Making sure the kids (and adults) are entertained while on a summer road trip can really make or break your vacation. The new book What’s Great About . . . I-95 by road trip expert Barbara Barnes offers a fun and educational way to pass the time while cruising down one of the U.S.’s most-traveled stretches of highway.
“It really does make [the ride] go faster,” says Barnes of the book. “It keeps the driver alert, and it makes the drive more fun.”
With sections broken down by state and points of interest designated by mile marker, Barnes maps out all 1,925 miles of I-95 from Houlton, Maine to Miami. The book highlights sights to look out for from the highway (like the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania and the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia) while providing little-known facts about notable people and places (The first woman to run for president? Victoria Woodhull, in 1872).
Now that you’ve got the car ride entertainment covered, we asked Barnes for her advice on planning the rest of your vacation. Here are five tips for the perfect I-95 road trip:
What packing tips do you have for a road trip?
I always have to have fresh, portable food. I have a major suitcase that has everything, and then I just put the essentials for a night’s stay that I have to take inside the hotel with me. Just keep it simple.
What’s your favorite pit stop on I-95?
Being from the north, I love it just to get down into Florida and be able to get out of the car and not be cold. There’s no particular exit, but just to find one of those orange stands in Florida. It just lets me know I’m kind of at the end of my journey.
What’s your hotel pick off I-95?
I usually go to Hampton Inn, sometimes Holiday Inn Express. They’re almost always clean, and they have a nice breakfast – not just a continental breakfast. And there’s usually one around most exits.
What’s your favorite attraction off I-95?
I love to go see things that really show more of the local culture, like the late Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs. Though he passed in 2013, you can find his works in Wilson at the Rose Garden, Hickory Grove Park, and on downtown street corners.
What are your tips for saving money on a road trip?
I generally stop at grocery stores along the way and get fresh food and eat that in the car rather than stopping at restaurants. My sister – who is more frugal than I am – her thing is to go to a hotel every other night and sleep in the car. I wouldn’t recommend that myself though!
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