Road trip season is here.
Whatever your destination, use these tips to help you get there.
1. Binder clips
Trying to figure out where you are going but don’t have a GPS on your dashboard? A large binder clip and some rubber bands will do the job.
Bend the metal ends 90 degrees. Wrap rubber bands around the metal arms. Then clip it to a vent, and slide your phone into place.
2. Pick a side
Here’s a subtle tip about highway exit signs: If the exit number at the top of the sign is on the left, the exit is on the left. If the number is on the right, the exit is on the right.
3. Charge up
You’re at a hotel. You’ve got two video game systems, four phones, three e-readers and a laptop to charge. What do you do?
When you run out of plugs, look at the back of the hotel TV, which usually has a USB plug-in that you can use.
4. Save your nose
Odors get stale if you’re around them too much, especially if you’re in a confined space for several days in a row. Bring a box of dryer sheets to help freshen up the smell in the vehicle.
If you’re setting out to wander the great beyond, remember that cell service in Beyond is not great.
To have a copy of your directions, take screenshots on your phone so you can refer to them later.
6. Pack in cubes
Instead of loading and unloading a million suitcases every night, try packing in see-through plastic cubes. That way you can grab exactly what you need for each night’s stay instead of pawing through tons of stuff that you’ll have to repack later.
7. Change up
Don’t be ashamed if you don’t know how to change a tire. Find some basic instructions online, print them out and keep them in the car. If you’re really feeling nervous about possible blowouts, practice in your garage.
The same goes for charging a flat battery.
Want to keep your carload amused with games of the non-video variety? If you have a dice-based game, try keeping the dice in a small, sealed, see-through plastic container. Spend more time playing and less time fumbling under the seat for the lost dice.
9. Shoes made for driving
You’ve got a pile of toys, books, maps, a camera and other gear spread around the car by the time you’re an hour in. Hang a shoe organizer with pockets over the back of your seat and keep all miscellaneous items in one place and out from underfoot. If you want to take off your shoes during a car ride, put them in the organizer.
10. Bring small bills
You might find yourself confused when trying to decipher the lanes approaching a toll booth.
Bring enough small bills for you to get through and don’t ask the toll taker to change a $50 bill. That’s how summertime traffic jams are created, and who wants that?