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How to Survive and Even Enjoy Long Road Trips

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Fifth Wheel RV driving off into the distancePart of the fun of a camping road trip is getting to your campsite. However, long journeys can be tedious and tiring. Here are our tips for making sure your road trip is enjoyable so your vacation begins as soon as you set foot in your car or RV.

  • Take medication or alternative remedies for motion sickness before you leave, if you or anyone in your party suffers from it. You'll probably know what works best for you or your children.
  • Know your route before you set off. Decide if you're going to take a scenic route or a more direct route. This will be determined by whether you're short on time and want to get to your destination quickly or whether you're happy to take your time and do some exploring along the way.
  • Plan to stop at points of interest along the way. Whichever route you decide on, research and find the points of interest along the way. Stopping at these not only makes for a more interesting drive and gets your vacation started early, but can break up a long journey and limit the degree of boredom, for both you and the kids. Good idea is to join AAA and order their free state and regional tourbooks. Use them to plan the things you want to see and do
  • Be flexible. Although you may have decided on some specific points on your journey where you want to stop, don't neglect to build in time for some spur of the moment stops. Part of the excitement of a road trip is never knowing what you might come across along the way. From the bizarre to the simply beautiful, some of the best experiences of your road trip can be those that are not planned.
  • Fill your tank of gas before you drive through more remote areas. It's worth stopping to get gas whenever you have the chance. Although it may seem like you have enough to get you to the next stop, it could be a lot further than you think.
  • Invest in an AAA membership. This could save you a lot of expense should you break down. The AAA Plus membership is particularly useful for long road trips as it allows a 100 towing mileage (instead of the 3 miles on the basic membership), which could prove essential if you're far from the nearest town or city.
  • AAA membership has two other great additional advantages; giving you discounts at campgrounds across the country and their free tourbooks.
  • Bring a good selection of drinks and (non-messy) snacks, such as granola bars, crackers (which can help stave off motion sickness) and cookies. Why not plan a picnic lunch for your first day? If you have a tendency to over drive before stopping or are always looking for a spot that's just right, try to identify a couple of potential locations suitable for a picnic lunch before you start.
  • Make the journey fun and interesting, particularly if you're traveling with children. Bring along some travel games, puzzles and books or play games such as I-spy or 20 questions. See our article Ways to Entertain Kids on a Road Trip for more ideas on how to keep the kids entertained.
  • Bring some new music with you or listen to the local radio stations. If you have been driving for several hours, steer away from mellow music, such as classical, which may make you sleepy. Stick with more upbeat music, or music you like to sing along too.
  • Don't plan to drive too much in one day and take frequent rest stops. Driving while tired is dangerous and not much fun. It is recommended to drive no more than 250 miles in a day and remember to take frequent rest stops. Just a 15 to 20 minute nap and stretch of your legs can make your feel refreshed.

There is nothing like a road trip to help you understand the magic of the open road. Remember it is as much about the journey as the destination.

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