How to Have the Road Trip of a Lifetime

Why not make your next vacation a road one? Here are a few essential tips and apps to make the ride a smooth one.


It was about 5 years before I decided to move to NYC, when I and my four best girlfriends decided to pack up and drive there. Two speeding tickets, one flat tire, and many hours later, we arrived in the big city. By then we’d realized that one girl forgot her wallet, the other her contacts. Two of us forgot pajamas. We all wanted to hook up our phones, but the car we rented didn’t have bluetooth so we had to resort to singing and “i spy” games (trust me — that’s not always a good thing!) It was a fun and memorable time, no doubt, but there are a few things I would’ve done differently had I read an article like this beforehand.

How to Have the Road Trip of a Lifetime

Preparing ahead of time and having a positive attitude can make your trip stress-free

No matter the time of year, I have the itch to travel and explore. But in case you need a reason to go on a road trip, here are a few good ones:

  1. America is a great country to road trip in because there are parts of the USA that are warm at any point in the year, making it a great year-round vacation destination.
  2. If you’ve had your fill of theme parks and crowded beaches, why not channel your inner Jack Kerouac and plan a long cross-country road trip? If you haven’t already read or listened to his famous novel, “On The Road”, today’s a good day to download it and get inspired.

    How to Have the Road Trip of a Lifetime

    Jack Kerouac’s road trip map

  3. Maybe you’re just ready for a different type of vacation — one where you can see the country, bring your dog, and meet people along the way.
  4. Or maybe you just want to avoid the hassles of air travel — especially with kids. A road trip is the perfect alternative.
  5. You could even do a themed road trip and hit up the best surfing beaches in America, or the best caves.
  6. It’s also a great trip to take if you need to be alone and clear your head. Listening to music or audiobooks and watching the open road go by can be its own form of meditation and therapy.
  7. Or, if you’re wondering how your relationship with your boyfriend will stand up to real life, a road trip is the best on-demand relationship test. With all that time to talk, and all the situations you’ll experience together, you’ll learn how you two interact when situations are stressful. And hey — if he turns out to be a jerk, you can always drop him at the nearest bus stop and keep going!
How to Have the Road Trip of a Lifetime

A road trip is a great way to really get to know each other in a short period of time

Either way, now’s the time to hit the road in a way that would make even Kerouac proud. To do this, here’s a guide on how to do road trips the right way:

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 117 Comments

  1. Avatar of Jonathon Swift

    Jonathon Swift

    If you are thinking about gas stations, and restaurants along toll roads, some U.S. interstate toll roads, such as the Ohio, and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, do have gasoline stations, and restaurants directly on the freeway. You don’t have to exit the toll road and pay the tolls if you don’t want to do. There’s usually a bigger selection of gasoline stations and restaurants, and likely cheaper prices, off the toll road, especially at major intersections.

  2. Avatar of Maryann Smith

    Maryann Smith

    North America has had a big car culture since the 1950’s. Driving the open road is “the” experience, and that includes stopping in all the cheesy attractions along the way!!! Not my cup of tea, but you sure do make it sound fun 🙂

  3. Avatar of Jossen Row

    Jossen Row

    I always check the engine before going for a long trip. I also bring a spare tire, so whenever something happens on my tire, I have spare for it.

    • Avatar of Joe Root

      Joe Root

      You should always have a spare tire at the back of your car. It’s a must.

  4. Avatar of Jodi Thil

    Jodi Thil

    Let us hit the road now! I want to try these applications that Urbanette gave to us. What do you think? Are they worth downloading, or if they are paid apps, are they worth buying for?

  5. Avatar of Joss Butler

    Joss Butler

    I really want to do road trips, but the problem is I can’t stay awake for too long. I would be asleep in the middle of the trip.

  6. Avatar of Osana Smith

    Osana Smith

    Once I forgot to bring my hygiene travel kit, and the hotel doesn’t give complimentary hygiene kit. I have to buy it from a convenience store which is too far from the hotel. The lesson has been learned.

  7. Avatar of Candis Melton

    Candis Melton

    MY way of easing my stress is hitting the road with my love. Even if it’s just for a weekend. Simple, yet you are satisfied.

  8. Avatar of Steev Smith

    Steev Smith

    PackPoint is a great app. I am using it in my travels, and it gives me the right stuff I need on my trips. I am happy with it, so I suggest you download it.

  9. Avatar of Wilma Moore

    Wilma Moore

    I will test my boyfriend next week. I invited him to visit my mom in Boston, and he said that he will drive for me. I’m thinking of some tests on the road. Ha!

  10. Avatar of Josephine Murphy

    The longest trip that I ever had is the 8 hours drive. I am not the driver, I’m just a passenger because I would be exhausted in just a 2 hours drive, and what more on 8 hours, right?

    • Avatar of Helena Lowson

      Helena Lowson

      ALways think to relax and even take a nap if needed when you’re driving long distance. Every two hours is good, and remember to eat light but enough also 🙂

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