I have four weddings coming up in the next two months. That's too many weddings. Particularly because none of them are in NYC. That means costly car rentals, train rides and hotels. I wish everyone all the happiness in the world, but goddammit.
Anyway, the first wedding in this series that I'm attending is in Virginia. Too close to fly, but just far enough to make a road trip out of it. After a few years of driving down to Rehoboth from NYC, I've picked up a few tips for shorter road trips (anything under 10 hours).
Here's what I like to have with me:
Even if you know where you're going, its always handy to have a GPS. It's great for rerouting around traffic and exploring back roads. Just remember to update your maps before leaving. One time we were told to use an exit that no longer existed. That was fun.
To make sure the GPS and all other electronics are always fully charged, the Bestek dual charger with USB ports is a lifesaver. How else will we be able to listen to five hours of podcasts while simultaneously playing Candy Crush or whatever the kids are into these days?
The three-way cup holder thing is genius especially when you're unsure what kind of rental car you're getting. Speaking of rental cars, I carry sanitary wipes for the wheel and seats plus loads of antibacterial hand gel because I'm nuts.
The thing I always forget is small bills for tolls. There's nothing worse then getting to a tollbooth, realizing that you need $1, and spending what feels like twenty minutes combing through the car trying to scrape together enough change while the cars line up behind you beeping. Cue the anxiety.
Since you know by now that one of my favorite things to do is eat, its fair to assume that I like to keep snacks around me at all times (road trip or not). Unfortunately I can't always travel with my snack committee (this is actually a real thing because my friends are awesome) so I try to find local gems on the road. And no, rest stops are not local gems, though my friends and I did take to Yelp to find the best rest stop on our way from New York to Vermont. It's this one if you're curious.
When my friend Cat and I took a trip to Utah last year, we discovered the TV Food Maps App that shows you "famous" restaurants along your driving route. By famous I mean that they were featured in an episode on the Food Network. That's how we came across Moochie's in Salt Lake City. I don't trust Guy Fieri with much. I certainly won't be visiting Flavortown anytime soon. In fact, I only trust Guy with one thing: recommending the best greasy local gems in any given city. He hasn't let me down yet.
Another app I like for road trips is RoadTrippers. It's a great way to plan out stops along any given route. It shows you all sorts of things like photo ops, historical sites, shopping, food, etc.
I also use GasBuddy. This app is not just useful for finding the cheapest gas in the area, but also for finding a gas station period. Like those times when your gas light is on and you're literally in the middle of nowhere and you can't breathe because you're convinced you're going to break down and be stranded. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.
What apps do you recommend road trips?
Any suggestions for my upcoming trip through Pennsylvania (I-78) and Virginia (Rt 15)? We probably can't stop anywhere for more than an hour, but any food recs or photo ops would be awesome!