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On The Clock and On The Road: Four Ways To Save Time on Road Trips

This blog post was updated on October 18, 2018.

Fall is one of the best times to hit the road for a long weekend away. Road trips throughout autumn have a number of positives, from generally pleasing road conditions to the rich foliage colors changing out the window. However, at the same time, fall road trips can be short and sweet, leaving little time to waste while on the road. If you are planning a fall weekend getaway or just a simple road trip and you want to maximize your time, here are a few simple ways to beat the clock while venturing by car.

Research construction zones in advance: When I took a fall drive in Colorado a few week’s ago, I failed to research the road conditions on my route. As a result, I spent roughly three hours stuck in traffic due to a construction zone. Had I researched my route beforehand, I could have saved a great deal of time on my trip by going a different way. Before you set out on your road trip, it is best to do some research to find out if any parts of your route will slow you up due to construction and work zones. If you have this information at your disposal, you can plan a different route and save time in the process.

Plan your trip around rush hours: The early bird on a road trip always tends to catch the best traffic-free route. In order to save time on a road trip, the last thing you should be doing is sitting in rush hour traffic in the morning or the early evening. You need to plan your trip around rush hour by either leaving before or after it is over. You should also think about the traffic at your destination. Road trippers looking to maximize their time must consider what time they will arrive. If it is during rush hour, you could be wasting time yet again on the road and not enjoying your destination.

Consolidate stops if you can: Rather than pulling off for food, gas and bathroom breaks all on separate stops, road trippers on the clock need to consolidate their stops to save time. When I set out on a road trip, I always try to plan my stops around when I will need gas or what attractions I want to see along the way. If you stop separately for food, gas, bathroom breaks and attractions, you will watch the time tick away on your road trip.

Don’t stray too far off course: As I made my way through Oklahoma today, I was using iExit, an app that tell you what amenities and services you are approaching at each exit. I ended up straying off of the highway a little too far for a food stop, one that seemingly didn’t look that far off of the road. Such a move ended up adding 30 minutes to my drive. Road trippers looking to save time should avoid getting too far off of their path. Sometimes if you don’t see the set restaurant you are looking for right off the highway or spot a gas station in clear view, it isn’t worth your time to venture too far out of your way. I tend to look for exits that seemingly have easy on and off qualities for this very reason.


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