Going around the United States is best done by car. There are so many things to see and places to visit that you can’t do with public or commercial transportation. One of the most splendid places to base your road trip in is Dallas, the third-largest city in the state of Texas. The city is a well-known transit hub and a captivating tourist destination in its own right. Dallas is also an excellent choice as a base due to its location and the countless options to get out on the road to explore the rest of the city, the state of Texas, and beyond. Having a vehicle to go around is just half the fun of traveling, preparations and planning make the other half. Read on for some tips to make your Dallas-based road trip an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Ditch the Car, Get an RV
No, it doesn’t mean abandoning or leaving your car for good. You only need to leave your car in your garage for a while and choose a vehicle better suited for long and laid-back road trips – an RV. There are plenty of reasons why renting an RV in Dallas is an excellent idea. One is the condition and maintenance of the car. RV rentals make sure that their vehicles are roadworthy, well-maintained, and safe to drive for their customers. You are saved from the hassle of getting your car maintained and tuned up for the trip. Comfort is another compelling reason why you should rent or use an RV for road trips. RVs have spacious interiors, with some are even large enough to be temporary or permanent mobile homes. If you are planning to go on a road trip for several days and will be bringing a lot of stuff with you, the RV is the perfect vehicle to handle all your essential road trip stuff and even things you buy along the way. Rental RVs are also insured and 24/7 roadside assistance is either included or added as an affordable add-on, depending on the RV rental. Just the inclusion of insurance is enough to make you feel assured that the RV rental is also looking out for the safety of their customers.
Plan Your Road Trip Itinerary
Before you embark on a road trip, you have to determine first the places and destinations you will be going to. You will also need to have a map or GPS to find the best routes to take. If you are going on a trip for a limited time, choose the shortest routes toward your destinations, the best time to hit the road before rush hours or traffic builds up, and pick the places where you might stopover to rest or sleep. If you have a long and flexible road trip schedule, choose routes where you can pass by multiple scenic or tourist spots. If you want to explore cities and towns up close, you can take the freeways to enjoy the urban sceneries and if you don’t mind some unplanned stopovers or detours. Whatever your planned itinerary is, whether it is a weekend trip or a long road trip, remember to put safety first and include the projected duration that you will be driving. Plot the locations where you will be stopping to rest or sleep. You need to rest for at least 15 minutes every two hours to revitalize your concentration and energy for driving, so circle out the probable areas where you might stop and rest.
There can be a possibility that you may not be able to reach your plotted locations due to various reasons, so make it a point to have a backup plan or to decide quickly on alternative places to rest or stay for the night. Also, make sure to limit your total driving time to 8 hours and base your itinerary on that projected time. Stick to the planned schedule to ensure you stay alert on the entire trip and to avoid the risks associated with driving fatigue. It can be tempting to drive longer than 8 hours or drive without breaks, but reaching your destination safely is your top priority.
It’s Okay to Start with a Short Road Trip
Nothing is embarrassing about calling a 65-mile drive from your base a road trip. There is no clear-cut or unspoken rule about what a road trip is or is not. While most people often think of road trips as long-distance travel by car, in a general sense, a road trip is essentially any leisurely travel or journey in your car. If it is your first time going on a road trip, you can start with a short journey to a familiar destination to build your confidence and get a hang of the road trip experience.
Texas is a large state and its cities cover a large area. If you are basing your road trip in Dallas as a first-time road-tripper, you can choose the nearest cities or towns. Better yet, you don’t even have to leave the city and go on a road trip within it instead. As mentioned before, Dallas in itself is a superb tourist location and road trip destination. Whatever the purpose of your road trip is, Dallas has interesting places to visit and catch your fancy. If you like to get closer to nature, Dallas has various RV campgrounds and RV parks. Ray Roberts Lake State Park and Vineyards Campground are just some of the places where you can go to explore the wildlife and go biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, and much more. If you are looking for fun, excitement, and attractions, Six Flags Over Texas, Legoland Discovery Center, and Sea Life Aquarium are fantastic places to visit. If you are interested in fairs and local products, the State Fair of Texas gives an extra-large serving of what you are looking for. There are also arts and crafts, games, fundraising events, livestock exhibits, rides, and much more to discover at the fair.
If you want to start venturing outside of Dallas but not far from it, there are plenty of towns and cities within a 20-mile radius. Grand Prairie, Duncanville, and Farmers Branch are some cities you can check out. Also, some of the nearest towns within this radius are Highland Park, Cockrell Hill, and Hutchins. If you are looking for the nearest major cities to Dallas, Arlington (20.5 miles) and Fort Worth (32.1 miles) are your best bets. If you have the weekend freed up for road tripping, you can check out these nearby towns and cities to have a great start with your road trip. As you build more confidence in taking a road trip, you can venture farther outside of Dallas to Austin, Houston, or El Paso or nearby cities within neighboring states, such as Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, Little Rock in Arkansas, New Orleans in Louisiana, or Albuquerque in New Mexico. After that, a wider expanse and more cities and states in the United States are waiting to be explored.
Pack Sufficiently for the Trip
The topic of stuff to bring on a road trip can be subjective and best left to the preference of the traveler. However, one thing that can be agreed on is to have enough essential supplies to last through the whole trip. As a responsible driver, never go on a road trip without a driver’s license, car registration, and insurance. Other must-bring items should include an extra car key, a car manual, a flashlight, and AAA membership or roadside assistance contact numbers. Whether you are packing light or loaded, make sure that you have enough toiletries, toothbrushes, toothpaste, utensils, and zippered plastic bags to name a few. Snacks will also come in handy when hunger strikes while driving far from any convenience store. Make sure to replenish your supplies at the places you stop by before going back on the road.
The More the Merrier
You can go on a solo road trip or with your family, friends, best friend, or special someone. While some people prefer to travel places alone on their road trips, one cannot deny that a road trip is more fun and engaging when you have other people accompany you and share memorable moments of the journey with you. Festivals, rides, attractions, and other activities from the road trip are better enjoyed with more people. Photos and videos are livelier when there is someone other than you included in the snaps or clips. Best of all, having one or more companions helps make your road trip safer. You have someone who will remind you to take a break, take turns in driving, and keep you alert on the trip.
Dallas is a versatile location for starting a road trip. Geographically located in the middle part of the southern United States, the areas to go around from this city are almost endless. The city itself holds scenic treasures and attractions as a great starting point for your road trip. With the tips shared here and your quest for fun and adventure, you are well on your way to having an enjoyable road trip and more road adventures in the future.