No matter where you're from, where you're going or how long you're on the road, follow this rule and your road trip will turn into the adventure of a lifetime! I also included a few tips to help you along the way.
Did my click-bait work? Hahaha!
My best advice to give any traveler, particularly a road tripper, is to do EVERYTHING. Don't let the words, "next time" ever cross your lips! Travel like it's the first and last time you will ever be there, whether it's a day trip out of town or a cross-country adventure. Do everything, and do it NOW!
My favorite parts of this adventure are not the days we have planned, where we have a set destination for something I found on Pinterest. Nope, it's the travel days. The days between destinations; those are the times where the most memorable moments happen.
Some of these spots are spur of the moment drive-bys. You're driving and you spot something interesting. But instead of just pointing and saying "woah!", pull over, get out and explore! It only takes a minute or two but the memory will stick with you!
Other moments take a little bit of digging, and I really mean a little. As we roll into a new town, I do a simple Google search: "Things to Do in ______". 99% of the time, it will pull up TripAdviser (I can only assume they pay Google quite well). It is definitely not the best site, but it is quick and easy. I usually check out their top ten to get a feel for the town, and do sub-searches from there based on what I find. If TripAdviser shows 3 really awesome hikes, then I will search "Best Hikes in _____". If it is a bunch of lame corporate factory tours and pioneer history museums, then I up the ante and throw in an explicative in the search engine. Seriously, search "Best Pizza in ____" and you get boring ad-funded magazine articles and more god damn TripAdviser pay to display suggestions. Search "Best DAMN Pizza in ______" and you will get real people giving their personal standing ovation to the best of the best. It sounds ridiculous, but it works! Also, I tend to favor the opinions of people not afraid to swear in their excitement.
Using this super secret method we have found some of the best "locals only" spots. I mean, how often am I going to be in Rexburg, Idaho? So, duh, we are going to stop and spend the afternoon at this amazing waterfall swimming hole that is hidden literally 50 feet from the road!
Another helpful search is looking for local events. This method is especially successful under two conditions: 1) during the summer when there are tons of outdoor events, many of which are totally free! and 2) in small towns where pretty much everyone goes to the events, regardless of what they are, because it's really the only thing going on.
So far we have attended "The Bite of Bozeman," "Music on Main" (Bozeman), a concert by some 'famous' country music star (Idaho Falls), an annual music festival called "Riverfest" (Pocatello) and a bluegrass brewery show (Pocatello). All were free! Even when it wasn't our jam, it was fun to people watch and experience a bit of the local culture!
So there you have it! Don't skip the sideshows along the way and do a little research so you don't miss the hidden gems! Road trip perfection <3