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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.
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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:

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  • 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

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.

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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.

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By 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. This is quite the coincidence, because I had already decided to share some important information about the same subject with you when I returned.

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If you are traveling, it is vital to make sure someone knows where you are going to be, when you will be back and how to find you if you don't show up on time! Don't ever take for granted that nothing will happen, or that you can deal with the situation if it does. Vehicles break down, accidents happen, people make mistakes. Don't depend on your cell phone to call for help, you can't always get a signal. Knowing what information to leave behind with someone is very important. When I'm with my mom, we spend lot of time on back roads, but this is also important for highway travel. Because of a scary situation that happened a few years ago, I knew I had to be more careful about giving someone information that could save us if something happened and we didn't come back. This is how I do it now:

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I used my cell phone to take a photo of the license plate on my mom's 4 wheel drive vehicle we usually use. I sent it as a text to my adult daughter, along with a description of the vehicle and the phone numbers of the local Sheriff's Office and Highway Patrol. I saved the text in my phone. Now, when my mom and I go out, I re-send the text to my daughter, along with a general idea of where we are going, if we are going on a back road, I give her the road number. If we leave that area, I let her know. She knows that if she doesn't hear from me by the end of that day, she should call the numbers I gave her, tell them we are missing and give the information she has for us, so they can start looking for us. Even though my daughter is in another state, I know someone is looking out for us. I use this same method when I am traveling out of town. Someone always knows where I'm headed and what I'm driving. If I decide to take a different route, I let the contact person know.

My mom and I are obsessed with rocks and back road sightseeing. Our favorite things to do together in Arizona where she lives, has always been driving back roads to see what we can discover, and looking for rocks. My mom has a 4 wheel drive vehicle and we both have a history as longtime members of a Search and Rescue organization, so we know how to be careful. Getting lost, vehicle breakdown, getting stuck or physically injured is always a possibility no matter how careful you are.

When we were both younger, it wasn't a big deal. We made sure someone knew we were going out and what general direction we were headed. I was always confident that we could deal with any situation that happened. If we got stuck somewhere, I was in good physical condition and had no doubt I could walk out for help if I had to without getting lost, because the landmarks where we went were always so prominant. I do have to add though, trying to walk out for help is generally one of the worst things you can do!

My husband and I like to do the same things with our kids, we have travelled all over, exploring Oklahoma where we live and I have always been confident in just going out by myself with my kids until a few years ago. We got into some trouble and I wasn't sure we were going to get out if it! My mom and I hadn't realized how old we were getting, I didn't know I had developed type 2 diabetes which made me more vulnerable to heat.

We took my 2 younger boys (around ages 13 and 10) and went out on one of our favorite back roads to look for volcanic rock, about 10 miles from any town or highway. It was summer, around 103 degrees. We had plenty of water as usual. We parked on the edge of the dirt road, grabbed a bottle of water each and went out into the field to look for rocks. The boys got hot and bored, so they went back to the vehicle to sit in the shade and play their hand-held games. My mom and I wondered around picking up rocks and putting them in our bag, we didn't realize how far out we'd wondered and how long we'd been in the heat with only 1 bottle of water.

By the time we realized, we were both in trouble. We were less than 1/4 of a mile from the vehicle, but we nearly didn't make it back and the boys were not paying attention to know we were in trouble. We were too hot, too dizzy, very nauseated, seeing black spots, fuzzy-thinking, barely able to walk - seriously in trouble! My mom couldn't make it, she had to stop. The only reason I made it was total determination and the fear that if I stopped, we would die and my boys would have to try to walk out for help. When I was close enough to the vehicle for my boys to hear me, I told one to bring me some water and the other to take water to my mom.My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it in my ears, it hurt to breathe!

I drank the water, trying not to throw it back up and put an ice pack on the back of my neck, then drove the vehicle closer to my mom to get her. We had to sit in the car with the air conditioner running, drinking water and putting ice packs on our necks and wrists for several minutes to cool off enough before we could head home. We were sick for a couple of days and couldn't handle the heat for several weeks. At the very least, we'd had a major case of heat exhaustion, quite possibly more.

Even with the knowledge and experience we had, we made a very stupid mistake that could have cost us a life. If something had happened, there was no cell phone service and even if there had been, there was no 911 in the area and my boys wouldn't have known how to tell someone where we were. The boys would have been in the same shape if they'd tried to walk out, possibly getting lost. Nobody would have known where we were!

So, now I realize I am a 50 year old type 2 diabetic who does not have the same abilities I used to have. My mom is a 73 year old woman with very bad knees who would never stand a chance. When we go out now, we both realize how easy it is to make stupid mistakes and how fast you can get in trouble. I'm more aware of our limitations and I am careful not to get into a situation like that again. We stay closer to the vehicle now, no more than a few feet out. We carry more water than we think we need and I set the timer on my cell phone to keep track of how long we are out. When we go somewhere, I make sure my daughter has the information she needs to send someone to look for us. If possible, I try to make sure one of the neighbors has the same information.

By lyonpridej from Oklahoma

Comment Was this helpful? 3

Susan Sanders-Kinzel0 found this helpful
May 15, 2001

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.

Road Trip Travel Tips

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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 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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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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By 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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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

Answers:

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

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