and will want to have a good old-fashioned paper map with you to reference.

22. My road trip tip for bringing a map: Use an actual Road Atlas like this one to discover new places along the way and highlight your route as you go. That way you can try to take a different road each time to always see something new!

23. “Have a backup. We were doing a road trip of the West Coast of America, using Google maps on a phone and the charger in our hire car didn’t work! Luckily we had a map with us!”

The Travels of Mrs B | TheTravelsofMrsB.com

Bring a Notebook

Document your journey by jotting down notes of things you want to remember. You can then use your notes for a scrapbook, social media posts, blog posts, and more.

24. “Have one of the passengers write down some of the funny/interesting things you see along the way. There isn’t always time/opportunity for a photo and this preserves the memory.”

The Christerbelle Adventures | TheChristerbelleAdventures.com

Get a National Parks Pass

I highly recommend going to as many National Parks as possible on your road trip! And if you’re going to visiting several, it’s probably worth it to invest in an Annual National Parks Pass.

For example, if you were to visit all 5 Utah National Parks without a National Parks Pass, it would cost you $150 versus just $80 for the Pass, saving you $70!

I can’t even tell you how much money we’ve saved over the years by getting the Annual Parks Pass. Get yours here!

America the Beautiful Pass Annual National Parks Pass

25. “Get an annual National Parks Pass to save a lot of money.”

explo inspo | Instagram.com/exploinspo

Pack Light

Less is more when it comes to packing for a road trip. Try to pack as light and efficiently as possible. The tip below is a great idea if you’re staying in hotels or vacation rentals.

26. “Pack each day’s necessary clothing in a small bag or bundle that you can individually grab without lugging your entire suitcase into your hotel every night, and keep toiletries in their own tote bag. It saves so much time reloading the car!”

Mandala Traveler | CochranWriting.com/The-Mandala-Traveler-Blog

You may also like: 7 Crucial Things You Need to Think About Before Buying an RV for the First Time

WRAPPING UP ROAD TRIP TIPS

Road trips are the best way to travel! They allow you to see and experience so much more than if you were flying overhead. 

Hopefully, these road trip tips will help you plan your next road trip adventure and have an amazing experience out on the open road.

Want to add your own road trip tip? I’d love to include your tip and info! Just fill out this form with your road trip tip, and you may see your tip magically show up in this post!

Ready to start planning your next road trip? Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway to the next state over or traveling cross-country, I’d love to hear all about where you’re going on your next road trip! Let me know in the comments below. 

Need some road trip inspiration? Here’s an Epic 1-Week Road Trip Itinerary for the Mighty 5 Utah National Parks!

Download the FREE Road Trip Packing Checklist to make sure you pack everything you need for your road trip!

Leave a question or comment HERE!

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The Best Road Trip Tips from Travel Bloggers

Road Trip Tips for the Best Road Trip
The Best Road Trip Tips from Travel Bloggers to Help with Road Trip Planning
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Briana Nickas of Next Destination Unknown

Behind the Blog

I’m Briana Nickas, a part-time RVer who loves RVing, hiking, visiting National Parks, and taking photos. My happiest days are spent on the road with my hubby and our fur-baby Saucy (a 7-lb maltipoo) exploring the country and meeting fellow adventurers along the way… 

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13 Comments

  1. Cathers

    Great post with some brilliant tips! Definitely agree with taking roads less travelled and speaking to locals – when we do this we normally find some of the best places and food of our road trips!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks, Cathers! Those are definitely some of my favorite road trip tips. We’re always on the hunt for the best and unique local food and places to check out. You never know what you’ll find when you chat it up with the people you come across and venture out! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Robyn Jones

    Road trips are so fun! These are great tips; I agree about roadtrippers. I haven’t tried their app, but their website is super helpful for planning!

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Aren’t road trips the best?! Happy to hear that you enjoy using RoadTrippers. It’s great for road trip planning and finding worthwhile stops along the way. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Britt

    We do a lot of road trips with my family living approximately a 6 hour drive away from us. However, these are always road trips with 2 dogs in the jeep that need to get out and stretch their legs at least once along the way. Our approach as of late (if we’re in no hurry to get to our final destination) has been to pull out the AllTrails app and discover a hiking trail randomly along the way. We’ve found some GREAT trails and the short hiking break is the perfect way to stretch your legs. Plus… Tired dogs are quiet dogs 😉 lol

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Great idea, Britt! Love your road trip strategy (and love the AllTrails app)! Mind if I include your comment (and link to your site) as one of the road trip tips in this post?

      Reply
  4. Rachel

    These are great and useful road trip tips. Thank you for sharing tips from a variety of road trippers! Currently planning our next road trip through the U.S., since our other travel plans have been canceled due to Coronavirus.

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks, Rachel! Happy to share helpful content from other road trippers and bloggers. 🙂 I’ve always loved road trips. And now with COVID-19, road trips are going to be the best travel option for awhile. That’s a bummer that your travel plans were canceled. Boo! But at least it made way for new road trip plans. Where are you planning on going for your next road trip?

      Reply
      • Rachel

        We haven’t been to the states in the middle of the US or along the northern border. So my guess, we will be making our way to those areas. We just don’t have any exact plans yet!

        Reply
        • Briana Nickas

          Sometimes it’s better to just start with an idea rather than a concrete plan when it comes to a road trip. That way you can give yourself some flexibility to explore other places you happen come across. 🙂

          Reply
          • Rachel

            Totally agree! 😊

  5. Noah

    Love this post. I think road trips are the safest way to travel. I am super intimidated by planning a road trip. This guide is so helpful! Will definitely save to use for later.

    Reply
    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks, Noah! Road trips are the way to go! 🙂 But planning a road trip can be a bit overwhelming. Hopefully, these tips make it easier and less intimidating. Also, be sure to grab a copy of my Free Road Trip Packing Checklist to ease the stress of packing for a road trip. Safe travels!

      Reply

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