How to Plan the Ideal Road Trip

Jan 26, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Whether you want to take a road trip with your family or a group of friends, or just have some quiet time alone in the car, it will take a bit of planning. Taking the time to plan can make the difference between having just a good trip and having a perfect adventure. Planning for a road trip is different than another type of vacation, especially if you plan on making multiple stops along the way. If you are simply driving to your destination and don’t need to see anything along the way, you can treat it as an ordinary vacation with some extra travel time. To get the most of your road trip, however, follow these planning tips.

Plan It All Ahead of Time

Spontaneity can be fun, but making too many unscheduled stops during your road trip can mean you quickly run out of time. Instead, take the time to sit down with everyone who will be going on the road trip and figure out how many stops you want to make, where they will be, and how long to stay there. Look online to see what attractions are along your route so you can narrow down your options.

Be Flexible

While you want to have your plans and destinations all laid out, make sure you factor in some wiggle room along the way. Consider making a list of places or attractions you definitely want to stop at and another of places you would like to if there is time. This way, you can play it by ear and avoid getting behind schedule. Don’t forget to include some extra time in your planning for unexpected attractions you see signs for along the road. A little bit of spontaneity can make your road trip exciting as long as you have time for it on your schedule.

Plan What to Bring

GPS units and built-in navigation systems are great for road trips, but you don’t want to rely on a single device too much. Even if you have an onboard navigation system, bring along an extra GPS and grab a physical map of the area where you will be driving. One of the biggest costs and time-wasters on a road trip is stopping to get a snack or meal. You will want to occasionally visit a restaurant or fast food place so you can get out of the car and stretch your legs. Even so, it is a good idea to keep snacks, drinks, and even some sandwiches in the car so you don’t have to stop every time someone gets hungry. This way, you can have a snack to keep hunger at bay and wait until you find a cheaper place to eat. Don’t forget to make sure your car is in good shape before you hit the road and pack things to keep you and the others entertained.

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