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2012 Rally Road Trip Tips

Road tripping isn’t as easy as it looks–it takes more than just getting in the car and driving. After watching them cross the country last month, we’ve collected some of the Road Rally Teams’ top tips to help you plan your own road trip of a lifetime. Here’s a few do’s and don’ts from their adventures:

  1. Choose a reliable and comfortable car. You will be in this vehicle for a while, and luckily our teams got to ride in brand new Honda CR-Vs,which were safe and had incredible features, including great gas mileage!
  2. Pack everything you need, and then take half of it out. See how Fresh Traveler managed that one.
  3. While still keeping your suitcase small, try to pack items that are multi-functional. You should have clothing for all kinds of events. Midlife Road Trip learned this in Watertown, NY.
  4. Have your camera on you at ALL times. You never know when something mind-blowing is going to happen. You don’t want to be stuck like Two for the Road almost was.
  5. Pack accessories and toiletries that function as more than one thing–it helps save space! Fresh Traveler mastered it with plenty of two (or more)-in-one products.
  6. Bring good music that you and your road trip companion(s) all enjoy. Luckily, our teams were given a wide array of music options, because the Honda CR-V comes equipped with satellite radio. There were never fights about what to listen to (well not many at least).
  7. Check the weather in your upcoming destinations! Weather is VERY unpredictable. Plan ahead as much as possible to stay safe, like Two for the Road did when it came to Tropical Storm Debbie. That being said, don’t let bad weather ruin your fun. There is always something to do, whether it’s inside or not. Don’t sulk in your hotel room because it’s raining–explore something indoors. Two for the Road didn’t let the weather stop them, and they were hit with a Tropical Storm!
  8. One thing we don’t recommend is driving in bad weather. Your safety is more important than getting somewhere on time.
  9. Take detours, like Midlife Road Trip did. Sometimes the best attractions are not necessarily on your map.
  10. Exercise. It’s challenging to stay healthy while on the road. Fresh Traveler showed us that you can always find an opportunity to incorporate fun exercise into travel.
  11. On top of that, pack healthy snacks in your car, like Rogue Riders did. Pick yummy foods that will give you energy to keep going, and bring a cooler if you need to!
  12. Give yourself enough time in each place you visit. Usually, this isn’t a race. If you have fallen in love with a town, why leave so quickly? Unfortunately our teams didn’t always have as much time as they wanted in each town, so take advantage of dictating your own schedule.
  13. Support local businesses, like Fresh Traveler did. It’s a great way to contribute to the places you visit. Plus, this is how you find the most unique items, like jalapeno fudge!
  14. Plan your trip out, but don’t freak out if you have to adjust. Find a healthy balance.
  15. Pick the right travel partner. And of course, be patient with whomever you end up picking. It’s a long journey, but you can always make it work!
  16. Do your research! Find out what your destinations are known for, and make sure you experience those things, like Bourbon in Kentucky!
  17. Get enough rest, and stay hydrated. We know you’ve heard those before, but our teams can tell you that the more you take care of yourself, the more you will get to experience. If you don’t, you will eventually run yourself down and have to miss out on something.
  18. Keep things simple. Our teams found that the simpler activities resonated more with them, from a simple meal at a local dive to chatting with someone who lives in the area. While big, extreme activities can be life-changing, don’t underestimate the little things.
  19. Take advantage of hotel breakfasts. Many hotels along the road will have complimentary breakfasts. Even if you aren’t a morning person, we suggest grabbing something (like Choice Hotels’ delicious waffles!) before you head out. This helps you start the day right and save money on meals!
  20. Pace yourself. The Road Bros certainly learned in Charlottesville to take their time and rest when possible while touring 13 of the town’s restaurants in one day.

Combine these with last year’s Road Trip Tips to sit back, relax, and enjoy the open road. Safe travels!