Are you planning your first post-pandemic summer vacation? If so, you may want to consider a classic road trip! Driving cross-country with your family and friends can be a great way to bond, sight-see, and hit a variety of unique attractions without breaking the bank or visiting the airport.
Whether you plan your trip to the letter or simply jump in the car and take off, road trips are a fail-safe way to make sure that everyone in your family has fun on your vacation. Keep reading for four tips that will help you make this trip the best and safest one yet!
1. Decide on your destination
The first thing that you’ll want to choose is your destination. In addition to being the highlight of your trip, your destination will determine how long your trip will last. Road trips can be as short or as long as you’d like--ranging from a day trip to a nearby city to a month-long tour of an entire region.
If you’re planning your first road trip, you may want to choose a destination that isn’t too far from your starting point. You’ll be stopping for gas, food, rest, and excursions on the way there and back, extending the length of your trip significantly.
Once you have your primary destination figured out, you’ll have to pack accordingly. Choose clothes and accessories that are appropriate for that location’s weather and the activities you plan to do there.
2. Brainstorm a list of stops
One benefit of a loosely structured vacation like a road trip is that everyone gets the chance to see what they’d like to see. When you start thinking about your trip, have your friends and family throw out ideas for places to visit between your starting point and your destination. Look up sights and attractions that appeal to everyone and get a list of possible stops going.
From there, you can determine which route you should take to be able to visit as many of your listed stops as possible. You will also need to find hotels or campsites along your route for rest and make appropriate reservations.
You can organize all of your planned stops by creating an itinerary, but you don’t have to follow your timeline exactly. Road trips allow you to be flexible and make time for all of the things you want to do while you’re out on the road, so take advantage of that freedom!
3. Prep your ride
Before you set out on the road, you’ll want to get your car properly serviced to make sure that it can handle your trip. Make sure that any necessary maintenance is done before you start driving to avoid any mishaps or emergencies.
You will also need to make sure that you have the right insurance before taking your car across the country. In the event of any accidents or issues, you’ll want to be covered. Some companies even offer road trip insurance or other special travel packages to make sure you’re protected on your vacation. You can compare policies and factor the best one’s price into your trip’s total expenses.
4. Create a budget
When you’re planning a full road trip with a lot of moving parts, it’s wise to draft a budget before you leave. That way, you’ll have a general estimate of how much you’ll spend and hopefully be able to control some splurging on the road.
When you create your budget, be sure to estimate gas prices, meal costs for the road and for each destination, hotel fees, and insurance costs while keeping some extra money on the side for souvenirs.
While other vacations may have packages that take the guesswork out of some of these expenses, road trips can be extremely manageable and cost-effective when they’re well-planned.
With all of these tips in mind, you can plan the perfect road trip while making smart, safe choices. No matter where you choose to visit, you’ll be making memories and having fun along the way!