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Modhop Basics

Modern Road-Tripping for the old Soul

Contributing Author May 18, 2022

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Working in radio for 20+ years in a number of places, Jake has found that road trips can be totally life changing experiences, especially if you decide to forgo hotels and other modern amenities for a no-holds-barred adventure that can immerse you in nature like never before. Okay, Jake’s not one for forgoing amenities but agrees that learning to plan the perfect road trip doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might initially imagine. This guide contains a variety of different tips and tricks that you can make the most of to organize an unforgettable vacation in no time at all. Could it be that easy? We think so. Read on to uncover some of the best recommendations you can start using today! 

Road Trip
Road Trip!


Plan Your Route…Yes, STILL.

Sure, there’s GPS and maybe you want to experience the rush of a totally free road trip with no sense of direction, but we’ve found it’s important to take the opportunity to plan your route, even if just briefly, for the sake of your own safety and security. It’s especially important to plan your route beforehand if you are a lone traveler, so that you can keep a friend or family member aware of your intended destinations and then check in with them once you arrive – having someone who knows your approximate location will be very helpful in any kind of emergency situation! Planning your route can also be beneficial for reasons other than safety, as it’s easy to stray off course and find yourself in boring or built up locations that don’t quite live up to your road trip expectations. Instead, if you take the time to locate a few key hotspots that you want to travel to, you can make sure to visit a range of great natural places while still having freedom to stop whenever and wherever you like along the way. Great tools like AAA’s modernized Triptik app or just dropping your destinations into Google Maps can show you interesting things and attractions along the way to keep things interesting.

When you’re planning your route you can also use this as an opportunity to check out any options for overnight stays, as you might need a decent hotel or maybe somewhere to park and camp out when it gets dark. Finding an online van life community is a perfect solution, offering a wealth of references and resources for safe and secure overnight stays no matter where you may be. It can be a real struggle to get a restful night’s sleep if you just randomly park on the roadside or at a rest stop. It can really help to locate dedicated campgrounds that have benefits such as clean water, toilets and extra security. 

Fuel sign for rural gas station in a small town.
Roadside stops might not have everything you need, so pack up!

Pack The Truckster 

Once you’ve been able to plan your estimated route, it’s time to pack your van or truck for your adventure! There so many different things that you might want to make your road trip as fun as can be, starting off with a range of outdoor equipment (especially if you’re camping) that you can use for the most essential activities like cooking. You may not be able to locate a ton of grocery stores or restaurants when you’re traveling amongst nature, so it’s great to be prepared so that you can make your own meals on the go! One of the best purchases we’ve made for road trips is a mini gas camping stove, for heating up and to cook a variety of foods from morning scrambled eggs to a warming hot chocolate before bed. Just be sure to bring enough gas canisters to power your stove throughout your road trip, as you won’t want to run out when you’re starving far away from the nearest store.

Packing some food in your van or truck is also vital, so make some room for canned foods and dry ingredients that have a long shelf life and don’t need to be refrigerated. You can also fill a waterproof suitcase or a plastic storage box with a range of clothing items to suit all weather types, along with a few extra coats and a couple of blankets to keep warm when the temperatures drop dramatically during the night. It’s also a good idea to pack a kind of first aid box that includes plasters, bandages, pain relief, and other essential items that you might need during your road trip. Consider packing a few forms of entertainment like puzzle books to keep yourself occupied during downtime too, as you may find yourself with free time in locations without cell signal. 


Planning the perfect road trip can be tough, but totally worth the effort. What tips or tricks to you have for road-tripping? Let Jake know @modhop on Twitter, Instagram or even TikTok!

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Contributing Author

General travel tips and advice on destinations, hotels and flights.

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