Road Trip Tips – How to Make the Most of Your Next Adventure

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VW van on the road in the Utah desert.

Are you gearing up for a summertime road trip? That’s always an exciting time, but the logistics of trips can catch you unawares at the worst possible time. Things like car emergencies, where to stop for food and gas, and any possible hotel stays can come up in the middle of your trip, causing stress. The best way to get away from all the stress is to get ahead of it by planning for everything you can.

Car Maintenance

Depending on the length of your trip, running routine car maintenance isn’t a bad idea. Things like checking your fluid levels, including coolant, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and even your windshield wiper fluid can all impact how your car drives and handles during your trip. Especially if you’re going long distances, staying on top of your maintenance is the best way to ensure your car will do fine.

Keeping a container of basic emergency car supplies can also save you in a pinch. Including a quart or two of your engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant in a tote in your trunk keeps your vehicle running smoothly. Bringing along a pair of jumper cables will save you from any last-minute battery deaths, and a spare tire combined with a tire iron and jack will keep you moving even if you get a flat.

An important note: if you’re using the spare tire that came with your vehicle, make sure it’s properly aired up, and check if it’s a donut tire (slightly smaller than your regular tire) or if it’s a full-size tire. This impacts your ability to drive on the highway versus having to stick to major backroads and get a replacement tire asap. Donuts aren’t reliable for high speeds or long distances, whereas full-size tires are completely fine!

Other car maintenance to keep in mind can include making sure you got your tires aligned recently, since tire alignment can influence your mileage and cause issues with the car “pulling” if it’s out of alignment.

Last-minute, you should check your tire air pressure and make sure to fill up on fuel! Lots of gas stations offer rewards cards and point memberships, like RaceTrack, Wawa, and Cumberland Farms. If you’re a frequent driver, it might be worth it to consider getting one of those cards and using it to your advantage while you’re taking your trip!

Foodie Stops

If you’re a major foodie traveling during the summer, you must create a foodie stop list! There are places everywhere just begging for attention for the delicious food. If you’re looking for a Michelin star experience, you have options, like Del Mar in Washington, Carne Mare in New York, or Omakase Yume in Chicago.

If you’re just looking for good food, you can find homey mom-and-pop stops by searching for restaurants near you in any city in the United States, then sort by review. This will almost always guarantee you finding something to your tastes.

Hotels

There are lots of factors to hotels to take into consideration when traveling across the U.S. One such factor is wanting something good on the wallet, or if you’re looking to splurge on a nicer experience. There are lots of unique hotel options, like the Kansas City Boutique Hotel, which has a whole set of rooms dedicated for adventurers in mind. There’s the Mayan Rainforest room, which includes a lush tropical forest-type experience featuring a pyramid king bed; the Tahitian Treehouse room, which includes warm lush tropics and a four-poster bed; and finally, the Jesse James hideout, which has a modern walk-in shower. All three of these rooms feature an LED-lit jetted tub! Don’t forget that Kansas City also has some amazing food!

Not looking in Kansas City, but might be staying in Boston? You can stay at the Liberty Hotel, which features 298 rooms, renovated to maintain the history of the building. This location was previously a jail (Charles Street Jail), and the hotel has done a good job of giving a head-nod to that history.

Might be poking your tires into California? There’s the East Brother Light Station, which was built in 1873 and prides itself on being beautifully restored as a California Victorian Lighthouse Inn. It sits on the island in a strait separating the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, providing a unique destination for Californian adventurers.

If you’re looking for something a bit price-friendly, you can always look for chain hotels as you travel, including Red Roof Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn, and several others. These pricings vary across the States, so you might be better off looking for something local as you go, but it’s never a bad idea to check ahead of time if you have an epic trek planned to see if you can book rooms along your route.

Memorable Destinations

If you’re traveling to make memories, you might be looking for memorable destinations. There are the usual recommendations for theme parks – like Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, etc. – and there’s also the companion national parks like Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, and of course, the Grand Canyon National Park.

You can absolutely add these popular tourist stops to your itinerary, but there are other spots to visit all across the United States that make any traveler excited.

Such a feature might include something like the fresh water springs located in central Florida. Take your pick, from the Three Sisters Springs located about an hour and a half north of Tampa, Rainbow Springs in the Rainbow Springs State Park, or the Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring which is located in Williston, Florida.

Want more splashing fun, but want a more spa-like experience? Hot Spring National Park in Arkansas might be up your alley. Are you located closer to a state like Colorado? You might not even need to travel far if so – there’s the Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Want to be really adventurous and try something clothing-optional? You can drive about an hour north of Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and visit Valley View Hot Springs.

Not really interested in splashing about? That’s fine! There are other things you can do, like visit Cassadaga, Florida, which is the “psychic capital of the world.” There are seven parks and meditation gardens throughout the community, giving you the opportunity to connect with nature in this highly powerful place.

If you want to focus on supporting small businesses as you go, you can visit New Hope, Pennsylvania, and look around at the independently owned businesses and art galleries for travel souvenirs. More interested in art? Go for a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lose yourself in the endless galleries on Canyon Road. If you’re an outdoorsy sort, you can go on over to Teton Mountains in Wyoming, and test your skills with horseback riding, river rafting, and hiking!

No matter where you’re traveling, On Air Parking has got your back with our parking options. If you’re flying out of an airport, we can help you find a reservation for parking so your car will remain nice and safe while you’re on an adventure! With customer service available from 10am-7pm ET, Monday through Friday, you can reach us via call (888-487-2754) or text (424-532-8940). You can also reach us by email at hello@noson.io. You can make your reservations online, pain-free, or even download our app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices. Cancellation is free up to the start date, so no worries if summer storms throw a wrench in your plans!