The Lone Star State, the largest state in the continental 48, provides endless opportunities for a perfect road trip. Here are some tips to help you plan your next journey across Texas.
Take a Real Map
Even with daily updates in technology, nothing beats a paper atlas. One major benefit of maps: they don't lose power or signal. Back roads and small towns appear more clearly on a paper map, which will help you find alternate routes in traffic or ways to get off the highway for awhile. It's good planning to have a printed map on a long distance road trip, as it provides a level of security for travel that even cell phones can't provide.
Image via Flickr by Black_Room
It's important to plan out your road trip ahead of time to understand how many days and hours you'll spend in the car. That said, if you see an enticing road sign for a local restaurant, sightseeing opportunity, or event, allow yourself to take the next exit! There are so many interesting things to see, that we sometimes get caught up in a strict schedule of getting from A to B. It's important to allow a bit of flexibility and spontaneity on a road trip.
Choose Hotels in Lesser-Known Locations
While it's fun to stay in big, bustling cities, we recommend trying a few of the smaller, local spots. Small towns outside of major hubs can be a relaxing alternative. Book a hotel in a place like Lancaster, Texas, which is just 15 miles southwest of Dallas. This quant small town, with a rich history, provides easy access to Dallas and Fort Worth. You're also able to hop right on the highway after a good night's rest!
Plan Around an Event
Texas is home to hundreds of music festivals, rodeos, performances, and other events every year. If you're planning to drive by Austin, try and visit when it's hosting one of its famous music festivals, like South by Southwest or Austin City Limits. Almost all of the larger metropolitan areas in Texas have rodeos, usually during the spring season. It's also possible to find small town rodeos, which may offer a more intimate and authentic cowboy experience.
Visit Outdoor Attractions
Driving for hours on end means you'll crave the outdoors and want to stretch your legs from time to time. Mark on your map the locations of a few state and national parks, like Enchanted Rock State Natural Area or Cascade Caverns, that you'd like to visit. Take time to explore the natural setting, go for a hike, rent a bike, or take a guided tour. A lot of parks are located near interesting small towns, so you'll have the benefit of nature and luxury, side-by-side.
There are so many ways to make a road trip across Texas fun, safe, and satisfying. Enjoy seeing this part of the country from the car. Use some of these tips when planning your next Texas road trip.