I wish I had figured these out sooner, so I’ll share some things we’ve learned.
24 hours of driving is the best drug on Earth. By the 23rd hour you will start to hallucinate, especially if it’s at night. Like all great drugs, this is both fun and potentially lethal. Caffeine might seem to be your best friend at this point, but you’d be best not to undervalue the wisdom of coupling it with some modicum of food intake, even if that’s just some chips, or even better, trail mix.
You can download classic Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell episodes as podcasts in iTunes. Nothing is better than driving at night and listening to a dude talk nonstop for two hours about topics as diverse as time travel, astronomy, and parallel dimensions, somehow always using lobsters in his analogies.
At nearly every rest stop in America, you will find a free coupon catalog called the Roomsaver. Nothing beats going into a hotel lobby and asking for their best rate, and presenting a coupon for twenty dollars less. If you are traveling with dogs, Red Roof Inn doesn’t charge you extra. Go for the two double bed room. One for you, and one for your dogs.
Drive a Japanese made car and save yourself some headache.
Always buy your smokes outside of a major metropolitan area, or be willing to pay twice as much.
Always try something you’ve never tried before, unless that thing is White Castle “Hamburgers”. Actually, I guess even that is worth trying, just to say you survived it. Those sliders are like skydiving, and by skydiving I mean disgusting and diarrhea inducing.
Every major metropolitan area has it’s own signature food that you can’t get anywhere else. Some are harder to seek out than others, but it is nearly always worth the effort.