Published On: Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

Rules of the Road Trip & Travel App Essentials

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There is something inherently cool about taking a road trip across the country in search of the world’s largest ball of twine or something else equally trifling. Maybe you just found the perfect used car and need to break it in or your roommate is confiscating his brother’s muscle car for a week. Nothing says road trip quite like a muscle car. The why, the where—none of that matters—it is the how and the who that make for a classic road adventure.

Navigation via Smart phone.

Plan and Go with the Proper Tools

Just get in the car and drive—that sounds great until you actually do it. You need to figure out a final destination and the path that gets you there. Getting lost should not be part of the adventure. As a member of the go-go-gadget generation, you have plenty of tools at your disposal to help create a base itinerary while still maintaining some spontaneity.

The app, Road Trip, helps manage expenses, for example. Yelp takes the GPS coordinates of the phone and tells you what is in the area like places to eat and sleep. Mashable lists some road trip apps that will come in handy. The thing is you are not just planning a basic vacation. You want an epic trip, so you need epic apps, as well.

  • Roadside America – Roadside America is similar to Crash City Guides. It shows you all the crazy, must-see stops along the road from point A to point B.
  • Crash City Guides – This one will get you to the largest ball of twine or the giant milk bottles near the used cars in Richmond. It lists the unique places that most tourists miss. Hidden waterfalls, that motel staffed by nothing but Elvis impersonators and all the things you could easily fail to see while driving on the interstate.

Call Shotgun Early

So, first things first: figure out the basics. Allow for some flexibility during the trip, but have a strategy going out the door. The coveted shotgun seat, for instance, is always a point of contention when traveling with more than one bud.

Who is driving the first leg of the journey? Get a basic schedule in place to avoid potential problems that will ruin the fun for all. Set up a rotation for shotgun so the same person doesn’t end up staring at the back of heads for the whole trip.

Road Trip Rules to Live and Drive by

Once you have a destination in mind, a flexible schedule and plenty of reference gadgets loaded up, consider the following road trip rules to live by:

  1. Don’t stop in towns with nice names. It is never goes well. Avoid Pleasantville, Rosewater and Christmas.
  2. Plan food breaks before everyone is starving. It seems a little common sense, but hungry people make dumb decisions like settling for Chicken Gizzards R Us.
  3. Snacks are critical. If you and your pals get desperate for food, everyone gets cranky. Snacks are the key to maintaining the peace.
  4. Drive smart. A ticket in the middle of nowhere is a real buzzkill.
  5. Never drive with the tank less than half-full. This isn’t about gas mileage, although that matters. It is about running on fumes in Hickville, U.S.A., with no gas station in sight.
  6. Learn from Thelma and Louise. No dates in the car.

The epic road trip—everyone needs at least one in life. There will be plenty of time for family vacations and trips to Disney World. Before you are caught up in the vacation bog, plan on road adventure with just you, your pals and a cool car.

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