I write children’s books about the adventures me and my dog, Bo-Ty (pronounce bow-tie), take as we travel around in our camper van. Because we travel a lot we know what it takes to hit the highways. So here are some tips we’ve learned to help make sure your next road trip, is a smooth ride!
LIGHTENING YOUR LOAD!
Bo-Ty and I know that the the biggest drag on getting good mileage is overloading the car! “The more weight you carry, the more gas you’ll use”, Says AAA spokesperson Geoff Sundstrom. So take a tip from us and limit the amount of bags you bring!
LISTENING FOR THREE CLICKS!
When putting the gas cap back on, I always listen for three clicks to make sure it’s sealed properly. If it’s not, gas fumes can evaporate, says Lauren Fix, author of Lauren Fix’s Guide to Loving Your Car. If you don’t hear any click? “Your cap is probably broken, but a new one cost just $10 at an auto store, and you’ll make it up in gas savings.”
AVOIDING A SPEEDING TICKET!
Bo-Ty and I always try to keep to the speed limit. Not only to avoid getting a speeding ticket, but it also saves on gas. Still, just seeing a police car on the side of the road can be anxiety-provoking! We stay prepared for speed traps ahead of time by using Google Maps or Waze which alerts us to them along our route. Even if we know where we’re going, this feature helps us avoid a potential problem so we won’t be taken by surprise!
MAPPING OUT YOUR REST STOPS!
Before we start any trip, we plan head with TripTik Travel Planner . This planner, not only helps us map out our trip, it also helps us find restaurants, camp sites, rest stops and gas stations along the way. I love that it even tells us the cheapest gas stations on our route, with more than 100,000 listed – and their prices are updated every day!
TAKE A BREAK!
Being on the road can be stressful. So when Bo-Ty and I start to feel stressed, we stop and take a break. British research found drivers who do, experience less road rage, stress and fewer headaches. Getting some fresh air and stretching your legs will not only relieve the pressure of driving, but it will also improved driver accuracy!
ADJUSTING YOUR SEAT!
Believe it or not, when I push my seat back for extra leg room, it causes me extra stress! According to Fix, “It forces you to extend your arms to reach the steering wheel, locking them into place, which is tiring. It can also cause back pain!” So instead, now I push my seat forward so my elbows are slightly bent, which Fix says is a more relaxed, natural way to hold the wheel. “You’ll feel more comfortable and have more energy.”
USING YOUR HEAD!
Bo-Ty does suffer from car sickness from time to time and so do about half of all adults and kids. When I see Bo-Ty looking a little queasy, I’ll just pull over and roll down the window so he can get some fresh air. But, if you start to feel queasy, keep your head back in the headrest and try to be as still as possible, says auto safety expert Jacob Nelson. “Car sickness is caused by a disturbance in your inner ear that can throw off your sense of equilibrium”, he explains. “Not moving your head is calming to your inner ear, and will make you feel better.”
Bo-Ty is a pretty easy travel companion. He never wants to know if we’re there yet or complains about being bored. But, that’s definitely not the case when traveling with children. While electronic devices are a great way to entertain them, “it’s the last thing you want for a child prone to car sickness”, says Nelson. That’s because when your eyes are fixed on something stationary, your brain and body still know you’re moving – and the system gets confused, intensifying motion sickness. Instead, play games that encourage you to look out the window. Go to MomsMinivan.com to find games, including car bingo games and a travel scavenger hunt you can print out.
EARN WHILE YOU DRIVE
One way we save extra money on the road is by using an app called “Miles”. It tracks how many miles we drive in our vehicle, walk or hike, ride share or even when we use public transportation. These miles add up to points and the points can be used for rewards, such as gift cards.
SAVE WHEN YOU BUY
Upside is a an app I use that lets me shop as usual and earn cash back, but in a way that makes sure businesses earn too. Claim an offer and get the most value on gas, groceries, and restaurants. There’s no limit to how much you can earn, and you can even use it with other coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs
Fetch Rewards is another app I use. It’s a free shopping app that awards points in exchange for scans of my receipts. I can then redeem those points for gift cards. Fetch accepts receipts from many types of stores. For each eligible scan, you’ll earn at least five points.