Know where you’re going

Cat Stevens and me, planning to conquer Southern California

Mapping gas, trip planner

Summertime means traveling is more expensive. With gas prices riding the incoming swell of people driving, it’s important to plan your trips ahead of time. You don’t want to get stuck going through Texas and paying $6.00 a gallon for gas when just a mile around the bend there’s a clean bathroom and reasonably priced station.

These are a few resources that I check out before I hit the road:

Pricing gas

Add a gas price app like GasBuddy, Gas Guru, or implement the gas pricing feature of Waze.

Where are you going?

Trip Advisor is a great place to find where other people think it’s worth spending time. If its a trip to the beach or a new city Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, and all the hundreds of others are an excellent tool.

A good thing to check before you head out is the local jurisdiction’s stance on people sleeping in their vehicles.

Mapping your van trip

Check for road closures before you leave. Nothing worse than sitting on the highway in Kansas for 6 hours because you didn’t check to see if Kansas was awful before you left.

Google Maps has a sweet feature of being able to select the time of departure. Use it. You can buy a map set that is a route all the way from the Atlantic to Pacific planned so you won’t ever touch paved roads.

Going out of the way

I’ve had the luxury of driving across the country a few times and got to see a lot of what’s just sitting around waiting to be looked at. During the planning stages of your trip, look into the things that are a little out of the way. Adding an additional 6 hours to a 60-hour drive to see the Grand Canyon is totally worth it.

There is a giant dog B&B in Idaho.

Stay in our National and State Parks. They won’t be around forever. I hear there are dinosaurs in Utah. Disabled Veterans can get lifetime passes for free.

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