Travel season is here. It’s time to start the engine, turn the music on, and get rolling down the highway.
Each year, more and more Americans and tourists hit the highways for a road trip. With record levels of travelers, it helps to be a little prepared. So if you’re looking to beat the traffic, avoid overpriced hotels, and have a smooth RV adventure, then be sure to check out these essential US road trip hacks.
1) Get the Right Gear for Your Phone
These days, our phones contain everything. They’re the maps and traffic monitors, music and podcasts, weather and travel information, and so much more. Driving an RV is a full-on experience so you want to make sure you have the hands-free gear and other tools to make access easy. Begin with a car phone mount and then connect everything to Bluetooth and other devices.
2) Pick the Right Time to Travel
When you’re on vacation, it can be a little difficult to convince yourself to wake up at 4 am to start driving. Rush hour is only worse in summer months when already congested places like Los Angeles have an additional million drivers on the road. Alter your schedule a little and you can save yourself hours in traffic and driving stress. Remember it’s much more enjoyable to take a mid-morning nap than being stuck for several hours going nowhere.
3) Plan Ahead Strategically
Busy travel times are always going to be busy. For these times of the year, people make reservations sometimes years in advance. So that means you shouldn’t expect to see any serious discounts by booking early. In some cases, you can get last-minute deals on everything from hotel rooms to amusement parks and more. So what’s the strategy? For the top things on your travel bucket list, book ahead—you don’t want to get squeezed out. But leave plenty of room for flexibility or checking out alternative destinations.
4) Load Up With the Right Travel Apps
There are over 2 million apps in Apple’s App Store and 2.5 million in the Google Play Store. When it comes to travel, you can find everything from the best gas prices to better routes, offline maps, and more. Few apps match the travel convenience of Waze. Aside from finding the fastest routes, it features user reported data such as the location of accidents and speed traps along with other key information. If you’re planning to head deep into the mountains of Yellowstone on a true RV camping adventure, you’ll need Maps.me. Maps.me is an offline GPS map so you can always know where you even when you don’t have any cell coverage. And with GasBuddy, you can find the cheapest gas prices along your route.
5) Know When to Save and When to Splurge
Most people travel on a budget. It’s an essential way to keep your finances on track. However, many people lose focus while they are on the road. For example, many RV travelers shop around to find the cheapest campsite in the region. They might save $5-10 per night but they’ll lose out on amenities like hookups, Wi-Fi, laundry and shower facilities, and other things that make a trip more pleasant. This doesn’t always mean throwing down for the ultra-luxury VIP campsite, but definitely save a little room in your budget to enjoy better-equipped sites.
6) Travel on the Holidays
If you are on a road trip and not tied down to be at specific family or other engagement, then one of the best times to get on the road is the holiday itself. Everybody is racing to arrive at a destination on holiday. For example, the roads are packed on July 2-3 because people want to stay in one place on the holiday. If you have a flexible schedule then take advantage of these days to get some serious cruising in. Best of all, with your own RV, you already have your accommodation taken care of so you’ll still be able to unwind and enjoy the fireworks at night.
7) Keep in Mind the 100 Mile Rule
The general rule for driving is that for every hundred miles or so that you drive, you should take a little break. People always forget they’re on vacation. There’s no reason to push your limits and put yourself in danger. Instead, leave plenty of cushion in your schedule so you can take breaks. Not just you, but everyone you’re traveling with will thank you.
Bonus: Less is More
For many people, vacation or a trip across the US comes once a year or once in a lifetime. So they want to do as much as they can. The US is a massive country. For example, the state of California is 1.75 times bigger than the UK and 1.2 times bigger than Germany. Trying to see Yellowstone, San Francisco, the Grand Canyon, and Washington DC all on the same trip is possible, but only if you want to spend every waking second driving. Focus on regions and leave extra space in your schedule. You never know what exciting surprises can happen.
Travel Like a Pro on Your RV Rental Trip Across the US
Now you have everything you need to be a travel expert in the US. All you need to do is be a little flexible in your schedule, have the right apps and tools, and give yourself plenty of time to take breaks and explore. With these strategies, you’ll be able to skip the traffic, save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and have a truly unforgettable vacation.