Let me guess – you thought this was going to be a very practical, step-by-step guide on how to road trip, including advice about car maintenance, signing up for roadside assistance, booking hotels, etc., #amiright? Yeah, this isn’t that type of guide. It is, however, a recipe for fun! So sit down, buckle up, and allow me to be your GPS for the top 5 tips on planning the perfect summer road trip – from how to prevent boredom to how to find parking.

5 Tips for the Perfect Summer Road Trip

1. Get Your Snacks On

I don’t know about you, but if I don’t have food every few hours, I get hangry. Not hungry, hangry. Like, road rage-inducing, stomach cramping hunger. My solution? Food! Imagine that! Before you go anywhere in your car, and especially before you go on a long road trip, you should stock up on sustenance. The longer the trip, the heartier the supplies should be. Trail mix, jerky and fruit leathers are all good options for between-meal snacking. If you’re wanting to save a few bucks and eat out less on your trip, consider packing a cooler with sandwiches, fruit and drinks. And for some reason, road trips seem to require at least some junk food. Why not fun-sized Snickers bars and Funions? They put the “fun” in junk food. Badum ching! Porch has a list of all of the road-trip essentials, including commonly forgotten napkins, for example.

2. Bust That Boredom!

“Are we there yet?” is probably something you’ve asked yourself, as a driver. Even if no one else was in the car with you – again, #amiright? Those long stretches of road, especially in the flatter parts of the country, can seem like the Sahara Desert and you end up feeling like that cartoon skeleton reaching out its hand toward . . . a mirage. Well, I say the boredom stops here! Whether you’re more into music or audiobooks, it is definitely worthwhile to load up your phone or audio player before you hit the road, Jack. Get wrapped up in a whodunit novel, and you might miss your exit on purpose just so you can hear who the killer was! Hours literally fly by while your imagination is taking its own trip in the world of make-believe. Or, if tunes are more your thing, cranking up the volume on your playlist can make driving feel like you’re in a movie. And wanna know a cool fact? Your local library most likely has thousands of songs and books for you to check out online! Free fun! Oh my.

3. Where to Find Parking

The term “road trip” implies more than a few hours in the car, and most likely more than a day. You’ve got a final destination set, points of interest along the way, and even booked hotels and restaurants. Good job! The one X factor in planning for anything, though, is the unknown. One of the most unknown unknowns is where exactly you’ll be able to park your car while you explore the sites. Allow me to help! Before you venture forth, download the ParkMobile app and enter the location info in the search field to find parking. Trust me, the last thing you’ll want to do when you get into an unfamiliar town is to continue to drive around endlessly trying to park (even if your audiobook is at an exciting part!).

4. Consult Your World Record Book

You’re saying, “wait, what?” but just bear with me. In helping to determine where to stop along the way to your ultimate destination, consider looking up some world superlative tourist attractions to make each stop fun all by itself! Say you’re taking a trip from L.A. to Vancouver, B.C. Take Hwy 101 along the coast and visit the world’s tallest trees in Redwood National Park. In San Francisco, try – if you dare – driving Lombard Street, dubbed the “crookedest street in the world.” In Seattle, visit Pike Place Market to see a life-size portrait of the world’s tallest man, and one of his size 37 shoes! And, of course, use your ParkMobile app to find parking. Who says road trips have to be conventional? Quirky can be fun!

5. Take A Picture, It’ll Last Longer

When you’re fresh off a road trip, you can regale your listeners with detailed stories about all your adventures; as time goes on, you might have a harder time recalling details without a little help. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of capturing those memories! Most of you are probably boss at Instagram-ing and #hashtagging (#amiright?), but even if you’re not constantly on social media, take my advice and click those pics! Road trips can be epic and you’ll want to relive the moments. Your future self will thank you! Also, feel free to tag @parkmobilellc — we just might share your awesome road trip pics with fellow summer drivers.

ParkMobile Makes It So Easy to Find Parking

On any road trip, you won’t be driving the entire time so parking is important! Be sure to take ParkMobile with you to find parking on your road trip. You’ll be so glad you did. On your trip, you might find parking that accepts ParkMobile but also has coin-operated meters. What to do? Check out #AskParkMobile – Coin Operated Meters for the answer. You can also find additional road trip advice in 5 Road-Tripping Essentials (you can never have too much info, right?). And since road trips generally involve traveling, check out #AskParkMobile – Parking While Traveling for some handy tips. Happy planning!