Exciting but each roadtrippers are different, so tweak those

Exciting times aheadCold season is almost up and you what that means – road trips, road trips and more road trips! It’s that time of the year to plan for your next great adventure. Whether you’re driving cross country or just a weekend excursion, there’s nothing quite like rolling down your windows, letting your hair down, feeling the breeze on your face and looking straight on the open road. Aahhhhh! Road trips are my personal quick getaway.Take the road less traveledSome of the best memories I have with my husband are the ones when we are out and about taking trips together. It’s the best way to spend quality time, there is just something fun about taking long drives and being stuck with each other for hours. We started this craze when we were still newly weds. We take bus rides to commute and visit family who are out in the country, making stops along the way, finding places to eat and just enjoying the journey. We would like to think that we became pros at it :)The fastest way isn’t always the best way for us, we like the detours, stops and the joys of finding hidden gems. These are what makes road tips memorable. Downside is, it could get costly – if not planned well. So here are some ways to plan a fun, hassle free and budget friendly road trip.Know where you’re goingPLAN YOUR ROUTE AHEAD. Choose the route that has tons of interesting stops! There are countless apps that will help you with this. For the most part, they are helpful, but each roadtrippers are different, so tweak those plans and make it your own. You can then schedule your stops, find attractions, food stops, hotels and more with ease.Here’s a breakdown of what we do:1. Find gas stations and convenient storesWe always pick a route that has gas stations and stores. In case we need to refill or check our tires. We use credit cards that give rewards or points when filling up gas. You can use the accumulated points later.2. Find CHEAP lodgingThis applies when you take long tiring hours driving towards you destination. Here’s the thing, don’t pay for fancy accommodations, this is not your goal. Your goal is to enjoy the trip AWAKE, so paying for an expensive hotel is really not practical. This stop is for you to take a break from driving long hours, so a decent and comfortable place will do just fine. There are also lots of great deals for motels and hotels, try to look for the best one. If you want to even stretch the savings – you can call your friends or family and ask them if you could take a rest at their place.3. Find local food stopsYou may skip this part when you are in the road, however, it’s always nice to know local food stops in case you need to take a break and have a taste of the delicious food the town has to offer.4. Research the weather, towns and road conditionsThis part gets skipped a lot, but for us, this is very crucial. You can save money and time when you take note of these things – think about it, if you have the optimal driving conditions, you are at a lesser risk of having car problems which cost money to repair. The safer the driving condition, the better.5. Find local FREE attractionsEven small towns offer free attractions, there are parks, free museums or galleries, historical spots and other places that you can stop by and enjoy free of charge. So don’t miss out on this one.6. Find dog sitters – if you’re not planning to take themIf you are like us who have 2 dog babies, it can be difficult finding a place for them to stay when we go on trips. It could get costly too, so one way to save big bugs from your four legged loved ones, is to ask friends who are willing to look after them and offer to pay – they are way cheaper than paying for pet boarding places or vet clinics.Preparation, what a joy!So we’ve done our initial research, now it’s time to move to the next phase. You need to prepare the things to do and bring.1. Go all out, prepare GPS apps and print your mapGet your gears ready. You could use your phone or any other GPS device. They help you know the road conditions in real time, so this is a must for road trips. I know actual maps aren’t a fad anymore, but I suggest to have one as a back up. Trust me, this could get handy in certain situations. I don’t encourage buying maps, aside from it being costly, some of them aren’t even updated. So print out free online maps.2. Bring A gadget bag and power banksIf you go all techie in this trip and plan to take a lot of gadgets with you, I would suggest bringing a gadget bag and extra juice bank. You save time or even money from stopping to charge your devices.3. Check your car, it will do most of the hardworkTires, oils and everything else, make sure your it’s in tip top shape. Again, I want to emphasize the importance of safety and thinking ahead. Make sure you also have road assistance numbers. It’s not fun getting stuck on the road at night in the middle of nowhere.4. Bring food and drinksOne way to save money is to bring your own snacks and beverage. You don’t need to spend money for them if you prepared ahead, some stop shops are little more expensive than your local grocery stores. Don’t forget to bring extra “trash” bags for those empty bags of chips!5. Be comfyWho doesn’t like a little comfort? I like to have extra pillows to support our backs or just to cozy up on them. Be as comfortable as you can.6. If you need to pack, then pack smallI don’t pack a lot during road trips. I imagine my outfit for each day on the road, prepare that and just add an extra shirt or two. I make sure I have my sunglasses, first aide kit and towels. What I don’t skip packing are –  toiletries, because when you go, you gotta go!7. Numbers of friends nearbyAlways handy to have around. You never know when you need to call a friend for help when you are on the road. So list them down and have it ready.8. Road trip play listMy husband’s biggest assignment and probably his ONLY assignment 🙂 He is a pro road trip DJ 🙂 It’s fun to sing along to those 80’s and 90’s hit songs! Carpool karaoke anyone?9. Driver switchDriving for a long time can take a toll, so plan switching drivers. What my husband and I do is switch every 4 or 6 hours. Give each other a little break so both of you will have time to enjoy the drive and sceneries.Before backing out from the garage, make sure to have one last final check. Now you’re all set to hit the open road