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What Are the Best Tips for Road Trip Planning?

Being ready for roadside emergencies is one aspect of trip preparation.
Motels can often be cheaper than chain hotels for those on road trips.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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Road trip planning should start with sufficient research about the region in which you plan to travel. Try to find a series of attractions you are interested in visiting, and draw up a realistic timeframe for visiting those areas. Be sure to allow extra time for unforeseen circumstances as well as adequate rest, as a long trip can be exhausting. Road trip planning will require a map and/or a GPS to make the trip more efficient and less frustrating, so be sure to invest in up-to-date maps, and download the most current road information for your GPS.

If you will be traveling with kids, be sure to include this in your road trip planning. Children generally cannot sit in a car as long as an adult can without getting uncomfortable or bored, and while preparing games and activities for the road trip can help, kids will still need to get out of the car and burn off some energy periodically. These rest periods will be good for adult passengers as well, especially the driver, who will need a break from the road to ensure he or she stays sharp enough to drive safely. Be sure your road trip planning accommodates plenty of rest for all travelers for safety and enjoyment.

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Be sure to budget enough money for gas, food, and lodging along the way. If possible, your road trip planning should include booking hotels or motels, or any other accommodations such as campsites. Have back-up plans in case reservations fall through or camping areas are booked. Consider gas prices, and try to calculate how much the trip will cost in gas in your road trip planning phase. Food, too, can cost a fair amount of money on a road trip, so create a daily budget and be sure to add a little extra cash for contingencies and unforeseen circumstances. It helps to budget for play money and other expenses such as admission to certain attractions and so on.

One great way to avoid frustration and extra time in the car is to research your driving route ahead of time for construction delays, tolls, and weather that may cause driving hazards. Research in the week or so ahead of your trip to ensure you are avoiding problematic routes and hazardous areas that may slow the trip down or add frustrating driving time. Do not be afraid to alter your route during the trip, but be sure to check the alternate route carefully to avoid getting lost or getting too far off track.

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Discuss this Article

whiteplane
Post 3

I used to go to a lot of festivals and I also followed a few bands around so I have been on lots and lots of road trips in my life.

From my experience I can tell you that the best way to plan a road trip is to make a road trip checklist with all the things you think you will want and need and then systematically pack them into the car. The best thing about traveling by car or van or whatever is that you can plan for lots of contingencies which is a luxury that you normally don't have on a plane or train or bus.

jonrss
Post 2

It used to be that if you were going on a road trip you would have to get a bunch of maps and plan our your travel directions. But now, with GPS you can pretty much just jump in your car and go. You do not need to plan ahead at all as far as navigation goes which makes the whole thing so much easier.

The guy before said that a break down is the worst. That is probably right, but getting lost is not so pleasant either. GPS makes it easy to get exactly where you are trying to go.

summing
Post 1

Make sure that your car is in good shape before you head out on a road trip. Nothing can ruin a trip like a break down.

It is worth it to take it to a mechanic and get your oiled changed and all your fluids topped off. Have them look over the engine, pump up your tires and make sure that your spare is ready to go. Also tell them where you are going to make sure that your car is ready. Mountain and desert driving can take a toll on a car and you want to make sure that yours is reliable and safe.

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