Road trips are one of life’s great pleasures. There’s not much better than getting your gear together and hopping in the car with your friends and family for a few weeks of exploration. You can discover parts of the United States you’d never seen before, even right close to home. As you take the road trip, however, there are a few essential tips that we’d like to share. Keep reading below for the official Bonham Chrysler Road trip Checklist for 2019-20.
Tip #1 – Keep Your Food Costs in Check
You’d be amazed at how much money you can spend on the road. Many people think that the dollar menu at fast-food restaurants is a great way to save money, but the reality is that you’ll wind up spending more cash than you realize and feel regretful doing it. When you combine greasy fast food with hours sitting behind the wheel or in the passenger seat, it’s one way to take the energy and positive spirit out of the journey.
Our favorite ways to beat this trend, then, involve two separate tricks: visit those mom-and-pop shops along the way and stock up on snacks at grocery stores. Usually, those independent restaurants will provide generous portions for breakfast and lunch specials. If you can beat the dinner rush and arrive in time for early bird specials, you can save even more money. Our advice is to load up at lunch and pack away the leftovers in a cooler to have as a snack later on. One $6 lunch special will usually be better-made than what you get at a fast-food joint and keep you from feeling hungry again for a lot longer.
The grocery store can help out in two ways. First, you’ll avoid overpaying on snacks by buying in bulk – why spend $1.49 for a small bag of Cheetos at the gas station when you can get four times as much for $1.99 at the supermarket? You can also buy bread, lunch meats, and other lunch-ready meals, thus saving even more money for your main meals. Plus, you may run into some locals at the grocery store who can help you find the best deal on a hot cooked meal around.
Tip #2 – Sleep on the Cheap
Many people already have the gear to go camping, but they don’t realize that they can combine that with a long term road trip! There are numerous locations not far from the main road where you can set up camp for a night or two and enjoy the great outdoors without spending hundreds on hotel rooms. The best part is that you don’t even need to plan much, as these camping areas are common throughout the most beautiful parts of the country.
If you want to plan out a little further and figure out specific dates that you’ll be in various cities, you can even schedule an Airbnb in advance for a day or two. It’s helpful to have these pitstops along your route so you can count on a shower and a clean bed at a discounted rate, especially if you’re only using it as a stopover.
A third option is to find free lodging thanks to the help of sympathetic locals or travelers. You can use a service such as couchsurfing.com, which lets willing hosts open their homes to travelers. These people have ratings and reviews from others who have stayed with them, so you can have a bit of confidence knowing that they are likely to be legitimate. Otherwise, you could try the old fashioned way and chat up some locals in a public area, restaurant, or bar setting. If you get a good feeling from them, you can politely ask, and they may be able to host you for a night.
Tip #3 – Don’t Get Gouged on Gas, Handle Your Preventive Maintenance
Gas isn’t the same price everywhere you go. Not only do states and localities tax gasoline at different rates, but individual stations’ prices vary depending on where you go. Fortunately, there are apps and guides dedicated to where you can find the consistently least expensive gas. Scout out a few of those in advance and make sure that you put them on the route when you plan a road trip with Google Maps. You can also use those apps for real-time updates regarding where to find the cheapest gas near you.
Your car and your driving are also significant factors when it comes to keeping your costs low. If you drive at optimal speeds for your car or truck, you can drastically reduce the amount of gas you’re using. After all, road trips are about the journey, so you don’t need to be driving 80+ mph all the time. Instead, get to a steady cruising velocity and pass the time with your friends having good conversations, listening to your favorite music, or playing road trip games.
You also shouldn’t forget the critical step of stopping by the Bonham Chrysler Service Department to have your vehicle checked out beforehand. The last thing you want while you’re on a road trip is to have to stop by a random mechanic and be at their mercy. Not only might you have to overpay for the inconvenience, but you also might get stranded in the middle of nowhere for a day – or more. Let us help you by giving your car the all-clear before you hit the road.
Tip #4 – Pack Efficiently and Don’t Forget a Rooftop Storage Box
It can get cramped in your car when you pack enough clothes, food, gear, and entertainment as well as your best friends into the cab and trunk of your vehicle. In fact, it’s fairly common that you’ll either have too much junk in the seating area, which swiftly gets quite uncomfortable. Instead, invest in a rooftop storage box for your car or one that fits into the bed of your pickup. These will protect your possessions from the elements and help you organize without sacrificing valuable seating space.
Tip #5 – Visit the Sights You’ll Never Forget
When it comes to being a top-quality road trip planner, the attractions are one of the most important things. You can’t forget to take time to visit the most beautiful natural sights in the state, such as Bonham State Park (a picturesque natural preserve with hiking, pristine woods, and rolling hills) and Lake Texoma (a sprawling lake created by Denison Dam on the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma). Take advantage of the opportunities for beautiful views, energizing hiking, and rental boats.
You can also visit cultural centers, including the Sam Rayburn Museum and House, Fort Inglish Village. You’ll be surprised at the hidden gems you can find just by driving along the numbered routes in northern Texas and following the signs for those random roadside attractions. Nothing makes for a better story than exploring the most unusual stop along the route.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
As you’re planning the trip, don’t forget that the key thing is to make sure that you have a good time with it. Talk to your friends and family about what they want to see or do during the journey. Perhaps someone wants to spend several days camping by a lake while someone else wants to spend an afternoon playing laser tag. The schedule is entirely up to you, so figure it out between yourselves and don’t forget to save some time for exploring or appreciating the natural beauty of Texas and the rest of the United States.