6 Road Trip Hacks Every Southern Family Should Know

These tricks will be your best co-pilot.

Day 1: Bed & Breakfast
Photo: Chris M. Rogers

No one road trips quite like Southerners do. From our scenic drives , to our delectable gas station eats , to our always-be-prepared approach to seasoning and on-the-go dining. But when cruising through the South there are a few things you may want to keep in mind—the intense summer heat, the windy back roads, and the many, many places you're probably going to want to stop and snack (that's a lot of sweet teas to go). Here, a few ideas to make road-tripping just a little easier:

Hide emergency cash in unassuming spots.

An M&M Minis tube is conveniently the perfect size for hiding quarters for last minute tolls, parking meters, and all other exact-change-required occurences. Better yet, use a lip balm tube to make a super discreet cash holder for the beach, festivals, and theme parks. (Or wherever you may need a super secret cash stash.)

Cool down hot seatbelts and gearshifts.

Nothing is worse than getting in a car that's been sitting in the sun for hours and scorching your hand on the seatbelt or gearshift. Prevent accidental burns by keeping an upside-down drink koozie over the gearshift all summer long. Use a spray bottle to mist the metal part of the seatbelt with water; the evaporation will help the buckle cool off quicker.

Catch all the crumbs.

Use silicone cupcake liners inside car cup holders to catch crumbs and other miscellany that always seems to find its way to the bottom corners of cup holders. When it comes time to clean, simply remove the liner and dump the contents. Perfect for preventing a pool of condensation from drinks as well.

Make your own phone holder.

If you, like the majority of smartphone owners, are fully reliant on your phone for directions, this trick can save you a lot of distraction. All you need is a rubber band and paperclip. With the paper clip's arms folded back (i.e., not touching each other), wrap the rubber band around the arms. Then simply attach the lips of the paper clip to your air vent, and voila, a handy spot for your phone-turned-GPS. (Friendly reminder: no texting and driving, please!)

Max out your cup holders.

Got more thirsty little-league stars than there are cup holders? Perfect for big groups and family travel, this clever workaround fashions a drink station out of a basket and muffin pan. Use a storage bin (like this or this ) that snugly fits a standard muffin pan inside.) That's 12 more cup holders than you had before.

Keep Trash Contained.

We don't totally know what the pockets in car doors were made for (maps, flashlights, CDs, probably) but the answer is definitely not a small collection of emptied 12-ounce iced latte cups. (Grimace.) Make a designated trash bin so when you arrive at your destination clean up is a snap and you won't leave with a car smelling like stale French fries and granola crumbs. Simply outfit a plastic cereal container with a small kitchen garbage bag (or grocery bag), and place somewhere convenient.

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