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We know that getting back  on the highway after a  food break or pit stop seems easy enough.  But sometime during a road trip, most people get back on the highway going the wrong way.  Read our recommendations for how to avoid accidental backtracking. 


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Travel Advice - Getting back on the highway, which way to turn?

Has this happened to you? During a trip, you exit a highway for a rest or pit stop and get turned around in the process. Sometimes, you exit through a twisting and turning cloverleaf off ramp and lose sense of direction. In other cases, you travel on surface streets and whip so many turns to get to a gas station that you are not sure which direction you are headed.

Most of us usually find our way back to the main highway (after asking directions – if you do that sort of thing). The big problem often occurs when you are ready to re-enter to highway. Which way should you turn?

Road signs usually identify the road and provide a direction (North, South, East, or West), such as I-5 North. Other signs are provided that usually identify local towns that can be reached by turning one direction or the other. What to do?

You can solve this problem in a variety of ways but we suggest the following:

Before you leave the highway, read your map and note the next two towns along your route . Look for these names on signs when you get back to the highway junction and head in their direction.

In the US, major highways are marked to indicate direction. US Interstate highways are named with odd numbers if they trend north/south (for example, I-95). Highways that trend east/west are given even numbers (for example, I-70). Be cautious when applying this knowledge as certain segments of highways may trend in a direction that is opposite its designation (I-94 (an east/west route) runs north between Chicago and Milwaukee).


Do not count on road numbering logic when traveling internationally. Instead, study a little geography. Scan your map and make sure that you know the names of towns ahead and behind you on the route and you will always make the correct choice when re-entering the road.

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