(STACKER) – Virtually no other mode of vacationing affords the freedom of exploration inherent in road-tripping.

Whether traveling internationally or vacationing stateside, exploring the countryside by motor vehicle is a perfect way to get to the heart of a region—and a fantastic method for satiating wanderlust. Unlike pre-booked vacations, which too often involve hectic airports, hurried tour guides, and detailed, unchangeable itineraries, road trips allow travelers to go at their own pace, soak in the scenery, and take in the full scope of the landscape.

A full 43% of Americans had road trips planned this summer, according to consumer research released in May 2023 by TransUnion. Many people prefer road trips because they’re more flexible and, often, far more affordable than other modes of transport. Some of the most popular weekends for road trips fall on summer holidays: The American Automobile Association predicted a record-setting 43.2 million Americans would road-trip over Fourth of July weekend this year. 

While it’s easy to enjoy an adventure on the road, there are plenty of hacks to make the overall experience more pleasurable. To that end, Stacker curated a list of 20 road-trip tips to help make every overland adventure more enjoyable. Some are practical suggestions, while others are more creative ideas meant to enhance the fun. Keep reading for 20 ways to improve your next adventure.

  • Compartmentalize your luggage
  • Get a tune-up
  • Download your media
  • Bring water—lots of it
  • Collect something
  • Bring earplugs or headphones
  • Don’t forget emergency provisions
  • Take the scenic route
  • Get Google Maps offline
  • Have a rough plan…
  • …But don’t plan too much!
  • Organize the car
  • Play games
  • Take advantage of apps
  • Get a roof rack for storage
  • Be mindful when packing the car
  • Have a charging system
  • Get a camera that’s not your phone
  • Be adaptable
  • Bring window shades