Road Trips Nichols Style

Road trips, the ultimate pass time if you ask me. It’s something Matthew and I have made a point to do as much as possible. Among our journeys big & small we have learned a few things along the way. For instance don’t judge getting gas on prices, but by how much gas you actually have in your tank. I’d like to take the time to share with you how we have perfected the art of road tripping over the years. Of course some of the things we have done may blow your mind and leave you thinking, oh hell no I will never do that. They are worth sharing none the less in case there are some crazy people out there just like us.

  1. Find you a partner that is nothing like you. Over the years I’ve noticed that opposites really do attract. If you are like me a very go with the flow type person you need someone like Matthew who strives on structure. Matthew spends weeks sometimes even months planning our road trips & vacations. I mean down to the minute what we are going to do. Despite the fact that we almost never follow the plan 100%. (Which is where I come in.) It is nice to have a set path to follow  so when you get off course you can easily get back on.
  2. Packing is an essential part to all trips. Less is always more! Along the road you are going to collect so many nifty things that I promise you will have no need for anything more than just your clothes, blankets, and personal hygiene items. Plus if your anything like us you will need as much room inside as possible. I would highly suggest investing in a hard shell storage for the top of your vehicle. (Don’t bother with the cloth ones. While on the road rain can happen at any moment and you don’t want your things getting ruined. Another lesson we learned the hard way)
  3. The cheaper the better. When on the road Matthew and I try to save money in any way we can. Meaning we never ever stop and pay for a hotel. This is where the crazy comes in. On multiple occasions and in many different places we simply just lay down the back seats to our vehicle and make a bed to sleep in. Granted this can be VERY dangerous so do so at your own discretion. We have slept in truck stops, gas stations, rest areas, hotel parking lots, and airport parking garages to name a few places. If this is way to risky for you I totally understand. My second suggestion would be to pack a tent. The amount of KOA’s on the road is unreal. You truly can’t beat paying on average thirty bucks to have somewhere safe to sleep that also includes showers & laundry facilities.
  4. Attractions, aside from your actual destination pit stops along the way are usually the best part of the road trip. We always go for the historical type. You would be amazed at how much you learn and enjoy stopping at a few of the attractions listed from the brown signs on the interstate. It’s a wonderful way to see a bit of the area you are in that you would never see from stopping only at things directly off the ramps.
  5. Take state routes in place of the interstate when ever you can. You really want to see America? State routes is where it’s at. Of course it is going to take twice the time, but the view is worth it in my opinion. You will be able to drive through towns you would never see if you follow the norm and take the interstate where ever you go. I understand it’s not always practical or even possible, but its worth looking into. While planning your trip see if there is anywhere along the way that you can hop off the interstate onto a state route that will eventually meet back up with the interstate. It’s a great way to slow things down and truly appreciate the land around us.
  6. Last but not least: Stay safe and be prepared. In the world we live in today you can never be too cautious. We never travel with out a weapon of some sort, for protection only. If you plan on taking some sort of weapon be sure to check state laws on said weapon to avoid jail time. When I say prepared I mean for any type of vehicle issues that may occur. It’s always smart to have a basic car tool set in your vehicle at all times that includes but is not limited to: jumper cables, fuses, screw drivers, socket wrenches, ect. Always, and I repeat ALWAYS have a gas jug with you at all times!
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