Complete Road Trip Travel Guide


Updated September 2019

Johnathon, Austin, Ava and I are back in Colorado after our week in Nebraska. As much as I love travel, I’m ready to be home for a little bit and get back into our normal routine. Although, I do admit there is something alluring about the open road. I suppose growing up on a tiny island where it takes roughly three hours to get around the island will do that to you. There are other reasons, however, to love a road trip. You are free to craft your itinerary the way you see fit, it’s affordable and you can take the road less traveled - literally!

Over the years, here are a few tips I’ve learned that makes road travel a little easier along the way.


  1. Travel Safely - Before you leave, get your car checked. Get your tires changed or rotated, have the oil changed and ensure your car is in the best condition before you leave.

  2. Clean Your Car - Be sure to clean both the interior and exterior of your car prior to your departure. You’ll be surprised at just how quickly your car gets dirty during your car trip. Don’t help it along.

  3. Withdraw Cash - Withdraw a combination of bills and coins. Place them in a safe yet easy to reach location. Some National Parks and Toll Booths only accept cash.

  4. Purchase a Physical Map - When Google Maps and the GPS fail, having a physical map will DEFINITELY come in handy on your trip. Not only is it practical it makes a great souvenir! Bring a pack of highlighters & a large sharpie to mark your path and stops along the way.

  5. Pre-book Your Accommodations: Once when my dad, brother and I were traveling from Washington to Las Vegas, we found out that there was a conference in one of our stops and none of the hotels had any openings. We had to sleep in our car. Book your accommodations.

  6. Prep an Emergency Kit. Don’t just pack an emergency car kit for your peace of mind. Be sure to pack an emergency - toilet paper, hand sanitizer/baby wipes, just in case any rest stops don’t have any.

  7. Download, download, download. Be sure to download any movies (for the kids), audiobooks, podcasts, music prior to departure. There’s nothing worse than receiving multiple alerts that you have 10% data and more than a week before your data resets.

  8. Snacks. Always have an assortment of snacks and beverages on hand for your road trip journey. These will come in handy while - sitting in traffic and long stretches of road where there’s nothing around, and hotels/motels that don’t offer room service and you are crying from hunger.

  9. Prep Your Home. Just like a plane travel, let your bank know you’ll be traveling. Leave a set of keys with someone you trust, place a hold on your mail and make sure your pets are taken care of.


  1. Fill ‘er up! Wow, I’m NEVER doing that again. But that doesn’t make it any less true. If you long for back road adventures, be sure to keep your car topped off with gas. There will be stretches of road, with no cities/towns for as long as the eye can see. Please don’t strand yourself in the middle of nowhere.

  2. Keep the Car Clean. Every time you stop for gas, throw away your garbage and clean your windows. The longer those bugs that splattered on your windshield sit, the harder it is to take off. Trust me.

  3. Set Realistic Expectations. Have your fun, but don’t expect to go on two hikes and still drive five miles.