Open roads, wild nature, warm breeze, and loads of fun – that is how I describe road trips.
If you are all about exploring new places, finding inspiration in nature, and recharging your batteries, going on a road trip may be the right choice for you.
In this article, you will learn how to plan your road trip and minimize the risk of unexpected.
1. Prepare your Car for a Long Trip
Take good care of your car before you go on a road trip to make sure everything is working. Change oil, replace air filters, get an extra set of car belts, check your spare tire, etc.
Wash your car and consider cleaning its interior, too. Remember, you are going to spend lots of time there. It is the opportunity to finally get rid of those old water bottles and tissues.
Finally, consider the safety of the place you are visiting. Some popular locations have high crime rates. Therefore, consider parking your car somewhere safe. Consider finding a closed parking lot and booking a slot there.
2. Strategically Plan your Route
Before you start planning a road trip, you first need to determine your route. Use Google Maps and sites like Tripadvisor to make more informed decisions.
Now, there are several practical route planning tips:
- Start with your must-see locations. Mark the locations you want to visit on the map and connect the dots.
- Once you select your must-sees, check whether there is something else you may be interested in. That is where travel blogs and Tripadvisor can help you.
- When you create a road map, make sure it works for you. For example, is your daily driving time realistic? Is the route you have chosen safe and reliable?
- If your road map looks messy, reorder your stops. That is how you will save fuel, reduce frustration, and limit the car exhaust.
- Print your online maps in case you get stuck in areas with no internet connection.
3. Determine your Accommodation Options
You do not want to end up in an unfamiliar place, not knowing where you can sleep. Therefore, choose your accommodation options on time.
Sure, you do not need to decide on a specific place to stay. For starters, it is enough to make a list of potential hotels, hostels, and camping spots in your desired area. Contact them and see whether you will need to book rooms in advance.
If you are planning a camping experience for the first time, set up a tent only where you are allowed. That way, you will avoid paying hefty fines and make sure everyone is safe.
Additionally, when you choose accommodation on time, you can also plan your budget more effectively.
4. Check Local Traffic Laws and Regulations
Common traffic law violations, such as driving while impaired or disobeying signals are similar in all states. However, some local traffic regulations can vary. For example, speed limits can vary by region. Therefore, consider familiarizing yourself with the local traffic laws before you hit the road.
Also, make sure your driver’s license is enough. In some states and countries, you need to have an international driver’s license to drive. Some traffic regulations even require you to obtain a national license when staying there for a certain amount of time.
5. Plan your Budget
It is easy to overspend on a road trip. Creating a detailed road trip budget ensures you spend your money strategically while enjoying the vacation.
For starters, set your total budget. Next, determine a daily budget for essential road trip costs, such as parking charges, food and drink, accommodation, and gas.
Next, add the cost of must-see attractions. Make a list of your daily activities and estimate their costs. For starters, research the prices online and even seek discounts.
Finally, do not neglect the importance of unexpected miscellaneous costs. No matter how well you plan your trip, unexpected problems will always arise.
Over to You
There is a wide range of factors to consider when planning a road trip, from your budget to accommodation. That is why you should prepare everything in advance.
Most importantly, be flexible. Remember, just because you have planned your trip step by step does not mean you need to stick to it by all means. It is totally fine to change your route, allow for detours, and stay in the place you like for another night.
Are you ready to hit the road? Enjoy the ride!