If you need a cooler to keep stuff cold, freeze bottles of water beforehand. They’ll serve as ice for the time that they’re solid, then when they melt, you’ll have bottles of water to keep you hydrated.


Also don’t forget to cool your cooler in the freezer before you leave. Lasts much longer.


How big are y'all's freezers that you can do this?


I put frozen 2 liter bottles in my cooler the night before, then I’ll fill with ice. My ice lasts nearly twice as long when I do this. But yeah, I don’t have a freezer big enough for my coolers either.


This is the most fruitful lifehacks comment section that I've ever seen!


Yes! We do this all the time when we hike in the desert. Saves space because you don’t have to pack ice in the cooler


And piss bottles EDIT: If you're a woman and you've got strong piss flow control, just bring a wide funnel as well


Ray that's *greasy*


Way of the road, Bubs


And poop bottles if you have good aim. Precision aim.


Why aim? Insert and fill.


I’ve never been great at shooting the shit


You win


Well then you're shit out of luck


I just poop on the ground, take a clump off, roll it like play-dough and put it in the bottle! Works every time.


This reminds me of the poop in the shower Convo on Reddit like four years ago. Someone apparently smashes their poop through the grate in the shower drain.


Correct terminology is "Waffle Stomp" 🤢


Just remember to squeeze some air out before insertion.


Bring a butter knife to use as a duel poop knife and poop in bottle inserter


Ahhh! I was looking for a poop knife reference!


Dual (as in poop knife and poop inserter) or duel as in you fight with it to death?


Get a cheap, over the door shoe organizer and affix it to the back of the front seat. You can remove the headrest, affix the shoe organizer, reattach the headrest. You might consider using a zip tie at the bottom if needed. Use the slots for all kinds of things you want easy to reach. Chargers, snacks, tissue, hand sanitizer, receipts, etc. this will help keep the car much cleaner while you’re on the road.


This i good general car advice! When we were backapacking AUS we did this woth our car to maximize space. Works wonderfully


There are also ones that are specifically made for the car seat that does the same thing.


I'm guessing it's more expensive if it's specifically designed for it.


Even if you "don't need to" go to the rest stop bathrooms and take a leak, the mere fact of you walking can make it better, and stretching, hidrate, keep your eye out for carbon gasses buildup in a closed car, both of those, if inadequate can make you drowsy. Good travels op!


If one person has to go to the bathroom, go ahead and go yourself. Even if you don't have to.. it will definitely lengthen the time until your next stop.


Go to the bathroom every time you stop. And if you're stopping for any reason and have less than half a tank of gas, fill up.


Pre-plan rest and gas stops in busier locations with more, cleaner, better options/competition. On a cross country trip I made the mistake of hitting one of those remote "Last Rest Stop for XX miles" spots bc I was low on gas. I felt like I was walking into a scene in Deliverance and the bathroom was a nightmare. I pumped my gas, got the hell outta there and peed on the side of the road.


Try to stop in places with a park near a quality grocery store


Highways typically have rest areas as you enter states… which in the northeast is often! (DE just has one tho haha)


Delaware is filthy. The restrooms, trash everywhere in parking lot, dining area.


Gas buddy can find the cheapest possible way to get gas on the trip. It will calculate all the gas stations on the route and calculate when it’s worth it to stop even if you aren’t on E.


Stop at grocery stores for lunch instead of restaurants. Healthier, cheaper, quicker and tastier. They have lots of to go items. They also have bathrooms and some have seating areas or you can hang in the parking lot for a while if needed.


Yes! Buy sandwich stuff and chips at the grocery store and stop at rest stops or scenic pull over for lunch along your drive. A lot cheaper than eating out for lunch and more enjoyable than eating in a chain restaurant (imho).


The deli sandwiches from the grocery stores are SO GOOD


Yea this! Avoid gas station snacks and buy them at grocery stores or “dollar” stores. You’ll get more bang for your buck and have more money for entry fees. Also, if no one has said it yet, get a National park Pass. I had one and it was awesome because some parks can be over $30 just to get in.


Absolute yes on National Park Service pass. Every state in the U.S. has amazing parks highlighting what is unique in that area. You won't see the same "park" twice! Beaches, deserts and canyons, or historic sites are all there for your enjoyment.


Meat and cheese platter easily lasts all day and the meat doesn't spoil quickly.


Make sure you stop by the prepared foods section and steal a bunch of those little condiment packets - convenient small serving-sized condiments for all your needs! If you stay at a hotel with those free breakfast buffet things, pick up some granola and a piece of fruit for a quick road snack.


Grocery stores are your friend, you don’t have to load up/store a bunch of food in your vehicle. Instead of eating all canned stuff you can eat fresher things. Also water, make sure you drink some water. Many towns have a park, you can eat outside of the vehicle. Many have some kind of walking path. We will just google parks, look at reviews and have come across quite a few gems. Get off the interstate once in awhile. National wildlife refuges and national forests are low cost and sometimes free, as are state forests. Have fun. Travel is one of the best things.


Though the bathrooms may not be as well maintained as bathrooms in restaurants.


Cheaper I get but what kind of ready-to-eat snacks are you picking up at a grocery store thats tastier than a freshly cooked meal from a local restaurant?


Half the fun of travel is the local cuisine


Exactly - eating at grocery stores is a good tip if you're the type who mainly eats at chain/fast food places on road trips. But for me personally, trying that mom and pop Thai place, or that highly rated food truck, or that small town diner that the locals love, is one of the best parts of road trips.


Few of my grocery stores even have fast chargers if you happen to drive an EV


this only works if you’re not shopping at loblaws


Grocery stores sell food less expensive than restaurants.


Love checking out grocery stores on vacation, Hannaford in the NE US for OP was reliable with good selection


Have you been to the grocery store lately? It's almost to the point where it us cheaper to go out 😅 I would say grocery is healthier and cheaper when you make your own but just as bad as anywhere when you buy pre-made salads and sandwich etc But def my favorite "rest stop" either way 🤙


Get the libby app. It connects to your library and you can download some audiobooks for the trip!


Along with this, you can get digital library cards from other areas to increase the number of titles available.


I’ve heard about this just recently and was curious how it worked. How does one go about finding the places that offer digital cards to non-locals?


I live in a small town and have a physical card from my local library as my first card. Then I went to the states capital library website, and in their menu there was a link to sign up for an ecard. According to their site, it's good for 4 years.


Boston public library is one. Has way more digital than my local and did not step foot in library.


And Google Podcasts is free, you can download all the episodes you want ahead of time.


Google has a tool called My Maps. Use it to generate your daily itinerary so you can visually see where you're going, what points of interest are along the way and how much time you need to get to each.


I would also say: investing in actual, hard copy maps is always a good idea. Or at very least download maps so you can access them without internet. Even in this day and age you can find yourself somewhere with zero cellphone service, usually in the middle of nowhere. Example: the UP in Michigan. Most of that peninsula is an internet/GPS deadzone. If you don't prepare with maps to know exactly how to navigate to all off highway roads, parks, and beaches you'll almost undoubtedly get lost in the woods. On top of that: prepare for deadzones entertainment wise as well. No internet=no music, no podcasts, and usually almost no radio options. Download what you want to listen to, or if you're slumming it like me, bring CDs to pop in. Driving in silence for a couple hours can be overwhelmingly dull.


AAA has free maps of every state and a bunch of major cities; I get them for wherever I'm traveling, just in case, and I've picked them up for friends who are traveling. Plus I get roadside assistance if I break down.


Alternatively, download maps of the whole area you will be driving through with a hiking app like GiaGPS. Even if you have no cell service, this app will locate your position on a map on the screen. It won’t call out turns, but it will show exactly where you are. Roads are labeled as well as hiking trails.


Wait what? Are you talking about Google Maps or something else? If the former, how do you use it to build an itinerary?


It’s called My Maps, it’s a feature within Google Maps. You can save your routes with lots of destinations & pull it up on your phone. (Setting it up is a lot easier on a computer) Then use the attractions feature to see things that are in proximity to your route while on route, for those impromptu stops. Edit: adding a link: https://library.carleton.ca/guides/help/making-online-map-google-my-maps


It's such an amazing feature!


Cool, thanks for sharing!


I use Google My Maps too, but Furkot is much more full featured for longer road trips, especially when parts of your schedule are firmer than others.


Trivia podcasts on Spotify can help kill hours. We like America's Pop Culture Trivia Show the best.


And there is always the NPR classic, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.


Don’t forget your towel


Every sloopy frood knows to carry a towel!


This has been a PSA from towelie


If sleeping in your car for whatever reason. Loop the seat belt through the handle of the door and buckle it for extra security.


Excellent advice!


bring your own pillows. hotel pillows are hit or miss. pack some sandwiches and put them in an icebox. Cutting up carrots and celery and radishes for great driving snacks. buy some wet bum wipes in case you need them. audiobooks are invaluable.


Cheese, sausage/deli meats, crackers, veggies and fruit in a cooler. If you have it, you will eat it instead of stopping at the gas station for a Red Bull and Snickers bar.


Make sure to put a bright pillow case in your travel pillow. I have left too many white ones behind. They blend in, and I forget.


Pillows are such a game changer. A pillow from home can make any hotel stay amazing. And earplugs.


I like to bring my own thin blanket too. Smells like home


Or a white noise app. I use one by TMSoft and it's fantastic! I made my own mix: pink nose as a general masking noise, a rain overlay so it was a nice peaceful storm to fall asleep to, and intermittent thunder to mask out bass sounds (vacuum cleaner, trucks, etc). Also a sleep mask - hotel window coverings are also very hit or miss!


I'm failing at the pillow game. Im always jealous of how nice the hotel pillows are compared to mine at home. I've been through so many different brands and materials. Any suggestions?


I contacted my local Hyatt to ask about their pillows. They put me in contact with Housekeeping, who sold me new pillows of my own.


I love thé down ones from Pacific Coast Feather Co. they are pricey though.


And you can get the audiobooks free from the live library


You must download these two roadtrip essential apps! AllTrails: Great for finding hikes or walking/biking trails. IOverLander: If you are car camping, this is essential for finding areas to stay at other than rest areas and sketchy walmarts!


I would also add iExit - it has info for every exit on Interstates including distance to each one. You can also search for specific things like Rest Areas, restaurants, and hotels.


I’d also recommend visiting swimmingholes.org


The cleanest public bathrooms are in the lobbies of mid to upper level hotels e.g Holiday Inn, etc. Just walk in like you are a guest, walk right past the reception desk. They won't question you. On your way out grab a complimentary cup of coffee.


This is a great general rule of thumb: looking like you belong will get you into lots of places. No one wants to stop someone that DOES belong so the downside is high for them to attempt to stop you.


If asked, just reply, “I’m meeting a married friend.”


Is this to imply you’re there for an affair?


By complete accident I made my way to a private pool/bar in an extremely well to do hotel in Miami. Since I assumed I wasn’t somewhere I wasn’t suppose to be I naturally acted like I belonged, no one questioned me. It wasn’t until I was drinking at the bar I realized I had accidentally surpassed several security measures. …I got the fuck outta there after I realized my shit ass mojito was $48


If you can’t find one of these hotels, the cleanest bathrooms at gas stations in the northeast are in Irving stations.


Yep yep! Very clean bathrooms. My wife gets all paranoid about using them. I’m like they don’t get paid enough to question you.


This is always a solid hack. Good choice


Make sure you’re white first.


Hotel desk clerks are also great at giving directions, suggestions for things to do, etc. I would avoid asking if they're busy, there's a line, etc.


I do this when i’m on the road for work meetings rather than risk my life in a gas station bathroom


Sleep at Denny’s or any 24 hr restaurant. Usually can get a decent amount of sleep, and there’s a nice place to have a cuppa joe and toilet when you wake up.


Instructions unclear. I fell asleep on the toilet at Denny's.


You're telling me the staff will just let you lay your head down and sleep at a table?


Pretty sure they mean to sleep in the car in the parking lot.


If you need to rest, take a rest. And have someone stay up with the driver if possible.


Buccees. Go to a Buccees. Their brisket sandwich is the bomb and you can get pretty much anything there. Gas, snacks, drinks, ice, jerky, sweatshirts, T shirts the list goes on and on and on.


The spicy pickled quail eggs


When I’m in Texas, I go there even when I’m not on a road trip. I get the brisket taco and rave about it.


Loves is also a good choice. They even have showers for the long haul truckers. If you are traveling with a pup like I usually am they all have dog parks as well.


I do one or two long road trips a year. My wife insists on staying at hotels when we travel. If I am alone, I prefer to camp. I like to stay in KOA's or similar places. State parks are good too, I like to start and end my day with indoor plumbing. I have a pop-up tent and an air mattress. I can set up and takedown camp in 15 minutes. I roll in late and leave early. I use a jet boil to make coffee and usually hit McDonalds for breakfast. I eat dinner at a restaurant before I get to camp. For road food I take a small cooler. I take peanut butter and jelly, along with a loaf of bread and some fruit. I love eating a simple lunch in some out of the way place. I make sure to keep some top ramen, a couple of cans of chili and some oatmeal for those times when I find myself camping in the middle of nowhere. All cookable on my backpacking stove. My number one hack is don't live and die by the itinerary. If a stop presents itself, stop. Some of my most memorable visits have been ones where I saw a sign and decided to check it out. To relieve the pressure, I don't usually book my campsite till later the same day. Yes, there have been a few times when they have no sites left, but often they will fit in a tent camper. If push comes to shove, I have always been able to find a room. My second hack is to stay away from the interstates when possible. Take the secondary roads, there are a lot of cool little towns out there that aren't on the interstate. One 4th of July I rolled into a small town in North Dakota, stopped to get gas. The clerk mentioned that I was lucky because she was about to close and go to the Rodeo. I asked where it was and met some awesome people and had the best fourth ever. In Texas I found out about a high school football game, decided to go and it was a lot of fun. Talk to the locals, sometimes there's something cool going on and you get to be part of Americana. Road trips should be fun, it is about the journey not only the destination. For me, the destination only tells me what direction I am heading.


>My second hack is to stay away from the interstates when possible. Take the secondary roads, there are a lot of cool little towns out there that aren't on the interstate. I did a roadtrip through northeastern U.S. and set "avoid tolls" on maps because I was a poor college kid with more time than money and coming from the midwest where toll roads don't exist I simply didn't like them on principle... anyway, the unforeseen perk was that avoiding tolls took me through so many small town main streets via state roads. Actually getting to see more than just billboards and fast food / gas station combos when I needed a rest was great.


White trash bags. Keep trash together and toss it out. Use them for dirty laundry in suitcases. Use as seat protection for food.


+ recycling bags if you’re keeping empty bottles etc.


Black trash bags and painters tape to fix inadequate blackout curtains in shitty hotels 👍


I'll preface this by saying my family had annual 6.5 hr road trips every year of my life for the past 35 years. I also made the drive from Chicago to New Orleans with friends about 5 years in a row. I also planned and executed an 8 city road trip in 16 days that covered the Midwest, east coast, and Canada. My suggestions are so less pragmatic than all of the other commenters! My advice: download the audio of stand-up comics you like or think you'll like, take turns with each person in the car listening to a song of their choosing while there's service, group stop at a grocery store to ensure hydration and salinization needs can be met in the car, and take turns fairly and as needed-- if Carl didn't finish his 3 hour stint but is feeling tired, I'd gladly finish his time because we're friends and living is pretty cool. Don't take off your seatbelt to sleep, even in the back.


Let's clarify. You seem to have major experience regardless so I would like to propose that a 6.5 hour car trip is not a road trip but just a day drive or traveling in a car.. I think road trips hold a special meaning and imply multiple days of driving or an epic driving marathon to reach x destination. But maybe that's just me lol The 16day trip sounds awesome! 👌 I want to visit Canada but not happy about having to leave my guns behind 🫣


get on Groupon for deals along the way. you'll find things to do, places to stay and eat etc.


If possible call the location and ask if they could honor the same deal if you pay directly. More often then not they gladly will as Groupon takes a 50% cut out of what your paying.


People still use Groupon? Thought it was on the out like airbnbs?


I've used Groupon 3x this week. bought a 2 hour 4 pack of bowling passes for 4 for $60. where else can I entertain the kids for a few hours for that cheap on spring break?


Airbnb is sadly not on the out.


I take a togo coffee mug and the Starbucks instant coffee packs on my road trips. Instead of paying for coffee, when I get gas, I use the hot water facet that just about every gas station has near the soda fountain/coffee station. It’s like 25 cents for a great cup of coffee. I bring along almond milk but a powdered creamer pack would work great too. You can get fancy powdered creamer off Amazon if you need that type of thing. Saved me tons of money over the years.


Bring a chip clip or a hair clip to hold the hotel blackout curtains closed.


Or you can just use the trousers hangers in the hotels that have clips built in. Works like a charm!


When stopping at a store that has reward programs, try using phone number “867-5309” with a local area code. It’s a number from a popular 80s song and is registered by people across the country. It will have points to add or use similar to “leave a penny,take a penny” you’ve seen at a stores register area.


I always have a couple of bags of peanuts or something similar. If I notice I'm starting to get a little too tired to drive, I'll open those and eat them one at a time. It's just enough to keep your brain engaged so you don't start to drift. I also switch back and forth between listening to music, and spoken stuff like podcasts or audio books. Key is to change things up often so you don't find yourself bored.


Please don't drive when you're too tired.


If you start feeling tired while driving, put on music that you know all the words to and sing along out loud. It will keep your mind busy but not distracted and will instantly make you feel more awake and aware.


You know what else is good to keep you awake?Comedy shows like on YouTube, and Netflix specials. Laughing is a great way to stay awake


Or you could... You know, stop driving.


Yes, obviously if you are too tired to drive, stop driving. But sometimes, you get sleepy after driving for 1 hour in the middle of the day just because it’s boring, or maybe you even HAVE decided to stop driving, but the next motel is 15 minutes away and you still have to drive that. Singing is for those stop-gap times when you need to wake up a little.


Prep a lot of healthy food to eat instead of fast food. Have the ability to make coffee or tea in the car. Camp along the way if you can.


> Camp along the way if you can. Best road trips are the ones where we make plenty of overnight stops, visit the towns and local attractions. The final destination isn't the goal, it's just one of many goals to reach.


Yes! Even if you want a “treat” for food but don’t want to get caught up in the gas station crazy prices for meal time. We have been purchasing the 3” party pack sandwiches from jimmy johns and putting them in a cooler. We just had a 2 day trip with 3 of us and got the party pack that equaled two standard subs for each of us cut into 3” sections. It was perfect!


I make pb&j sandwiches


This is more fun than practical, but when I drove cross country, I always checked what weird roadside attractions might be along my route. They gave us something silly to look forward to on long otherwise boring stretches (shakes fist at Kansas) and, even when something was maybe too far out of the way, it provided some hilarious historical reading material. RoadsideAmerica (dot) com was great - comment was removed before with a link 🙃 In general, I tried to plan my days pairing a touristy bucket list item with something local, weird, and/or free, and 9 times out of 10 the off the beaten path option was better. I also tried hard to remind myself the country wasn’t going anywhere/I didn’t have to do absolutely everything this one trip - I know this depends on what kind of traveler you are, but driving so much for long stretches, sleeping in weird places, eating fast food - it does a number on your body & stamina & desire to GO GO GO. Sometimes I needed to sleep more than I needed to see another attraction, because I couldn’t ENJOY the attraction cranky. Sleep + water = the ultimate life hack. Have fun!!!


The Wikipedia app has a fun map function that tells you about all kinds of cool things you might be by.


Join a gym for a month that has showers that is a National chain. If you camp .. you can take showers there


Make sure you have safety gear in your car. High vis vest, flares/emergency lights, blanket, etc. Keep a piece of cardboard and a sharpie in the car. You never plan to run out of gas. Always do a tactical reload. If you're stopping, fill the tank. And empty the bladder. Bring a large water container, like a 2-5 gallon thing to have water on hand and in case you go through places that don't have safe/good tap. Squeeze water bottles for bicycles are a lot easier to drink out of when driving than a nalgene. If you only have a nalgene try to find a splash guard. Polarized sunglasses will save you. Turn down your interior lights if you're driving at night. They can be super stressful on your eyes.


Clean out the garbage every time you stop at a gas station. That stuff piles up fast, especially if you have kids.


Make sure you have a good tool/repair kit for if something on the car breaks. Make sure to bring extra phone charger cables and a backup battery. Keep wet wipes. Big enough bottle to pee in if you get stuck in traffic (can’t make it to rest stop). Bottle of Febreze. Rest or stretch every three hours. Source: Multi-State Field Service Engineer


I was travelling with my 2 teens. My daughter had lots of movies downloaded that I had already seen many times. I had her connect the audio to my car speakers. We also listened to audiobooks. Look for local regional legends and scary stories of the areas your travelling through.


Shop at Kroger, and get their “Boost Membership”, hear me out, they give you one point for each dollar spent on food. You get two points per dollar if you have the boost membership. They have certain brands or even just days of the week where you can get 4-5x points if you do grocery pickup on that day, usually Fridays. Anyways if you spent $100 a week on groceries, got 2x points, sometimes 4-5x, then you’ll end up with 1000 to 1500 points. That’s like $1.00 to 1.50$ off PER GALLON. So you grocery shop munchies for your road-trip, then snag a full tank of gas with a discount, boom, stoned two birds at once. Although I will say you can only use up $1.00 off per gallon, but the remainder stay on your Kroger card. I’m averaging $1 of per Gallon every month easy.




well I guess I’m glad could help spreading the word, but I am just a humble BAF disabled person that gets a great benefit out of the curbside pickup and boost program ala’ the gas discount. I figured munchies & gas are the two most important ingredients to a road-trip, other then a car and a driver, so I thought the suggestion would be helpful. Safe travels to the OP!


Music! I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet. Pick up a new album and listen to it on the drive a few times. Years later when you hear a song from this album, you will associate it with the trip. If you have a navigator, have them look ahead for cool points of interest - parks with greenways for walks and a picnic lunch, a local winery for a quick drink, or a local restaurant and research the reviews and menu in advance. I rarely if ever stop at chains to eat. I've eaten at some very memorable places over the years with this approach. A cooler with drinks.


Not really a hack, but pack wipes, napkins, plastic cutlery, refillable water bottles, snacks, small first aid kit, lip balm, lotion, stuff like that.


When going on a backpacking trip.. and sometimes driving trips. I buy about 6 Taco Bell Burritos. Those things are good for a long time.


Get an EZ-Pass transponder now and attach a card to it. You'll save both money and headaches by not having to track down 5+ states worth of pay by plate invoices. It's valid for a huge cluster of NE states. You can get eat well with shelf stable/dry goods and eating all of portion controlled items that need refrigeration after opening (ie tuna packets, canned chicken, soups). Topping off a cooler gets old quickly and racks up $$$. Most grocery stores give increasingly high markdowns on prepared foods that are about to go out of date. If you buy in order to eat that day, it can be a good way to save some dough. YMMV, but a lot of parks don't charge day use fees for walk ins. If there's parking nearby, you may be able to just walk in. Truck stops, hotel parking lots, street parking at residential areas in cities, and (depending on the state) interstate rest stops all make the short list of places you can usually get away with sleeping overnight in your vehicle. Lots of gas stations in the northeast have cash prices, then card prices which are 5-10+ cents more expensive. If you're really looking to trim some fat, bring cash for gas. If you're a camper, there's beautiful options out there. The NE has national forest land too, where you can either disperse camp or stay at a campground for pretty cheap rates (usually around $20 a night).


Try to hit the bigger cities on the weekend. I know there’s lots of free outdoor activities in Philly on the weekends. Have fun.


Checkout Roadside America and Atlas Obscura and stop at all the weird shit!


Grab the audio book lord of the rings narrated by Andy Serkis (think "My precious", but The whole book.


Amen to that. Saw this on another post and was amazed https://youtu.be/dRiYYwuFoVU


When I drove across the country years ago I saved a bunch of money by camping wherever I could instead of staying in a hotel. State campgrounds were a preference, but KOA campgrounds were sometimes easier to locate without pre-planning, on a day-by-day basis). I would make exceptions and stay in a hotel if it was a particularly rainy evening.


If you have a newer car and haven't gone on a 500 to 1,000+ mile trip, make sure your car navigation system works well in no or low service areas. Having a system crash in a unfamiliar area can create a lot of stress. Download off line maps of the areas you are going to in case your phone provider is out of range. Get a up to date road atlas, book, so you can have a redundancy plan in case even the offline maps won't load. Make a rough itinerary a week or two before the trip and check the route to avoid road construction or tolls. If you are traveling with another person ask if they have any suggestions or questions about the trip. Carry extra food, water and clothes.


Two words: Snackle boxes.


Stick as close as possible to railways so it's harder to link you to the hobo murders.


How would that make it harder?


If you join your nearest local ATSC museum or AZA zoo, you can get in free (or reduced) to other museum/zoo that’s also part of those networks


Museums For All is a program for people on government assistance that gets you low-cost admission to participating museums and other attractions.


Use GasBuddy to find the best gas prices.


Dateline NBC podcast on Spotify. Lots of chewing gum. Coffee. More coffee.


If you add salt to your ice in your cooler, it will keep keep your ice colder, way longer. I go to shows and do this with my cooler, and it lasts all day/night, and into the next day.


Order some [vomit bags](https://amzn.to/40dd8nU) if someone gets sick these are amazing. We keep some in the house and in the cars. I used to throw up a lot when going through kidney failure and learned the real value of these. We used to use large cups or waste baskets and called them a Pukey, then we cut the top of a milk jug off leaving the handle and called it a Super Pukey.


If you’re going for two weeks, pack for a week and plan on visiting a laundromat


Have a designated envelope for cash for tolls. Assortment of bills and change. Like a 5×7 mailer, we decorated it a bit, logged how much the tolls were as we went along..fun way to keep them involved. Also kept a receipt envelope, another thing they could hold on to... I was able to take my kids on only one road trip and we stayed at a couple of hotels, so we had a packing list to check off when we were checking out of each hotel. Chargers, phones, accessories, etc.


Don’t try and beat the estimated ETA from your nav… because you’ll end up with a 750 ticket. WHOOPSIE


If you see signs for roadside attractions, go see what they’re touting. Worlds Largest Ball of Yarn? Don’t mind if I do! They’re usually free, fun to see, really quick stops, and a nice break from driving.


This is my golden rule whether it’s accommodations or a campervan/RV and I swear by it for almost any country you visit. Keep it at no more than 3hrs google map driving time between your overnight destinations. On route use AllTrails, Atlas Obscura, Google local events and festivals, and Reddit search towns or locations. Point is - you stop along the way. Take in the flavour or sunshine. Savour time outside the auto…


Earplugs and eye masks. Car games


A wonderful hobby for travelers is [Geocaching.com](https://Geocaching.com)You will always have an activity that is interesting where ever you go!


When I travel, I'm in the habit of staying somewhere with free breakfast. I eat up and walk out with a piece of fruit for later. I tend to only eat one other meal that day, so usually it will be a place I wanted to try out in that town. So basically I am only paying for one meal a day. I carry along a cooler with some string cheese, hummus and carrot sticks, and some nuts for some semi healthy snacks. Look up museums or other sites you wanted to see well beforehand--sometimes there are free days and you can organize your schedule around that.


Get a countertop makeup fridge…stay with me now I know it sounds odd but, it holds 6 cans of soda if needed. It usually does hot and cold so you can keep any leftovers or what not


If you forgot a charger ask the front desk at a hotel for their lost and found box. The number one forgotten item in hotels are phone chargers and you'll always find the one you need. Just tell them you lost it on your way through previously. A little tip a friend of mine who manages a hotel told me to do and had always worked.


Things we've found helpful on road trips: • Plan rest breaks, departure and arrival times to avoid rush-hour traffic. • At rest stops, everybody out. Everyone must try to pee, but also at least to stretch and walk around a little. It helps everybody's mood. • If there are kids along, take some active toys for rest stops. Frisbee, ball and gloves, jump rope, etc. • Keep a roll of paper towels in the car, within easy reach. • Take a few clips to hold the curtains shut against the morning light • If you have many hanging bags or backpacks, a couple of extra "S" hooks are handy for the luggage cart. • A box of dry cereal, some paper bowls, a few spoons -- and pick up some milk before getting to the hotel. Excellent bedtime snack. • Fill up the gas tank before you check in so that you don't have to do it in the morning's chaos. This is a good time to get milk. • By all means, take your own pillows! Good for car naps and lap tables. And heaven when sleeping in a strange bed. Yes, as suggested, no white pillowcase! • A quiet activity before kids' bedtime. • When you're packing up to leave, strip off all the top layers of bedding and take the pillows off the bed. Amazing how many favorite little toys, books, e-readers, reading glasses, etc. can hide in the covers. • Leave a tip for the housekeeper. They get paid crap wages, and they need to feed their kids, too.


Atlas obscura for cool spots in different cities. Good road trip planner. There are sites where you can type in your route and it will tell you all of the roadside attractions along the way. I've seen some cool stuff doing this. Print out directions in case your phone dies. Download some maps in case you lose cell service. Never let gas tank get below half full. Wear sunscreen on your face. Driving into sun all day is no joke for your skin.


Wet wipes, sanitizer wipes, tp, wee garbage can. Change of clothes and toothbrush in an easy to access part of your packing.


Treat it like a job and take a 15 min break or meal break every two to three hours. Pull over, stretch, get a snack maybe top off gas. It’s a great way to break it up and make the drive seem less tedious


Generator with a 12V constant current output won't hurt, and a converter to 230V variable will be a cherry on top. Nice to have electrical sockets on a trip. More expensive ones will let you boil water with an electric kettle, just keep the engine running while on.


Camp on the eastern side of lakes for a better sunset


We don't want to take time away from some of our national parks visits (or on the road to get there) for lunch, so we bring along lots of those pre-packaged crackers with peanut butter or cheese between and have frozen bottles of iced tea that we keep in a small cooler. It's a long way from where we are in Texas to any of those parks and frequently there are stretches with no cell signal. To help with the boredom, my husband sometimes prepares ahead of time by making a little booklet with histories and tidbits about the small towns we know we'll drive through. The passenger reads these aloud as we are approaching each of those towns.


As someone has that has done a bunch of road trips across the US Don't think about getting to your destination. Set waypoints in between. for example maybe one day you just need to make it to Raleigh. Reasoning is it's overwhelming thinking about how much longer you have to go.


Anytime you see a “scenic overlook” sign on the highway make sure you pull off to see it. It’s a quick, fun, and free way to break up your driving a little bit.


I've traveled a lot of long distances alone. I have learned to: Set up my self (comfort) and stuff around to be as easily accessible as possible (safety) including music and maps running before actually moving. Bring a cup to keep drinks hot/cold for longer periods of time Stop often even if you think it's unnecessary Get real used to talking to myself for hours... Let people know where you are and where you're supposed to be but don't rush


Stay off interstate highways as much as possible. Two lane roads might take longer but you get to see lots more.


Check Groupon for the towns you’re heading to. Sometimes you can find discount tickets to attractions


Drill a piss hole out the door


This post has almost 400 comments already so I don’t know if this has been covered yet or not. Keep some strong mints or gum in the car. If you get sleepy while driving the strong mint flavor along with the act of chewing can help you stay awake.


Most of the truck stops that I've seen. I usually have bathrooms where the showers are quarter operated. I seen a post in here that said $15. Well I'm sure it's out there but that also is not the norm.


Take a real floor jack. They make good cheap ones. In case of a flat, you won’t have to empty your trunk to get to a dangerous jack that takes forever


Type in”free stuff to do in City Name” in Pinterest and you’ll find lots of good stuff.


Download a good audiobook before you leave on your home wifi. Pack a small ice chest with water and caffeine. Pack some basic snacks. Don’t overcomplicate. Everything else can be purchased if you need to. Zoom in along the route on google maps to get ideas for cool stops along the way.


Air mattress that fits in the backseats


Buy snacks ahead of time and stock up for the road. Chips, nuts etc. things that don’t go bad that easily. And bring bottles of water/ice in a cooler. You’ll save lots of money vs trying to buy at gas stations


Planet fitness membership, $20 and u can have access to showers for yourself and a guest.


Dissolvable soap packets are so useful if you go into a bathroom that has no soap!


Dill pickle sunflower seeds


Pee when you CAN, not when you HAVE to. If you stop for gasoline or to eat on the way, go to the bathroom and take a pee even if you dont have to.


you can cook or heat food by wrapping it in foil and putting it in the engine compartment.


Hotlogic lunchbox cooker. Hot meals are the best.


I really appreciate all the feed back. The trip is just me and the g/f bumming around the northeast, no real destination in mind. Kinda playing overnights and hotels by ear. Otherwise we're just driving and seeing what we can where we can.


Pick out some new music that you haven’t listened to before and create a soundtrack to your trip.


I used an app called wikicamps. It not only shows camp sites but also all there local points of interest around your location. It was really great as I didn’t plan my trip at all prior and was able to see places nearby and visit some local attractions that might not get a proper write up but still were interesting. It has a rating system also so can read reviews to gage if it’s worth it.