We all love taking a Road Trip but as many of us have learned thru Trial and Error… maybe more horror stories of trying to find a bathroom or as in one interview a group of guys stuck eating a bag of carrots for 2 days when they couldn’t find food— a bit of planning can make all the difference!
Bathrooms– aren’t these super important especially when it seems you are in the middle of a 300 mile stretch and no internet service.
As one of our travelers noted in her tips recently- always use the bathroom when it is available!
Where to find Clean Restrooms:
Fast food restaurants-all the chains like McDonalds, Subway all have a bathroom and most are kept in fairly good working order. Gas stations- the more expensive like a Chevron will probably have a nicer restroom than a small mom/pop owned gas station but sometimes you need to use what you can find. Driving off the main road to the closest town- look for Public buildings like libraries, courthouses and small parks often will have a public restroom. Some of the best ones are near public parks-always use one that is in clear view of your car, or have a buddy with you.
Restrooms may also be available at Parks, and restaurants- but be courteous and if there is something to purchase it is always a good idea to buy a small something.
Places to eat!
When starting a RoadTrip be sure and pack some snacks! As a tour guide leader that’s one of the first stops I make- water, salty snacks, some chocolate and some other items-cheese, fruit, nuts, and even toilet paper!
Where to stop when you are traveling? There are often stretches of road where you can drive many miles without seeing an interchange for gas/food or even go thru a small town! Your cell phone has a lot of apps like Yelp, TripAdvisor and even Google maps to show you where restaurants, diners and coffee shops are but if you don’t have service these tools are useless.
Some of the tips I use — get off the interstate and drive to the nearest town, you can identify these on your paper map, or stop at the Interstate exchange gas station and possibly ask. I love going into the small towns- find Main street, there is usally a cafe, a diner, or even a coffee shop, look for the parked cars and the open sign. You can size up the kinds of cars parked out front and usually get a vibe before you enter. Towns that have colleges often have a wider variety of dining options and I have found some really good eats this way. Look for a Grocery store- many grocery stores now have a deli counter or some items you can pick up. If it’s a weekend you can often find a Farmers Market where you can get some real local foods, and you can also follow signs for small diners that offer specials and more! How about a picnic– read up on our tips for dining Al Fresco!
We hope you use some of these tips on your next road trip, remember pick up or keep some napkins, plastic silverware and plenty of water in your car! Be safe and try something local!
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