Your RV is packed and you can taste the open road. Before heading out, there are 15 things that you need to make sure you do. These will make your next road trip even better.
1. Don’t map everything out.
Yes, of course it’s a good idea to know what city you’re going to sleep in, but have some flexibility. Don’t drive more than eight hours per day; that way you have room for sporadic stops, great laughs and a lot of the unexpected.
2. Find the “world’s largest” everything.
Okay, so here’s one thing to map out. Sure the beautiful, scenic vacation photos are memorable… but so is a 200-foot high, wooden elephant. Find the quirky, funny road side stops and take a selfie when you get there.
3. Use a map. No, not a GPS, a map.
Yes, with smart phones, onboard navigation systems, etc., we don’t need a paper map… but it’s still kind of cool. Grab a huge, black marker and mark where you’ve been. That way you have a memento, or a cool piece of map art to hang in your hallway when you get home.
4. Get a gas card.
Your RV is going to guzzle gas like a hungry baby chugs milk. Get a gas card, get fuel perks and save some cash.
5. Bring a CD.
Remember those circular disc-type of things? Yes. Get one. Better yet, make your own with your favorite songs… and play it all the way through, tens of times during your trip. You won’t think much of it during the moment, but months later when a certain song plays, you’ll immediately be transported to the open road.
6. Follow the weird billboards.
Okay, maybe not the flashing ones that lead you to businesses of ill repute, but you know, the ones that offer free chocolates, record-size squirrels and haunted houses. If nothing else, they’re probably worth a good laugh.
(RVshare presents weird tourist attractions around the United States.)
7. Don’t be shy.
This is your chance to make new friends… maybe even lifelong contacts. So, chat with your waitress at the diner, the clerk at the grocery store and the folks from Montana, in the RV next to you. You never know what kind of cool people you’ll meet.
8. Carry cash for tolls.
Toll roads always seem to randomly pop up. Some have a real live person who can make change; some need the exact coinage. So be prepared. Bring cash and rolls of coins so nothing surprises you.
9. Announce your whereabouts.
This is a smart safety precaution. Tell someone – a friend, a family member, someone – where you’re going everyday and where you’ll be at night. Just in case you magically disappear, they’ll know where to start looking.
10. Make up road games.
Remember playing “I Spy as a kid. Find your inner child. Bring out I spy, truth or dare or how many times you can see a certain color of car.
11. Eat where the locals eat.
First, you’re more likely to save money instead of heading to a tourist trap. Second, the food is definitely going to taste better. So ask where you can find the freshest fish, the best burger or the richest desserts.
12. Bring a spare key for the RV.
This may seem like “duh,” but you’ll be thankful when you get locked out and have a spare key tucked away in your wife’s purse.
13. Pack some booze.
Don’t drink and drive… but you’re in an RV. You’re going to stop, unwind and spend the night. The sunset is always better with a cold beer or a nice glass of wine.
14. Learn to love the gas station.
Forget a sophisticated palate. While some nights you can dine on good eats at local restaurants, get used to Cheetos and granola bars from the gas station. Embrace it. You may even find a new favorite snack food.
15. Take pictures!
Document your awesome RV trip. After all, don’t you travel so you can make memories? You can take pictures of your favorite spots, or video tape the entire journey and turn it into a time lapse video of a road trip across America.