So you've decided to hit the road, Jack. There's no denying the appeal of the open road: adventure and our great country laid out before you in endless potential. Or, if done wrong, a surrealistic, soul-crushing nightmare. Whether you're embarking on a rite of passage or simply trying to get from point A to B, let these insider's tips be your guide, and fill your journey with miles and miles of smiles.
Book shelter in advance.
Yes, we live in an on-demand era and for many booking hotels on the fly is just fine. But we're firm believers in advance planning when it comes to where we lay our heads at night. For one, rolling into town at dusk without knowing where you're staying is unnecessarily stressful (and a non-starter if you have a family aboard). And two, not knowing whether your booking is acceptably clean or some second-rate scuzz isn't our idea of fun. Sure, you might pay less, but could lose a pound of flesh to bedbugs in the process.
Still, if your plans change, or you find yourself stranded and considering the nearest park bench, there's an app for that. Try Priceline's Negotiator App which for iOS offers a "Tonight-Only Deals" for snagging a room on the day you need it; rooms are discounted up to 40 percent, and can be booked as late as 11 p.m. For spur-of-the-moment detours into the city, we recommend Hotel Tonight (Android, iPad, iPhone). You can find discounts up to 70 percent on hotels in 35 cities. And you if you're worried about picking up any insect travelers along the way, make sure to check raveable.com, a hotel reviews site that includes bedbug reports.
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