8 Simple Ways To Make Your Great American (Off) Road Trip Even Greater

The freedom to explore seemingly endless expanses of empty highways and byways with your closest chums, pigging out at deliciously divey diners, and soaking up America's impressive array of breathtaking landmarks and destinations at your own pace; when it comes to really experiencing everything that our great nation has to offer, there's nothing quite like the Great American Road Trip.

We've answered the call of the open road more times than we can count, and with each successive journey, we've gained a little more wisdom about optimizing our experience.

If you're planning on hitting the highway and discovering some of America's amazing sights this upcoming holiday weekend, then you owe it to yourself (and your road trip buddies) to maximize your enjoyment by following these simple tips.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Vehicle's Maintenance Is Up-To-Date
  2. Getting a flat tire when you're en route to the World's Largest Ball of Yarn can be a real…well, flat tire. That's why we suggest you or your trusted mechanic inspect your vehicle's fluid levels, brakes, tires and every other vital component before you embark on your expedition. Perform any maintenance jobs that directly affect your vehicle's on-road safety and reliability, and ensure you have a fully-inflated spare tire, battery & alternator tester, and jumper cables in your trunk.

  3. Make Your Plans With Flexibility In Mind
  4. Having a solid, well thought-out itinerary for your adventure is wise, but leaving a little wiggle room in your schedule to accommodate impromptu tourist trap stops is important in making your road trip that much more memorable. Also, don't overschedule destinations during your trip or else you may find yourself slogging through unexpected traffic instead of leisurely enjoying your must-see spots.

    Pack Lightly

  5. Pack Lightly & Intelligently
  6. Generally, it's a sound idea to always pack lightly whenever embarking on any lengthy road trip. Remember to pack essentials such as appropriate attire (don't forget to bring along more underwear than you think you need!) and your cell phone and charger, but forgo bringing along cumbersome provisions that may cut into your souvenir space. After all, it'd be a shame to leave behind that totally wicked mounted alligator head wearing sunglasses just because you thought you'd need two large coolers instead of just one.

    If your ride is rocking some sweet aftermarket lighting or audio gear, then we also highly-recommend adding helpful automotive accessories such as fuse boxes to protect your investments during long stints on the highway.

  7. Join A Roadside Assistance Service
  8. Even if you follow our first tip to a tee, sometimes the automotive gods conspire against you and smite your ride with a blown cylinder head or kaput starter motor. To reduce the amount of fist-shaking and expletive-dispensing following these unforeseen incidents, you should join a roadside assistance service that immediately links you to approved local tow services and mechanics. The annual membership fees will seem quite reasonable once you invariably have to make use of their convenient services.

  9. Don't Be Afraid Of Making New Friends
  10. We know it may be a bit awkward striking up a conversation with strangers you meet on your travels, but try to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and chat up that friendly fellow sitting next to you at that hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant off the main highway. You'll most likely find the conversations to be colorful and entertaining, as well as possibly discover the best places locals go to eat, drink, and play.

  11. Limit Your Time Spent On Social Media
  12. Social media is great for allowing people across the globe to make meaningful social connections with each other, but if you spend too much time meticulously editing your memories instead of experiencing them then you may find your cross-country adventure less fulfilling. Limit your social media engagement to uploading a few striking or hilarious pictures of your roadside exploits but try to live in the moment and enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime experiences with your fellow road-trippers.

    Road Less Traveled

  13. Take The Road Less Traveled
  14. It's always an excellent idea to carefully map out your road trip route so as to avoid congested highways, potentially adverse weather conditions, and other such progress-crushers, but make sure you incorporate the random scenic route here and there. These byway beauties may not be the quickest route to your destinations, but what they lack in efficiency they more than make up for with stunning vistas, breathtaking natural landscapes, and funky roadside oddities.

    If your version of taking the road less traveled means an unpaved, rocky one, then we highly recommend you outfit your ride with any number of rugged off-road LED lighting accessories. For instance, rock lights are an inexpensive and easy-to-install off-road essential that help illuminate potential hazards found on the more treacherous terrain.

  15. Take Lots Of Bathroom Breaks & Breathers

Eating up those highway miles as efficiently as possible is the number one priority of most road trippers, but don't forget to make number one a priority, too. There's no shame in yielding to those "Rest stop Ahead" signs. In fact, you'll find yourself feeling decidedly more refreshed and ready for the road ahead if you answer nature's call whenever the need strikes. As an added bonus, many rest stops feature invaluable information about nearby places of interest and sometimes even vending machines so you can refuel for the next leg of your journey.

So there you have it, folks: Our 8 not-so-secret highway hacks for your next Great American Road Trip. We hope these simple tips help you and your friends and family have an amazing time discovering America the Beautiful the way it was intended to be discovered!