Done right, road trips can be a ton of fun. Done wrong, road trips can be boring, disaster-prone, and exhausting. To help yourself navigate away from those bumps in the road, check out these ten road trip travel hacks:
If you want to feel extra-secure about your accommodations, locate backup, walk-in friendly hotels ahead of time. Look for hotels between your planned stops and even other hotels near the hotels you plan to stay in. You'll have a plan B (or, if you're really nervous, a plan C) already in place if your plan A falls through.
Weirdly, if you're on a road trip and short on hotel accommodations, you can pretty reliably park and sleep overnight in a Walmart parking lot. It's not the worst plan C.
If you're charging your phone in your car, put it on airplane mode. It will charge slightly faster and save your car's battery some stress.
Before you leave, print out the wikiHow instructions on jump-starting a car and changing a tire. If you're traveling somewhere with snow, add how to install snow chains to the list.
Bring creative stuff! Give your brain a break from watching or reading and try making something instead. Creativity helps combat bad moods and stress—two things that can sneak up on you during long car rides.
If you have an extra car key, bring it with you. Give it to someone you're traveling with or keep it on you all of the time. It'll come in very handy if you lock your keys inside your car or if your things are lost or stolen.
Wrap a fleece blanket to wrap around your seat belt to turn it into a pillow. There are a few Pinterest-worthy sewing projects out there that amount to the same thing, if you want to get fancy.
Finally, choose wisely between air conditioning and keeping your windows rolled down. Rolling them down increases wind resistance, which will increase your fuel use. On the other hand, if you have a gas engine, running your A/C will put a slight strain it. Depending on the circumstances you're in (driving uphill for an extended period, driving in extremely hot conditions, driving an older car) this strain can be the final straw that causes your car to overheat.