Summer’s here, and that means you should be doing one thing: getting your tush out on the open road. From Kerouac to Juggalos, everyone loves discovering our country and themselves via America’s highways. Only problem? That can be mega expensive. Here are some tips for you to save some cash when planning your road trip.
Whether out alone or with some pals, you’re going to hit some boredom travelling the country—usually this starts around Kansas and extends through the great plains. There’s so little to look at, you can’t even make fun of ridiculous billboards or stupid town names. Sure, once you get into Missouri, there’s some stuff to make fun of, (I’m looking at you Herculaneum, MO, for sounding like an amphitheater that is exclusively headlined by KISS.) so what can you do? Podcasts.
For those not in the know, podcasts are FREE radio shows put on by some of the finest minds in comedy, history, sports, and pop culture, that are available on demand whenever you see fit to listen.
A few podcasts that I recommend to any road dog are:
- Harmontown — Embattled and enlightened creator of Community and my new favorite show Rick & Morty, Dan Harmon, uses this podcast as a sort of crowd-funded therapy. Comptrolled (boozily moderated) by Jeff Davis of Whose Line Is It Anyway, this loose hour makes you feel like you’re not alone. It’s funny, uncomfortable, and inclusive—They let anyone with an opinion onstage to share their thoughts, often leading to incredibly funny results. For example, every episode now ends with an immensely entertaining round of Dungeons and Dragons, simply because Harmon asked if there was a Dungeon Master in the crowd.
- Hardcore History — Have a penchant for storytelling? Why spend your time sifting through made-up rigmarole when you can have a compilation of the greatest stories ever lived? Dan Carlin takes us on a bombastic and exhilarating ride through humanity’s greatest conflicts, offering humanity sorely lacking in boring textbook affairs. Each episode is around 3-4 hours long, so you can learn and be entertained while driving through a rough stretch.
- Radiolab — Science can be dull, but there is never a boring moment on this slick, informative, and jaw-dropping podcast. Ranging from fun, light subjects like luck and snowflakes, to dark and eye-opening topics like mental-illness and war crimes, Radiolab offers unique, welcoming insight into the world around us.
Anyone with an eye on the road should always be prepared. There’s no better safety net out there than Triple-A. For a minimal cost, you are covered for most every catastrophe you can think of. Once, a coyote ran out in front of my car, and I didn’t have enough time to avoid it. AAA got me my car towed to the nearest town for free, discounts at the mechanic, AND the motel I ended up staying at. Also, if you’re too drunk to drive and have your whole life packed in your car, they do tow without asking many questions. Not the ideal plan, but hey, stuff happens, and it’s sure better than leaving your car on a busy downtown street or even attempting to take the wheel while intoxicated.
Additionally, before every road trip, stop at a local AAA office and they will set you up with a detailed map informing you of long stretches in between gas stations, attractions, and places to stay that have AAA discounts.
Don’t be a blockhead. Nearly every major chain has coupons just waiting to put some extra cash in your party-fund. Try out every chain you think you might spend some dough on by searching the web and watch your budget expand like your belly while you eat your way across America.
Josh Androsky quit writing stuff he hated for TV to become a staple of the LA comedy scene. Hestarted shows on the steps of City Hall, went viral as The Skateboard Rabbi on The Price is Right, launched a successful Kickstarter for a US tour, and is a contributor for VICE.