The best road trips are filled with spontaneity and excitement, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for the unexpected. Planning a road trip is no different than planning anything else in life. You need a plan if you want your vacation to go smoothly—and one that’s fun! So here’s how to create the perfect plan for your next adventure on wheels.
Pick a direction.
This is the most important and difficult step. You have to pick a direction that is not too far from home, but also not too far from where you want to go. If your trip takes longer than expected (and who knows if it will?), then there’s a good chance that you’ll need access to supplies or other amenities along the way.
If you’re driving hundreds of miles away from home and don’t want to backtrack all the way through what could potentially be unfamiliar territory, then we’d recommend picking a route that leads toward something exciting—like an amusement park or another tourist destination.
Choose your route.
You’ve decided to take a road trip. Now it’s time to plan out your route! Here are some things to consider when choosing your route:
- Choose a route that is interesting and has lots of things to see. If you have no idea what places are along the way, go do some research. You can use Google Maps or another mapping service like our route planner or Apple Maps, but I recommend looking at reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp since they aggregate users’ opinions about their experiences at various locations.
- Choose a route that will take you through different environments. For example, if you are going from Manchester all the way down to Brighton, consider driving through Oxford so that you can stop at the Oxford Castle and other small towns along the way.
- Choose a route that has good food options at each stop (or near each stop) so that everyone doesn’t get tired of eating fast food while traveling long distances each day!
Plan your stops.
- Plan your stops.
- Be sure to account for how much time it will take to get from one place to the next, and make sure that you don’t overstay your welcome at certain places.
- Here are some ideas:
- Interesting spots where you want to go
- What you want to eat or drink
- Things for you to do (check out museums, visit national parks)
Put together an essential road trip playlist.
In order to keep you and your passengers entertained on long car rides, it’s important to have an essential road trip playlist. A good playlist should be upbeat but not too fast—you want the songs to keep the mood light, but not make it feel like you’re going so fast that everything is blurry. Remember that even though this is your time together as a group, every person in the car will have their own tastes and preferences for music. It’s a good idea to include a variety of genres so everyone can find something they enjoy listening to.
If you don’t know all the words or melody (or even just one of them), then don’t use those songs! Your passengers will appreciate being able to sing along with you without feeling self-conscious about getting lost in thought during parts they don’t know well enough yet. And if nothing else, think about how much fun it’ll be when everyone gets into dancing mode—and we all know how infectious dancing can be!
Don’t forget the snacks.
If you’re going to be driving for hours on end, it’s important not to forget the snacks. Snacks are a great way to keep your energy up and break up the monotony of road trips. If you pack healthy, nutritious snacks, it’ll also help keep your body in good condition while you’re traveling.
Healthy snacks should be easy-to-eat while driving and portable enough that they don’t take up too much space in your vehicle. Some examples of healthy road trip friendly snack options include: nuts or trail mix; fruit such as apples or bananas (if they won’t get smashed); cheese sticks; carrot sticks with hummus; peanut butter crackers (crackers are easier than bread if crumbs are an issue).
Plan for emergencies.
It’s important to plan for emergencies, which can happen at any time and be very costly.
Prepare for emergency situations by keeping your vehicle’s gas tank full and a roadside emergency kit in the trunk. The kit should include:
- A first aid kit
- Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
- Water bottles (get one per person)
- Snacks (protein bars or healthy snacks) Make sure you have these items on hand at all times so you’re prepared if something bad happens!
Have a few ideas in mind for what you’re going to do if something goes wrong with your car or if you end up putting yourself in a bad spot.
- Have a roadside assistance plan. This should be something you already have in place, but if not, it’s never too late to sign up for one. Having some kind of support system is super useful when you don’t have the ability to call AAA or another organization that could send out help when needed.
- Have a car emergency kit. Having this on hand is essential if your vehicle breaks down while driving, or even if it just stops running while you’re parked somewhere overnight (which can happen). Be sure to include spare fuses and light bulbs in case theirs get broken too!
- Learn how to change a tire. Changing tires isn’t always as easy as it sounds; there are several steps involved before getting all four wheels off the ground so that they can be replaced with new ones without incident – but knowing exactly how this process works beforehand will definitely save headaches later down the line by making sure everything goes smoothly without any problems whatsoever during those early morning hours when things tend not work right anyway (at least until sunrise comes around!).
You now have the tools you need to plan a road trip that you’ll never forget. You can choose a direction, pick your route and stops along the way, and even plan for emergencies. If you’re feeling lost at any point along the way, just remember what we said about keeping it simple—and remember how much fun those simple things were when we were kids!