The Best Way to Plan a Road Trip

Plan a Road Trip

In a time of many travel restrictions and the need for social distancing road trips are a safer and more comfortable travel option. Driving in a car to your destination with friends or family allows you to be flexible and a chance to learn more about your country. But most of all it’s a chance to create an epic adventure that will be etched in your memory for years to come. Plan a road trip is part of the fun.

But where do you begin? This guide will give you the lowdown on how to plan an adventurous trip with your loved ones starting with the basics.  

Where Are You Traveling To? 

Plan a Road Trip

You can either plan a round trip or plan a road trip to your holiday destination. There are many luxury or rustic resorts across the US such as the Red Mountain Resort or Drowsy Water Ranch. The destination you choose will depend on the US state you live in. On the other hand, a road trip could be the perfect opportunity to travel across states. 

If you’re traveling with friends or family sit down together and decide where you’d like to spend your vacation. There are a few aspects to consider when choosing your holiday destination such as:

  • Preferred accommodation: Some people prefer 5-star hotels and others love camping in the wilderness. Choose your destination based on the accommodation you prefer. 
  • Cost: Will you be able to afford the accommodation you choose? Make sure your holiday accommodation is well within your budget. 
  • Activities: Choose a destination that offers plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you’re the sporty type, look for a place that offers water sports or tennis courts. Or go on hikes through mountains.   
  • Site seeing along the way: Ideally, you’ll want to pick a destination where there are plenty of site seeing, museums and landmarks along the way to make your road trip exciting. 

Plan Ahead Especially During Peak Season 

Plan a Road Trip

Book Accommodation in Advance 

When you’ve chosen your holiday destination you may need to book your accommodation in advance especially during peak seasons. There are certain times of the year where holiday resorts become crowded. So you may want to plan your trip out of season for a quieter holiday experience. 

Most holiday websites will specify when their peak seasons are so you can choose the best times to travel. 

If you are road tripping in a camper, having a camper mattress could save you a lot of time and money on accommodations

Think About the Elements – What Season Is Best to Travel?

You don’t want to travel during rainy season because this might be a safety hazard on the road. You also won’t be able to do much site seeing during your road trip if it’s raining or snowing. The best time to travel in the US is during spring when it’s not too hot.   

Who Will Take Care of Your House and Car While You’re Gone?

Another factor to consider before your road trip is who will take care of your house and car while you’re away? If you’re traveling with a hired RV you may want to opt for car storage to keep your personal vehicle safe. You can also opt for a house sitter to take care of your home, plants and pets while you’re road tripping. 

List the Places You Want to Visit and Plot Your Route

Once you’ve chosen your destination, you can make a list of all the places you’d like to visit during your road trip. Then find these destinations on your map and link them together so you can plot a rational route to take. 

Use a mapping app such as Google Maps to check driving times from one destination to another so you can plan your times correctly. You can also zoom in on the map so you can find landmarks, cities and hidden gems along your route. 

To break up long road trips you may need to stay in hotels, overnight or choose a caravan park if you’re traveling in off road camper trailer. Use your map to find places to stay if you’re traveling over a few days. 

Download Google’s Offline Maps 

Plan a Road Trip

There may be some places during your trip where you’ll have no cellphone signal so you won’t be able to access apps that use data. Download your plotted route off of Google’s offline maps so you can access your plotted route when you have low cellphone signal or if you’ve run out of data. 

Road Trip Snacks and Entertainment

If you’re traveling with children, friends or family members you want to make the trip fun and exciting. There are plenty of road trip games that adults will enjoy as well as your kids such as: 

  • Trivia game: Ask questions about movies, songs, history or the places you’re visiting and see who gets the answers correct. 
  • Guess the song: Play the first three seconds of a song and allow everyone to guess what it is before playing the full track.  
  • Word Association: See how far everyone in the car can string along words using association.

Games can keep people entertained for a while before making a stop for toilet breaks and site seeing. But a road trip won’t be the same without tasty snacks. Make everyone a snack pack of all their favourite foods so you can avoid spending money at fast food places or expensive restaurants.  


How Many Hours Should You Drive a Day During a Road Trip? 

Most people can drive between 8 to 12 hours on a road trip. It’s also best to stop every three hours to take a break from driving so you don’t become irritable or tired during your travels. 

How Much Does a Road Trip Cost? 

It may cost you between $125 to $150 a day but this will depend on how far you’re traveling and how much you spend during your stops. The cost of your road trip will also depend on the number of dependents you have. 

How Do I Plan a Last-Minute Road Trip? 

The best way is to book your accommodation, make a list of the places you want to visit along the way and then plot your route. It’s also important to be flexible with times and destinations if you haven’t planned your trip in advance. Make sure you have cash for gas, food and emergency accommodation if you need it. 

What Is the Best Website or App for Trip Planning and Why? 

For people who want to explore cities then Citymapper is an ideal app. It helps you find safe public transport to use and restaurants to dine at. Expedia App is ideal for those who want excellent deals on accommodation when pre-planning their trips. 

Final Tips and Thoughts

Make sure you budget accordingly for your road trip and ensure you have emergency cash on hand for potential car breakdowns and extra hungry travelers. You’ll also want extra cash for recreational activities during your road trip. 

Another tip is to make sure you travel comfortably. If you’re traveling during winter make sure your air conditioning is working and everyone is dressed comfortably for the trip. Be prepared for frequent stops especially if you have passengers that need frequent toilet breaks.

But most of all enjoy the scenery during your road trip. You may travel through mountains or on the outskirts of forests. So bring a camera with you so you can capture images of magical moments or the places you visit to keep them as a reminder of your adventures. 

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