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Car Travel Tips and Tricks

Category Travel
There are so many things that can be done to make a car trip safe, inexpensive and entertaining. This is a guide about car travel tips and tricks.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

August 4, 2015

Every time my friend and I go on a trip in her car, we need something and don't have it. So today, I made a kit for all the stuff we have needed. It doesn't have everything, but it does have the things we have needed over the last few trips. In ours there is:

  • 2 snack bars
  • toothbrush and paste
  • hair clips
  • folding brush
  • nail clippers
  • Ice Breaker breath mints
  • Tums
  • pain relievers
  • "tummy" meds
  • eye drops
  • tissues
  • bandages
  • sewing kit/safety pins
  • scissors
  • tape, pens, and highlighter
  • paperclips
  • note pad
  • $10.00 in quarters for parking, gas, etc.
Yours can hold what you need.

Source: Just needed something and custom made it.

Comment Was this helpful? 6
August 31, 20151 found this helpful

Thanks for that great tip! I've always kept one of those cheap pencil boxes that go on sale at back to school time in my vehicle with feminine pads, deodorant and other toiletries, as well as an extra hair tie. That type of box is usually short enough to fit under the car seat, and keeps the items from getting crushed.

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November 11, 2014

I know in larger towns and the cities, businesses are almost always open, even on Sundays and holidays, and often over night. But for those of us in rural areas, or in areas where businesses choose to let their employees enjoy the holidays with their families, shopping in an emergency can be tough.


Don't forget your truck stops, which never close. Ours contains almost everything (except prescriptions-but a few national chain ones now have pharmacies in them as well) you might need when your stores are closed. Items include milk, groceries, OTC meds, draino, tools, some clothing, toiletry items, TP, a deli, DVD's, office supplies, stamps, batteries.....not to mention gas and oil.

There are also shower there, should ones water be out, and a free charging station for cell phones.

Last week a guy was complaining to me that he had a stopped up drain on Saturday night and he had to wait till Monday to get draino from the hardware store. I asked him why didn't he go down to the truck stop and get it and he gave me a blank look and replied he never even thought of going there, as he isn't a trucker. Anyone can shop there, and its always open, as the trucks are always on the road.

Comment Was this helpful? 7
December 29, 20140 found this helpful

Excellent Tip!

We camp quite a bit and often in areas far from stores as our interests and research are archaeology and biology. Even out in the boonies, we have been lucky to find truck stops with stores offering just about anything one might need.

Recently, we were camping in an area without wi-fi and could not find a paper map to help us locate a specific site. The cashier at a truck stop took the time to check on Google Maps and print out a map for us. Nice lady!

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3 found this helpful
April 4, 2013

I am often driving into the late afternoon sun, and since I am short, the sun visor is not much help. Now I keep a hat with a floppy brim in the car so I can just pull the brim down on my face where I need it.

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April 2, 2012

I just returned from visiting my mom in Arizona, the same day the story hit the news about the 76 year old diabetic man who survived 10 days in Nevada when he and his friend got stuck. His friend wasn't so lucky when he tried to walk for help.

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Susan Sanders-Kinzel0 found this helpful
May 15, 2001

Road Trip Travel Tips

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? Yes

I like to travel, but try to travel light. Quite often when I am traveling by car I have a destination in mind and there is not a lot of time to stop and set up camp along the way. These tips are good for day trips and long distance.


March 11, 2012

We researched which Costco stores on I-5 sell gas and planned to fill up there whenever possible. We also were able to stop and get an inexpensive lunch of hot dogs or pizza while we were there. It saved us time and money.

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July 25, 20060 found this helpful

Keeping Your Place on the Map Tip. When you're navigating on a journey, instead of trying to keep your finger on your place on the map - use a piece of blu tack instead. . .

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March 15, 20070 found this helpful

A lot of people pay for roadside assistance but don't have the numbers handy. Check to make sure you have numbers to call in your wallet or purse and program them into your cell phone.

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0 found this helpful
August 1, 2006

The day before we go on a road trip or just out and about, I freeze several plastic bottles of water, juice, and tea.

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March 18, 20050 found this helpful

When traveling long hours on the road it is usually necessary to use Rest Stop Bathrooms. The following items will assist you well in having a cleaner, more pleasant experience on your stop. Carry the following in a small tote or toiletry bag:

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 9, 20040 found this helpful

Save and use screw top tonic or juice (plastic) bottles after washing and drying them well. When you're off for a trip, lengthy or otherwise, don't stop for cold drinks for everyone along the way. The night before, pour inexpensive tonic, punch or water into several bottles, filling them from 1/4 to 1/2 way, cap them and put in the freezer. It takes from 1 1/2 to 4 hours to freeze solid. In the morning, fill them with the appropriate drink and they'll stay frosty and cold for a good long time; for many a restless mile!

By Nett


Frosty Cool Drinks When Traveling

I do this for my husband who works as a contractor at many different outside job sites. The night before I freeze a bottle of almost-filled water. The next morning he takes the bottle of solid ice and keeps it in his truck. When he is thirsty, just enough has melted so he can have a cool, refreshing drink of ice water.
~Harm0ny~ (09/02/2004)

By Harm0ny

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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