We love trip planning but are well aware that it can be overwhelming at times. Add in planning a route to drive, rest stops, and whether or not to visit sites nearby, and planning a road trip can be a whole new animal. But don’t worry, we’ll give you the full rundown of everything you’ll need to know before jumping in the car. Here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect road trip:
Setting expectations with your friends or family might be the most important step of any road trip. Is everyone okay with stopping frequently? Do you have enough time between destinations? How will you split up driving time? How will you split gas? Do you want to stop for meals or plan ahead? Have an open conversation and make sure everyone is on the same page before setting out. It will save you from any silly arguments and make the whole road trip much more enjoyable!
Get the Car & Tires Checked
Before heading out on any road trip, make sure you have the car and tires checked. Having a licensed mechanic give your car a once over before heading out is a great way to catch any issues before they come up and save you a headache.
Bring a Physical Map
Is it any surprise that we recommend bringing a paper map or atlas on any road trip? Even in the digital age it is still a good idea to have a backup map or atlas in case your phone’s battery runs out or your GPS accidentally leads you down the wrong path. Plus, a physical map can be a lot more exciting and kids love it!
Know Your Route
Trust us on this one - planning your road trip route before hand will actually give you more freedom to be spontaneous. It will save you time and allow you to do more research of the surrounding area. If there are nearby sites that you’d like to visit, you can work them into the route or just give yourself plenty of time in case things come up.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Along with knowing your route, this is key! On any good road trip, you want to give yourselves plenty of time for spontaneity or a detour. This way, if you pass something on the road worth stopping for, no one will feel bad about making the stop. Instead, it will be all about the journey and experiences along the way!
Make Playlists Ahead of Time
Don’t underestimate a good playlist. It will help keep up the energy in the car and make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. When we can, we like to create playlists based on the regions we are traveling to or through.
Road trip basics: bring snacks. You do not want anyone cramped up in a vehicle, getting hangry. Plus, bringing snacks will save you unnecessary stops as well as a few bucks along the way.