There are millions of drivers on the road each day across the U.S. Many will drive hundreds of miles before taking a break and a good percentage will drive thousands of miles before getting to their final destination.
Here are a few of my personal tips on traveling on road trips in your personal car or rental car – sleeping at rest stops and finding a hotel at the last minute for cheap.
Road Trip Tips: U.S. Rest Stops
If you’re traveling solo or with family and friends you should take the same precautions that you would anywhere else. When stopping for a break and especially when taking a nap, look for well lit areas. If you don’t feel comfortable and/or there’s no sign that there is security at the particular rest stop that you are at, keep driving until you find one that gets you off the side of the road and where there are other people.
If you have been on the road for many hours and have more than 50 miles, take a break. Don’t wait until you are fatigued. If you were driving for the next rest stop and haven’t seen one for the last hundred miles pull off on the side of the road. If you are not at a designated rest stop, be sure your car is clear from other traffic. If there’s no rest stop and if possible find a large parking lot that is open 24/7, like one of the big box store – park and rest there.
Road Trip Tips: Showers and water
I’ve slept at rest stops for several days before getting to my destination without checking into a hotel. You can always use a shower at a one of the rest stops with a gas station for a small fee if you need to. Take wet wipes, a roll of paper towels and a gallon of water in addition to a small case of bottled water for drinking and cleaning; it’s cheaper than buying a couple of bottles each time you stop for food or gas.
I used to think it was pretty gross to not take a full shower daily. However, after driving cross country several times with a deadline to get to our destination within a certain amount of time – you can figure out ways to freshen up without having to pay for a hotel room.
Road Trip Tips: Bidding for hotels
I book the majority of my hotel rooms through Priceline. On a trip to Alabama I wasn’t sure when I would reach the area I was going to so I was able to book a room on the same day of my arrival. That’s taking a chance that I would even be accepted, but that’s the beauty of Priceline if you do research before you bid. You can benefit by using biddingfortravel.com a website forum that can assist you in using bidding sites like Priceline to travel on a budget.
More from this contributor:
Travel tips for a solo USA road trip
Weekend solo travel guide to Williamsburg, VA
5 Quick tips to know when traveling to Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
About this writer:
Monica Lehua is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Travel. In the past two years I have packed on more than 70,000 ground miles of travel on my Honda CRV. I think I’ve learned a thing or two about traveling on long road trips.