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Give Me Your Best Road Trip Hacks

Illustration for article titled Give Me Your Best Road Trip Hacks
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CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

Tomorrow, I get set to start a weeklong 2250 mile road trip in the hope that the Canadian border will take pity on me and let me visit my husband. I am not exactly looking forward to the slog, but inspiration struck: who else would have a plethora of tips to make the journey easier than the fine denizens of Jalopnik dot com?


I end up making the Canada-Texas trip a few times a year, much to my distaste. Such is the life of an international love affair when the rest of your life sits at the opposite end of a different country. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good system down by now, but I’m always looking for ways to make life suck a little bit less.

The last time I made the drive, I figured out something genius. I usually pack road snacks, but if I buy a large pizza the night before I leave, I can bring that to serve as my lunch for the next few days. It keeps well, I don’t need utensils to eat it, and it’s more satisfying than a granola bar. And, in a country still ridden with COVID-19, I’m looking to minimize my human-to-human contact to one combo bathroom-gas stop and one dinner stop a day.


But I bet you’ve all got something a little more exciting than pizza. Give me your best tips so I can study up before I head out tomorrow.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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Here’s my overriding thought when I’m road-tripping: At 60 mph, every single minute I spend not driving is another mile I won’t go that day. Eat while driving, drink fluids while driving, try to minimize the amount of time you spend at rest stops or anywhere else that’s not-driving, because that maximizes the distance you can go. Sticking to speed limits, if you limit your not-driving time as much as possible 900 or more miles a day is very doable.

One thing to always remember: you can get sunburn through car windows. Or at least I can. And sitting in the sun for hours inside you tend to forget that the sun can still get at you (I one time, on a drive from NYC to Miami, got a sunburn on my left thigh, through the driver’s window and through my jeans). So always wear sunblocking clothing.