How To Plan an Incredible Road Trip

Road trips are awesome. But they can also take a lot of work to plan. Follow these 4 simple steps to planning an incredible road trip like a pro!

1. Decide on your end point.

Where do you want to end up? Do you want to end up across the country? Or do you want to make a loop right back home? It obviously has to be somewhere you can drive to, but get creative and think outside the box! We road tripped to Vancouver Island by taking a ferry!

The destination for two of my biggest road trips has been California!

The destination for two of my biggest road trips has been California!

2. Decide your priorities.

Next, you need to decide what is most important to you on this trip. Is it that you get to your destination as quick as possible? Is it that you linger at each stop? Is it that you get to see your friends that live in Ohio along the way? What is it that is most important to you on this trip?

Once you know that, you can decide how many nights you want to take getting to your destination, and how long you will commit to driving each day. If you're priority is to get to your destination as quick as possible, you might drive longer and only spend 1 night at each stop. If you believe life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey, then you might want to drive less and spend 2+ nights at each stop.

The priority for our Florida trip was to get to our destination but that didn't mean we didn't have time for South of the Border!

The priority for our Florida trip was to get to our destination but that didn't mean we didn't have time for South of the Border!

3. Pick a starting point.

It sounds strange, but once your priorities are set, you can decide where you want to start. For our West Coast road trip, our priority was to see as much of the West Coast as possible. So we decided to fly out to Seattle and rent a car. When we road tripped to Florida, we left from home.

Wherever you start, this is where you will decide a VERY important question: Do you want to rent a car or take your own?

The starting point for our Ireland Road Trip was Dublin...and it was incredible!

The starting point for our Ireland Road Trip was Dublin...and it was incredible!

4. Plan the route.

Now for the fun part! Using www.roadtrippers.com and Google maps, type in your starting point and your ending point. Look at the most direct route. Then start asking yourself questions like:
What major cities do you pass? What national parks do you pass? What landmarks and monuments and roadside attractions do you pass?

This is where you get to decide what you want to see on your road trip. We use Roadtrippers to find hole in the wall attractions that we wanted to see.

We couldn't pass up the Grand Canyon when we drove from Texas to California!

We couldn't pass up the Grand Canyon when we drove from Texas to California!

Tips:

  • Pick three MUST SEE thing for each person that is going on the road trip. Try to collaborate and narrow it down to a Top 5 must see/do things for the road trip. That way you know what you're priorities are and no one will be disappointed if you don't get to see the other non-priority things on your list.
     
  • Make sure you spend some time considering how worth-it things are. When we road tripped to Florida, we drove an hour out of the way to go to Charleston, SC. However, we were so exhausted and we got there so late, that we didn't get to see anything worthwhile.
     
  • Don't try to see it all. Know that you aren't going to be able to see and do it all. In fact, you are going to make your trip stressful and miserable if you keep trying to see and do everything.