Traveling at your schedule, taking unexpected turns, visiting lesser-known parts of the country, and stopping whenever and wherever you want is the beauty of a road trip. The meaning of the road is to make a journey by bus, van, or car. However, for many people, preparing for the perfect road trip is much less enjoyable and more overwhelming—especially if you're considering driving in a foreign country with additional complications to consider.
How to plan a road trip?
Well, we’ve already researched for you and mentioned enjoyable activities with no-fail fun things to make your trip memorable, unforgettable, and illustrious. Moreover, what important considerations are noteworthy are also discussed in this guide. Keep reading if your question is “How to plan a road trip?”!
1. Pick a destination
The first, fun and quite challenging step is to pick a destination for your road trip holidays because narrowing down the selection is based on many factors like budget, safety, time constraints, and even your subjective preferences (these factors will be discussed below). Road trip through the USA has so many options to travel;
- New York city to Montauk
- Los Angeles to San Francisco
- Pittsburgh to Chicago
- San Diego to Los Angeles
These are just options overviewed to make you clear about the destination to choose. Choosing the destination depends upon your location.
2. Plot your route
With interesting routes and scenic landscapes, your trip can become amazing, but you have to plot your route with internal research. How can you do this?
- Begin by plotting the primary locations you want to explore on a map.
- Then, interconnect them to figure out the most efficient path.
- To find driving times, use an app like Google Maps.
- Then zoom in to identify cities along the way that are worth stopping or an extended stay.
There are numerous multi-stop route planner apps including Badger Maps, SpeedyRoute, Onfleet, RouteSavvy, and many more. With these perfect road trip maps apps, make your trip hassle-free and stress-free.
3. Decide how long your trip should be
When you start to plan your trip, you consider the time length to be on the list of top factors. Your comfort level, the number of places you want to see, and whether you want to travel independently or with family affect your trip length. Cutting the long story short, countries of all sizes exist in this world, and the time you’ll take to explore Jacksonville will be radically different from the time you’ll take to explore Chicago.
4. Set your budget
A nice road trip might be a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, but it can also be expensive. Before embarking on your adventure, it's critical to plan for prospective expenses. Your trip budget depends upon the destination you chose, the route you plotted, and the way you want to enjoy your road trip. Your expenses include the car fuel, car rental cost (depends upon the luggage you have and the passengers joining you), the activities you’ll be doing on your trip, accommodation, bookings, packings, and food. Well, you can cut your cost by learning basic car maintenance, too.
The best advice I can pen down here is; Basically, you determine how much money you can use freely and then push your spending to fall within that limit. If you want to spend only $2,000 on your trip, then it is better to decide the destination and activities under this budget.
5. Now, book your accommodation
Are you a picky and tricky traveller? If yes, then you must be looking for free Wi-Fi, plenty of tech amenities, space, privacy, and a flexible stay. But, one thing to keep in mind; the more your picks, the more it will cost. You just want to enjoy your road trips and overnight stays, then narrow down the choices and cut those options that will cost you a good amount without providing you space and flexibility.
If you’re confused between numerous companies, then you must consider reading the reviews of vacation companies to clear up the mess in your mind and untangle the thoughts. These reviews will provide you an insight to whether you should consider the company or not, on the basis of previously experienced people.
Download these apps before going on a trip
The broad road is welcoming you! However, before you get in the car and drive, you'll need to download some apps to keep track of your road trip and enjoy convenience.
TripIt is a fantastic app if you want to keep track of all your trip confirmations and reservations in one location. You won't have to sift through your entire inbox looking for timings, places, or registration numbers. You can identify restaurants, cafés, and retailers near your stops. Moreover, the GPS navigation feature can guide you between sites.
On a road journey, you'll have to stop at petrol stations frequently, so this app is a must-have. Gasbuddy is a crowd-sourced list of gas prices to assist you in finding the best deal in your area.
This app is very useful for you as it helps in keeping you connected with your family and friends by locating free Wi-Fi and paid Wi-Fi spots. So, you don’t have to worry about the emails you want to send and FaceTime your beloved.
Check the weather a week before your trip starts
It's usually a good idea to check the weather forecast, especially if you're going on a trip or traveling somewhere. Specific locations have different temperature and climatic characteristics. Having this important information can help you decide what to pack and carry, such as whether to wear thick clothing and boots or cotton tank tops and slippers, and whether to use sunblock or added moisturizer. So, it is always a fine decision to be cautious and check the weather predictions and alerts for the destination you're intending to visit.
Plan for stops
Where you’re taking care of your enjoyment and leisure trip, you should also consider the health of your companions and yourself. It is because long travels may be exhausting, and even the most patient companions will become uncomfortable. You'll receive a much-needed relaxation and your passengers will have a moment to relax their legs if you plan for stops along the trip.
Road trip essentials to keep with you while you’re traveling
Such trips grant you total freedom over your adventure. You get to travel anywhere your car might take you and take whatever fits in the trunk of your car. You let yourself forget all of life's worries and enjoy the moment that you are in. You roam the world and connect with your surroundings.
Planning a road trip and going on one is all fun and entertainment only if you plan everything quite efficiently and pack all the essentials that you might require while on a trip. To help you out, here is an absolute road trip essentials packing guide for you, with all the important items you should never miss!
When you travel on the road, you do not know when things might turn wrong. Anything can happen at any possible moment, so it is always better to be prepared for the best. Rather than getting into a bad situation and not knowing what to do and how. Your first-aid box should have all the necessary items ranging from medicines to bandages and antiseptic creams. Moreover, merely keeping a first aid box is not enough. You should also have basic knowledge and training in handling certain situations by yourself. A few of the essential first aid kit items are bandages, cotton, scissors, thermometer, sunburn creams, aspirin, doctor's tape, glucose, and some painkillers.
In this digital age, having a cell phone with not enough charging is a nightmare. That's the reason it is almost impossible to have a road trip without your cell phone charger. Furthermore, keep a USB with some good music on it. This will come in handy when you want to enjoy some music on a road trip.
Just imagine, you are on a road trip with your best buds. You are in the middle of nowhere, jamming to your favorite music, and suddenly you hear an unpleasant loud sound. Turns out you have a flat tire. What are you going to do? You don't even know if you will get some help anywhere near or not. To avoid having this nightmare come true, you must keep a spare tire in your car all the time, especially before leaving for an exciting and long road trip.
Do you need insurance before a road trip?
This question makes sense. You may never know what circumstances you meet in the road trip you’re enjoying. You can have mechanical issues, medical issues, or even a car accident. So, to cover these things, you require insurance before a road trip.
One of the most important coverages you need is the Personal Liability Cover, which ensures to pay for all the damages that you may cause to a third party. Another essential coverage is car insurance (if you have any) or rental car insurance, which covers the cost of damages. Last but not the least, travel insurance is a necessary consideration that offers 24/7 assistance to you while traveling.
Came so far planning for your road trip. It’s getting boring! So, let’s talk about some things that you'll enjoy reading about. You may wonder how to survive a long road trip without any fun. So, you can enjoy your car journey by listening to a podcast, watching a movie, or any other thing that you may enjoy. You can read our article on things to do in the car to get a better idea of what we’re talking about.
Road trip games
Well, playing road trip games is not a bad idea. Road trip games can include word association, 20 questions, I spy, and thumb war, etc. If you’re having a hard time thinking about what more games can come the way you can keep yourself entertained, you can search to get amazing results.
If you’re on a long car trip then it will be a boring experience for you. To overcome this, you can read books (if you’re not driving) or get an audiobook subscription, as it is a popular choice among users who want incredible convenience.
Road Trip Food
Essentially unforgettable things are road trip food for which we need to get careful consideration. The food you eat can make or break your memorable day. So, be picky about this. Wanna get more information? Tasty and healthy road trip food ideas for you is a must-to-consider.
Renting a car for a road trip
Renting a car for your long drive might save you money by eliminating unnecessary stress and strain on your vehicle, as well as pricey maintenance. While renting a car for a car trip may be more expensive up front, the savings, in the long run, may be worth it. This is especially critical if you have a lease and must adhere to usage restrictions.
Top mistakes to avoid when planning a trip
Enjoyable road trips can often turn into torture if you fail to avoid certain mistakes. You must try to avoid all the possible mistakes that people commit and do proper planning before you hit the road. Otherwise, your road trip will become an annoying and embarrassing story that your friends will be telling for years. Here are a few of the most common mistakes that you would love to avoid at any cost.
- Not getting a pre-road trip maintenance
Sometimes your car might feel normal and ready for a road trip, but in fact, it is not. In such circumstances, if you ignore getting your car checked by a professional, you might land into trouble later. It will be very embarrassing and extremely regretful if your car suddenly stopped working in the middle of a road, and it will be even worse if there are no signs of any help nearby. So, you should always drop by car services and get your car thoroughly checked right before you begin your trip.
Sometimes people only pack junk food and unhealthy snacks for their road trips. It is not a very good idea, especially if you are going on a long and tiring road trip. While you are on a trip, for you to enjoy yourself to the fullest, you must be in the best of physical health. For this purpose, you should always pack some healthy food items, along with a moderate amount of junk food.
- Not taking into account traffic conditions
Before making a plan for your road trip, always consider the traffic plan of certain areas and roads. If you fail to do so, your road trip will be a miserable journey with hours spent on traffic signals trying to get past.
Pre-Journey Checklist - Important
To go on an enjoyable road trip, some important items must be checked. Here is your efficient and helpful pre-journey checklist!
You must give your travel insurance policy a quick read before you hit the road. You should know what kind of services your insurance policy covers. Just so that in case of an emergency, you would already be prepared.
You must keep your budget in mind before planning a road trip. If you ignore your budget, you'll end up spending a lot of your money on unnecessary things, and eventually, you will be broke before you even know it. Keeping your budget in view and spending according to that will save you a lot of time and money.
One of the most important items to always keep in your car is your important documents. These should be with you all the time even when you are not on a trip, yet, on a road trip these are more than essential. Without these documents, you might not even reach your destination at the decided time. Besides, there are so many instances when these documents are checked. So you must keep them with you. These important papers include your driving license, car's pollution certificate, insurance copies, car registration copies, and identity proof.
Platform To Consider For The Best Experience
The changing nature of travel is due to the online reviews that travelers leave on the different reviewing platforms to make others aware of the services of a specific company they’re looking for. Companies are at the whim of community-driven reviewing platforms like US-Reviews that support publicly visible feedback. Individuals may now base their holiday lodging, insurance, rental car, and other travel decisions on the feedback given by others who have been there and done that.
Checkout the road trip checklist before arriving.
Take care of yourself…
While it's always essential to maintain your health & wellbeing in mind when traveling. Clean everything from gas pump knobs to hotel TV remotes with disinfectant wipes. Also, remember to bring a fully stocked first-aid kit, as well as any prescriptions you might require.