Boasting nearly 80,000 miles of long roads and highways, driving across the Lone Star State is no joke. But looking at the vibrant cities, stunning roadside attractions, awe-inspiring natural landscapes, and historical landmarks that fringes these longest stretches, Texas also offers some of the best driving opportunities and experiences in the country. Whatever you’d like to see, chances are you’ll find it in Texas.
Before hitting the road, it’s best to get a few things in mind. After all, even the most experienced drivers can still feel a slight panic, especially when driving on seemingly interminable roads. Ease your worries, though! We got you covered! Read on below to discover the best tips for traveling Texas’ long highway to help you get the most of your Southern adventure.
Choose your route carefully.
When thinking about a road trip in Texas, images of the Wild West quickly come to most people’s minds. The state, however, transcends that, as it’s home to over half a dozen regions, with each having its unique geographical features and attractions. As such, it’s best to pick the right spot to ensure that you hit your personal preference.
For instance, you can take an almost 3-hour road trip from Mineral Wells to Marble Falls. Situated along the Dallas-Austin Highway, these less-known yet equally quaint locations will let you experience small-town Texas feel up close and personal.
Don’t miss out on visiting the Baker Hotel, a former grandiose resort that once has been a training spot for baseball teams like the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds. Then, pass by Hico and see its historic downtown.
To prevent fatigue on your long drive, have a break by dipping at the cool and refreshing water of Hancock Springs Park in Lampasas. Once you reach Marble Falls, expect to see even more attractions, including vineyards, old-growth forests, and limestone caverns!
Alternatively, you may take the Dallas Loop Road Trip, which offers a beautiful blend of rural and urban settings, delectable restaurants, and fantastic wildlife. If you like to feel like a cowboy instead, the El Paso road trip is your best bet, which will allow you to see Texas’s desert landscapes and rolling hills. Other options you have include San Antonio to Austin, Houston – Galveston, and the Texas Hill Country – or why not just drive all of them all?
Learn to read and interpret highway signs.
After deciding a route, it’s now time to think about safety. One of the first things you need to do is to learn how to properly read and interpret signs on the highway before you even start your car’s engine. There are resources available online that you can use to educate yourself. You won’t want to be caught in the middle of the road trying to interpret what a sign means. It can be very distracting and affect your confidence and concentration on driving.
Remember, traffic signs are there not only to protect you and those in the passenger seats of your car but also for other people who use the roads. So, it’s crucial that you know what each sign represents and fully understand them. Failing to do so can quickly result in a fine or accident, things you certainly wouldn’t want to happen on your trip.
Never take your sight away from your mirrors and blind spots.
Over 800,000 blind spot accidents are reported in the country each year, making this type of road mishap more common than you think. To avoid being a part of the statistics, be sure to use your mirror often, so you can be aware of what’s occurring around your car 360 degrees. Shoulder check prior to changing your road position or lane to ensure that the space you’re moving to is clear. Thus, preventing any collision.
Maintain a safe following distance.
Driving itself entails some degree of risk, but adding the vehicles you travel with along highways, the chances of getting into accidents rise a bit. To mitigate it, make sure you keep a safe following distance from the vehicle you’re following.
Count the time it would take between the car in front and your vehicle to pass something stationary, like a tree, light pole, or a road sign. If there’s a 3-5 second interval, you’re on the sweet spot. Any time less than that, you’re in trouble, as you won’t get enough time to react or brake properly, just in case something happens to the car ahead of you.
Make sure that your AC is working during the summer.
Texas can be very hot, humid during the summer, with most people saying it’s impossible to live in the state without AC during the season. Imagine how much more the feeling can be when traveling long highways under the fierce heat of the sun.
To keep you comfy, see that your AC is functional when traveling Texas in the summer. You don’t want to be relying upon the natural breeze, only to find out that it won’t do any better. Or, if you never handled 110-degree heat at all, your best choice is to avoid the summer – there’s plenty of time to travel to Texas.
Bring water and snacks.
Certain parts of Texas are isolated and unpopulated. It’s advisable to bring lots of water so you can rehydrate and refresh yourself anytime. Bring snacks as well, as there are times you could be an hour or more away from the next town or city. That way, you can avoid crankiness, as you always have something to pull out to ease your hunger.
Enjoy the drive.
Lastly, all you need to do is enjoy the drive itself. Texas promises unparalleled long highway travels, changing landscapes, beautiful sceneries, lively cities, and charming towns. It’s so diverse that it would even make you feel like you’re making a cross-country trip! Relish all that’s ahead and collect all those fascinating memories along the way.