Category Archives: Vacations & Travel

Tips for Driving Solo on a Long Trip

Driving cross country can be one of the most fun, memorable experiences of your life. It can give you the freedom to travel wherever you want, without missing anything along the way. It can also be a low-cost alternative to flying, with less hassle. While taking a cross-country road trip is one of the many perks of driving rather than flying, there are still some vital things you should do before you take off.

Cross Country Driving Tips and Advice

  • There are some things you should think about before you begin your cross-country road trip:
  • Make sure your car is in great functioning condition before you begin driving. You should check:
  • Car battery
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Fluid levels (transmission fluid, brake fluid, engine oil)
  • Plan for gas costs. Make sure you create a budget.
  • Have a “vehicle emergency kit,” which includes items like flashlights, warm clothes, and water.
  • Pack using duffel bags rather than suitcases. They save room in the car and are easier to carry.

Cross Country Safe Driving Tips and Road Trip Information

  • Enhance your visibility so that you’re not hindered by things like fog and rain.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Try to stay away from excessive salt and sugar. Don’t eat too heavily.
  • Don’t tailgate. This puts you and other motorists at risk of an accident.
  • Don’t ever drink and drive. Get a DUI and the penalties linked with it isn’t worth it.
  • Obey all traffic safety laws and avoid traffic ticket fines, penalties, and violations.

The Bottom Line

Cross country road trips can be very satisfying but driving cross country comes with hazards as well. Make sure you are well-prepared before you leave and follow these tips along the way so you can reduce your stress and increase your fun.

Tops Out-of-State Road Trip Destinations for Michiganders

For the thrill-seeker

What: Cedar Point

Valravn at Cedar Point

Where: Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point is the supreme theme park for those who like rollercoasters. You can also see some shows and go to the beach but Cedar Point is most-appreciated by the real thrill-seeker. Cedar Point has Valravn, a new coaster. Among those records, Valravn is said to be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.

Travel time from Ann Arbor: Around two hours

For the theater lover

What: Stratford Festival

Where: Stratford, Ontario, Canada

This festival started in the 50s as a way to celebrate the works of Shakespeare. Over the years, the festival has expanded to include other theatrical works with the classic Shakespeare plays. Shows include Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and “As You Like It,” and other offerings like “A Chorus Line” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Travel time from Port Huron: Less than two hours

 For the shopping addict

What: Shipshewana, Indiana

The town, just south of the Michigan border, is rich with Mennonite and Amish culture and a hit with tourists. Don’t forget to bring your coins since Shipshewana is known for its shops, auctions, and flea market. If you want to give your wallet a break, go to the area’s museums, parks, and theatres.

Travel time from Kalamazoo: About an hour

 For those who love the big lake

What: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Your car and then a big, huge ferry that lets you cross Lake Michigan. Take a trip to Milwaukee. You could drive around the lake to get there but it’s more fun to drive your car onto a ferry and take a break from road travel while you adore the view. The ferry ride is a great but there is also lots to look forward to once it is over. Milwaukee offers culture, nightlife, sporting events and more.

Travel time from Muskegon: The ferry ride from Muskegon to Milwaukee is 2 ½ hours

Tips for Your Motorcycle Road Trip (Part II)

Dress appropriately

For road trips, especially on a motorbike, dressing appropriate is vital. Always try wearing riding pants, a comfortable shirt, boots, a full-face helmet, and bring the jacket you feel most comfortable with.

If you are expecting a bumpy ride on two wheels, it’s best to pick knee and elbow guards for more protection. Wear fitted clothes as baggy ones can cause discomfort for long distance riding. If you’re doing dirt bike, here are mistakes you should avoid with your gear.

Stay hydrated

Factors like ‘hydration’ typically take a backseat when considering all vital aspects of a motorbike road trip. You need to have proper hydration with you while on the go. Hydration is crucial and if stopping for water bothers you, invest in a hydration pack. The water bottle in a bag not only keeps the water cold but also comes with a long tube that you can use for drinking water without stopping.

Keeping yourself hydrated is very critical to being on top of your game.

Take breaks

You may need more rest while on a biking road trip than you typically take. Sitting on a bike for long hours without a break can create saddle sores. Know when your bike and body are asking you to stop for a break.

Avoid going overboard with it as it will only lengthen your trip and ultimately make it frustrating. Use the break to rest and to check if you need to refuel your tank and if your bike is in good condition.

Be prepared for unexpected weather

Unlike a car trip, you need to be more vigilant of weather conditions when going on a motorcycle road trip. It may start raining unexpectedly or the temperature might be higher than normal. Make sure that you are ready to deal with it. Bring a raincoat and riding gear that offer proper cover for your luggage is crucial.

Tips for Your Motorcycle Road Trip (Part I)

A motorbike road trip is a thrilling experience. Being alone with your thoughts on an exciting trip can be very interesting and should be done at least once in a lifetime.

It is vital to be prepared for your first solo bike road trip. Regardless if you bring your own motorcycle or are planning to rent one, take all critical aspects into account before you set out on the road. This can make the trip more comfortable and hassle-free.

Here are some crucial tips you shouldn’t miss:

Choose your ride wisely

If you are planning a road trip on your motorcycle, make sure it is a comfortable one. Of course, you can always make a couple of modifications to improve its comfort level. In case you are thinking to rent, make sure you choose your ride wisely.

Do your research and find the one you can easily handle and take care of. Bikes with a different handlebar, sharp headlights, softer seats, and guards are better when you are going on an off-road trip.

A great looking bike shouldn’t be the only thing that counts. To have a smooth and successful road trip, having the right ride is imperative.

Pack light

You can find an assortment of luggage carriers for motorbikes available today. The best ones are saddlebags, which can be simply fixed on the backseat or sides of the bike. Other great bag ideas include tank bags and tail-bags which include magnets to hug your tank right away.

Besides picking the right bag, you must also decide on your luggage very carefully. When going on a road trip on a motorbike always pack light. Get disposable stuff so you can dispose of it after use. Carry sachets instead of bottles for most of the things. Avoid having a lot of changes of clothes. Make a list and organize all the essential items before you pack.

RVs vs. Hotels for Your Road Trip

Working or retired, who doesn’t dream of more traveling? When I early retired, we wanted to travel several months out of the year. So, we purchased a small RV. RVs are flexible and comfortable. You travel on your own timetable, overnighting any spot that interests you. You rest in your own bed and prepare your own food. It’s like being at home while being on the road.

I thought that owning a small RV would save us money. And it does. But if you’re thinking about renting an RV this summer? Well, you might want to rethink and do some math beforehand.

You need to do the numbers on three modes of road-trip travel: (1) driving your own car and staying in hotels; (2) having a small RV; or (3) renting a small RV. (I focus on small RVs here. They are affordable. The modern small RVs are comfortable and economical for a small family or couple.)

For each choice, you’ll figure the cost per mile of owning the vehicle. To this, you’ll add the cost of driving the vehicle, according to its fuel consumption and the current national average cost of gasoline, about $2.70 per gallon as this is written. That will give you an general cost per mile of operating the vehicle.

Next, you’ll want to figure the daily expense for traveling, based on average hotel and camping rates. For food costs, you’ll compare the expense of dining out for hotel travel with preparing meals in an RV. You’ll use national averages when possible, plus your own estimates and experiences.

What you’ll see is that the essential trade-off of RV ownership is that it saves you on daily costs at the expense of mileage costs. An RV is more expensive to own and drive but saves you each day on lodging and meals. Your personal break even point will be contingent on your travel plans and lifestyle.