I travel a lot.
Like, it’s my fulltime job, and then some.
In fact, it’s more than a job. Traveling is my life. Day in and day out.
So I pay attention to things like which states have the best rest areas, where you can “stealth camp” with no issues, and which gas stations provide the best customer experience.
After 18 months of this 3-year road trip to visit all 417 National Park Service sites, I’m sharing 5 Reasons Pilot Flying J is my Favorite Gas Station.
1. $.03 Off Every Gallon
Have you ever been to an intersection with gas stations on nearly every corner, all with the same price per gallon?
It’s something I’ve come across often during my 40,000 miles driving around America the past year and a half. Whether in urban areas, interstate exits, or the middle of nowhere. If the prices are the same, how do you decide which one to go to?
Whenever I come across that quandary, it’s an easy choice. Because the prices aren’t actually the same. Pilot Flying J is $.03 cheaper.
No matter what the advertised price is, by swiping my myRewards card, I knock 3 cents off the price-per-gallon. The best part? The myRewards card is free! Meaning you don’t have to pay anything for this discount. So whether online right now, or when you’re at a Pilot Flying J station, sign-up for a card and leave it in your glove compartment or handy up front.
That way, next time all the prices are the same, you won’t have to think twice about where to go.
2. Clean Restrooms
That moment when you walk into a public restroom and immediately reach for a paper towel before touching anything…
Living in a van, you have to find creative ways to use the restroom (just like my nieces asked in this Instagram post). That means lots of public bathrooms.
So I’ve seen my fair share of spaces to take care of business, and I’m thankful to know that no matter where I am, Pilot Flying J holds clean restrooms as a brand priority.
It might not seem like that big of a deal, but after you’ve been in many public restrooms that don’t even have soap, attention to detail is appreciated.
3. More Than Just Gas
It was late at night, I was tired of driving and most of all, I was thirsty. I was in the middle of nowhere and hadn’t come across “civilization” for a while, so was thrilled to stumble upon a gas station where I could refill my Nalgene bottles and have enough water to make it to the next NPS Visitor Center.
Imagine my surprise when I walk in and find that not only is there no drinking fountain, but this gas station doesn’t even have a water spout on their soda machine. My only liquid options were not what I wanted to drink that close to bedtime.
It made me appreciate the fully-stocked convenience stores that accompany Pilot Flying J gas stations. That stopping to fuel up at a Pilot Flying J doesn’t just mean taking care of my van, but all aspects of #VanLife.
4. Wi-Fi at the Pump and Indoors
If you’re like me, the built-in GPS of your vehicle seems like it hasn’t been updated since it came off the manufacturing line. Because of that, whenever possible, I double-check its prescribed route using a smartphone. However, given that I’m in so many remote places without cell service, I don’t always have that luxury.
What’s comforting about Pilot Flying J, is that even if I’m in the middle of Wyoming (which, no offense, Equality State, has provided my least luck at getting cell service), I can still pull over at any of their locations and use the free Wi-Fi to not only fix my directions, but check Visitor Center hours for my upcoming park, upload photos/videos to share with you on my Facebook or Instagram, and since I have no TV in my van, even use my phone to stream my favorite show, Survivor (which everyone calls my guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt, so it’s just pleasure!).
5. They Support this World Record Project
As you may have read in my blog announcing their support, I have a lot of anecdotal connections to Pilot Flying J. Not only are they the brand attached to road trips of my childhood, but they also are based in the state of Tennessee with lots of ties to my alma mater, The University of Memphis.
As many of you may also know, I started this project with only 1/5 the amount of money national park experts said it would take to pull it off. So, in short, without Pilot Flying J covering the gas costs of this journey, I might not be here today to write this blog, and might not have made it over halfway through the 3 years of this project.
Stay tuned for the remaining 18 months of my route (see below!) and watch for $20 Pilot Flying J gas card giveaways on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!