Road Trip Travel Tips for Vacations & Weekend Getaways

My Top 8 Road Trip Travel Tips for Vacations or Weekend Getaways

We have taken so many road trips this year, from weekend getaways to traveling through several states, and I learn something new with each one I take.  But my daughter and I are planning a really long distance trip, and I need your help.  I’ve made a list of my road trip travel tips, but I thought I’d poll the audience to see what I’m forgetting.

Road Trip Travel Tips |

Road Trip Travel Tip #1:  Plan Ahead for Tolls

Set your GPS for routes without toll roads, but carry cash and change for when they can’t be avoided.  We managed to pay only one toll while we traveled by doing that.  My sister paid over $20 because she didn’t.

My Top 8 Road Trip Travel Tips for Vacations or Weekend Getaways: Planning for Tolls |

Road Trip Travel Tip #2:  Selfies

Take lots of silly selfies, not just “perfect” photos.  Those are the fun memories you’ll remember.

Weekend getaway Chicago road trip along Rt. 66 gas station painted sign |

My sister and I rarely take selfies, and it took us about 10 tries to get one (with help from my husband!) 🙂

Road Trip Travel Tip #3:  Change Travel Routes

If possible, take a different route on the return trip than you took on the way to your destination.  It’s like getting two road trips in one.

When we went to California for my son’s wedding, we took a completely different return trip route and saw all different scenery, and it was so worth it.

Road Trip Travel Tip #4:  Sunscreen!  

This may seem like an obvious tip.  My son has a built-in tan with his Hispanic heritage, so he didn’t worry about getting a sunburn.  But my mom is very fair-skinned.  She brought both a hat and umbrella to protect herself, but she forgot to put sunscreen on her feet.  She got such a bad burn with big blisters that lasted over a week.  Make sure to apply sunscreen everywhere, and reapply often.

Road Trip Travel Tip #5:  Alone Time

Don’t forget to leave time in your schedule for alone time.  Spending too much time with a group – even if you love everyone in the group dearly, is a recipe for grouchiness.  So pull away from the crowd to regroup, and you’ll have a much better time.

Road Trip Travel Tip #6:  Weekend Getaways

Even if you can’t take a full-blown vacation, buy a regional guide (affiliate link) and plan a weekend getaway.

Road Trip Travel Tip #7:  Lodging

If you always stay in a hotel when you go on road trips, try an Airbnb instead.  When we stayed in California, it was the first time we used that service and I would totally to it again.  Of course, each house will be different, but you can read the reviews and see all the rooms, and it’s much more homelike than staying in a hotel.  Our house host was amazing and offered wonderful service.

ArBnB California lodging |

Road Trip Travel Tip #8:  Car Maintenance

Perhaps most important is to get car maintenance done before you leave, especially if you drive a high- mileage vehicle.

We take our car in for an oil change even for short road trips, like the one I took with my daughter and niece last weekend, because our vehicles have high mileage on them.

What road trip travel tips did I forget?  I know you all have some great ones.

Please share them in the comments below!

Vaya con Dios,

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  1. I love the idea of making sure you get alone time during roadtrips! That really is important, and it keeps everyone in a better mood. We’re heading out on the road next week, and I appreciate you sharing these tips.

  2. If you take a lot of photographs and scrapbook like I do, it is SO helpful to snap pics of informational signage! It helps so much in identifying places of interest, landmarks, cities and towns, etc. You think at the time “I’ll never forget this….” and then when you are scrapbooking or even just showing off your pictures on Facebook, it’s very easy to let the name of that mountain peak or the statue or whatever, slip your mind! And the time and date stamp on your camera/cell phone come in very handy afterwards as you try to remember which day did we see this or that. I also keep a travel diary when on a trip. Nothing elaborate…..basically just an account of the day: “July 25, 2017- Estes Park & Rocky Mountain National Park. July 26, 2017- Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs” etc. It really helps with the scrapbooking too!

  3. mare williams says

    Your tips were great!!!! I’ll use them all. Another I thought of is to use index cards to visit priority places, with times it is open/closed, cost or free, things I may need for that particular place, for example, “bring snax , or NO flipflops, or arrive 1/2 hour early.” I wear a fanny pack with these index cards in it. I have found them to be so helpful!

  4. Naomi S. says

    Very good suggestions, Angie. Especially the one about getting away from the group for a bit! That one is inspired! I am curious about airbnb’s–is that spelled right?–but I”ve never stayed in one. I guess I would if I was with two or three or more other people, but not by myself, just for safety’s sake. It sounds like you had a good experience, though.

    Thanks for the travel trips!

  5. Jenny Young says

    We love rest stops & welcome centers when we travel, especially if we aren’t on a strict schedule. We’ve had great luck with very clean restrooms, easy to get on & off the interstates, ect. Plus, we always pick up the travel coupons for hotels. We’ve often been able to get really nice rooms for much less this way. This only works if you aren’t in a big hurry & can be flexible. We’ve had to pass up rooms that weren’t what they were advertised, & keep traveling. This isn’t a good idea if you travel during peak times though, you may get stuck without a room.

    Once we stopped at a welcome center on a special promotion day. They asked what hotel we were staying at & our hotel was doing a free night promotion! So we saved the free night & took a weekend trip later in the year!

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