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Your vehicle is your home during a road trip. Sure, you might pull over and sleep in a hotel, but you are basically spending all of your time in the car. The best organizational tips and road trip hacks come from personal experience, but to save you some time, we’ll list our favorites here:

Get Organized & Hack Everything

Surviving close quarters with loved ones can be a task on its own, but doing so with a crowded, disorganized space is a beast in itself.

1. A shoe organizer can go on the back of seats to keep certain items in close reach.

2. Bring a mini trash can-It doesn’t matter what you use as a trash can, but definitely have a trash can. Whether it’s to keep all of your food wrappers, tissues or as an emergency carsickness bag, you’ll be glad you brought it. Just empty it out every time you stop for gas.

3. Grab some dryer sheets and stick them around in the air vents and other places of your car. You’d be surprised how fast that new car smell turns to a smell more akin to stale french fries.

4. If you have extra backseat room, throw a twin sized air mattress in the back of your car with a few pillows and relax! Any minor should be in a seat belt at all times.

5. Get your documents ready, have your license, proof of insurance and registration on hand.

6. Get advice from others. You’re already on the right track reading this article. You can find loads of amazing hacks online, or from friends! You never know what you’ll find and it could make a world of difference.

Don’t Hesitate to Make Stops

There are two types of Road Trippers: The schedule keepers and the adventure seekers, think carefully about which you want to be on this vacation. It might be more fun to embrace a loose schedule, giving yourself plenty of time to stop and see the sights along the way.

Spare-Key

Plan For The Unexpected

Accidents happen, and certainly when a machine is involved, things can’t always be predicted.

Keep a Supply Of Loose Change on hand. Whether you’re saving the change from meals, or collecting a stash beforehand, don’t forget to have a healthy supplies of quarters on deck. This can come in handy for paying tolls, and also for stops at the laundromat.

Also, don’t forget to bring a spare car key. Simple magnetic spare key holders are widely available and will save you every time you lock your keys out of your car.

Even the most responsible person in the world could forget the car keys are still in the ignition from time to time. Since you’re probably in an unfamiliar area, and don’t want to waste that AAA call, keep a spare set on you.

Some road trippers choose to separate their car key from their main key ring on long road trips. You won’t be needing your house or office keys while on the trip, so why lug them around? Keep your house keys in a safe place, like your glove compartment. That way, if you actually lose your car key, you won’t have to get all new ones made and change the locks of your house. This won’t save you any trouble if you’re locked out of your car, but it will be a huge relief if you actually lose your keys.

The point is, things don’t always go to plan. This brings us to our next point; Have a well stocked emergency supply kit on hand.

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Roadside Emergency Kit

Not sure what to stock in your kit? Here’s some suggestions:

  • Collapsible Safety Cones
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Duct Tape
  • Poncho
  • Flares
  • Glow Sticks
  • Emergency Power Bar (For cold areas, throw in a thermal blanket and a candle as well)
  • AAA Information
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Take Plenty of Pictures

Some of these moments might not feel photo worthy at the time, but like all good memories the special ones might turn up in unexpected places. If you get a flat tire, grab a picture, spot a deer, picture, take all the corny tourist pictures but also some that are unique to your experience.

Keep a First Aid Kit

Aspirin, bandages, EpiPen if you have allergies, tampons (For more than just the obvious reasons–I.E nose bleeds), water bottles, Neosporin, alcohol. Don’t forget to bring eye drops. Eye strain can be a complete and utter burden on a Road Trip, and it always catches you by surprise. Most of us look at a computer screen for hours a day, but doing so in a car only amplifies the stress. Keep some eye drops in your first aid kit.

Whether you’ve been staring at the road, a map, your phone, a book or any sort of game, you might be happy you had some drops.

Download A Good Road Trip App

Before you embark on your trip, do a little research and download a top notch travel app. One of the best is called Waze. An app that warns you of upcoming hazards including objects in the road, pulled over vehicles, accidents and even cops! Make sure you put a passenger in charge of managing the apps.

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Crank The Music

Don’t forget to make a ton of playlists to get you through the trip. As a bit of advice, you can never have enough music on hand ready to play.

Spotify has lots of playlists already made depending on your mood, like Road Trip, Driving Music, and so many more. But if you want to make your own, try to match the time of the playlist to drive times each day.

If you wind up making mix CD’s, compare the play time with the length of your drive so you don’t end up listening to the same 6 CD’s over and over (Listening to top 40 for hours on end can be equally repetitive).

This might sound impossible, but it’s worth the effort. If you’re not in to making CD’s or have no idea how to fill up that much time on a playlist, then considering a satellite radio subscription could be your perfect solution. Other than that, find a groovy Pandora station and grab the Aux cord.

Avoid Traffic At All Costs

It’s easy to develop a fixed stare on the road, and not realize that you’re approaching one of the most congested highways at a certain time of day. So as you embark each day, check maps and traffic reports to decide where your problem areas are, and how to compensate. Maybe eat your meal at a particular time while traffic clears up, or take a special back road to stay off the main, crowded stretch.

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