If you’ve taken a road trip before, you most likely have a go-to playlist, can practically use your GPS with your eyes closed and can consider I-95 an old friend.
However, just because you’ve seen the states by car and have nearly a lifetime of stories to tell from your adventures doesn’t mean that you know all the facts that come with a road trip. Between point A and point B, there are many travel details and information tidbits that could add to your travel experience.
So, before you embark on your next adventure, here are 10 road trip facts you need to know:
1. Make Sure You Have a Full Tank
If you’re taking a road trip, convenient places to fuel up on the way is an absolute necessity. However, depending on what state you drive in, finding a gas station may be a tricky task. This is especially true if you’re driving in Alaska, which has the least amount of gas stations per capita compared to the other 49 states.
2. Buckle up for Safety
While your travel destination may be a remote campsite or secluded beach, you may still have to drive through or out of a city to get there. If your route includes travel through Boston, Washington, D.C. or Philadelphia, be aware that these cities are among the most unsafe to drive in.
3. Pay at the Pump
No matter where you drive, paying for gas isn’t cheap. However, if you’re filling up in Hawaii, California or Alaska, be prepared to spend even more, as these states often have the most expensive gas prices.
4. Most Common Pit Stops by the Numbers
As any traveler with a strict ETA knows, convenience foods are the quickest and easiest way to refuel your body while on the road. Luckily, with more than 7,000 Dunkin Donuts stores, more than 14,000 McDonald’s chains and nearly 26,000 Subway restaurants in the U.S., your favorite fast food stops aren’t hard to come by while on the road.
5. Most Popular Travel Destinations
While it’s true that the open road can lead to anywhere, many road-trippers find themselves traveling to the same destination. Within the continental U.S., the two most popular road trip end-points are Yellowstone National Park and Disneyworld.
6. It’s Not Always about Adventure
While many a memorable road trip involves travel to a new and exciting destination, a large number of road-trippers are simply going home. Each year, 50 percent of road trips are taken to see family and friends. This type of road trip is most common during the holidays, when 93.3 million people take to the roads to visit loved ones.
7. Taking It Slow Can Save Your Wallet
If you’re in a hurry to reach your travel destination, it may make your road trip a more expensive endeavor. Driving in the fast lane and frequently merging and changing your speed can decrease fuel efficiency and cost you more. In fact, avoiding aggressive driving can improve your gas mileage by 33 percent.
8. However, Greater Fuel Efficiency Is on the Way
If you love taking road trips but don’t like depleting your bank account at the pump, good news! Thanks to Obama, by 2025 all new cars and light trucks will be mandated to get at least 54.4 miles to the gallon. This will be a game changer for anyone who loves road trips and making gas station stops less frequent.
9. Road Trip Games
Playing games while on a road trip is one of the best ways to make the time pass while spending several hours in the car – especially if you or your travel companions are tone-deaf. According to Bridgestone Tires, the most popular games – excluding Candy Crush and Trivia Crack – played on a road trip are I spy, the license plate game and 20 questions.
10. It’s All About Who You’re With
Believe it or not, sometimes the best part of a road trip is neither the journey nor the destination. According to a poll taken by road trip enthusiasts, the No. 1 part of a road trip isn’t where you go, but who you go with.
While you may have memorized your travel directions or the cost of tolls for your road trip, there is always more to learn. From the dangerous cities it’s best to steer clear of while driving to fast-food restaurants that are practically impossible to avoid, the more you know about U.S. road trips the better your trip will be.
So pack your bags, buckle up and take to the roads feeling even more prepared with road trip knowledge.
Images by SnapwireSnaps, jarmoluk and SplitShire