Ten things to keep in mind when planning for your road trip

The time-honored road trip is making a comeback. More Americans are traveling by car to visit family and for vacations. A survey conducted in May 2020 by the GasBuddy app revealed that almost one in three Americans intended to take a summer road vacation.

Making memories and experiencing new things are made possible by road vacations. You can do a few things to improve your holiday and make it memorable for the right reasons, whether you are traveling locally for day trips or hitting the road for a lengthy bucket-list journey across the country.

How to prepare for a road trip?

Here are tips on how to prepare for your perfect road trip.

Choose Your Destination

Identify a location. For your first road trip, it’s a good idea to pick a place that is not too far away. A road trip is limited to one day. For instance, select a city a few hours away for your first road trip.

All in one day, you will enjoy a pleasant trip to your destination, some time spent exploring a new location and driving home.


Chances are high; you already have a rough idea of where you would like to go for your road trip. However, you may not be wholly aware of all the attractions and exciting activities along the way.

Think about all the hikes, scenic views, amusement parks, historic establishments, distilleries, wineries, and other unique establishments you could visit along the way.

That is where research comes in. One of the secrets to having a fruitful trip is thoroughly researching your destination. Here are some websites you can use to do some research.


Pinterest has ideas for almost anything you can think of, and many “pins” (that go to internet articles) highlight places and things to do while there.


Roadtrippers assist you in organizing your road trip by listing the destinations you want to see. Additionally, sharing your route with others is simple, and you can save your map for offline viewing, which is useful when traveling in places with poor cell coverage.

It gives information on how far you must drive between stops, how much petrol will cost, and some well-chosen travel ideas.

Make an Itinerary

It’s crucial to plan where you’ll go, what you’ll see, and how much time you’ll spend at each location.

Otherwise, you risk spending the entirety of your trip at one location or rushing through crucial stops before spending too much time at other, less significant ones. A fundamental notion of what you want to see and do and estimating how much time you believe each activity or stop will require is better than an hour-by-hour schedule.

Make sure you provide additional time so you may pause and take in that last-minute sight.

Get Your Car Checked Out

Allowing a mechanic to check for issues before you go is a beautiful idea if you intend to drive your car a long distance for several days.

First, check your vehicle’s gas and fluid levels and tire pressure. Then, select a car that gets excellent gas mileage to cut the cost of your trip.

Convertibles, sports cars, vehicles that achieve excellent gas mileage, and compact crossover SUVs are vehicles that are particularly well-suited for road trips. SUVs and minivans are also fantastic options if you take the family or a large group of friends on a road trip.

However, vans, large SUVs, and heavy trucks may not be the best options for road vacations.

Create A Budget

Gas, meals, lodging, activities, snacks, entrance fees, turnpike tolls, souvenirs, wine, and other drinks will all require planning in your budget. While some individuals believe a vacation is a perfect opportunity to indulge a little, others prefer to stick to a strict spending plan and do everything on the cheap.

Decide how much you want to spend before breaking down the prices. If you are traveling with someone, you should talk to them about the accommodations they prefer, the kinds of meals they want to eat, and the overall money they are willing to spend.

Go Shopping for Handy Items for Your Trip

Fill your car with practical supplies for road trips;

Water and food include fruit, sliced vegetables, granola bars, and nuts. A bin or container containing valuable supplies like sunscreen, insect repellent, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, and tiny trash bags. Power cords for any gadgets you’ll be using while driving.

A first aid box, an umbrella, binoculars, and extra headphones should all be on your list.

Make Reservations

Make reservations in advance if you know where you’ll be every night. Then, no stress will be associated with wondering if you will locate something because you will see that you have a room.

Check Your Driver’s License and Passports

Make sure you have valid documentation if you plan to leave the nation by car. You may experience difficulties if your passport expires in less than six months.

Get Some Cash

While credit cards are great, you may have to stop for small things like a soda that require you to have cash. Having cash for your road trip is always a good idea.

Install Practical Apps Beforehand

A few apps exist that facilitate car trips. To have them available when needed, download them in advance. I advise using Google Maps, the iExit app for information on amenities at exits, and diaroogle.com or the Flush app (for Apple or Android) for details on the location and conditions of the closest restrooms.

Pro Tip: Plan for downtime. Keep your itinerary flexible in case of unforeseen circumstances on your road trip.

How to Pack for A Road Trip

You may save gasoline and travel more securely by adequately packing your boot and roof box. Follow these tips:

Getting The Trunk Ready for A Road Trip

Maintaining an even weight distribution throughout the vehicle is crucial for a comfortable and secure ride. Therefore, the most oversized objects should be put in the car’s back and center.

Pack nothing higher than the headrest. Items in this area limit view in the rear and, while braking, can fly forward and strike passengers.

Preparing The Roof Box for A Journey

Roof boxes are essential if you travel with a lot of luggage. Besides packing everything into the rear seat, you can put some lighter goods. For example, bed linens, blankets, and sleeping bags should all be placed inside the box and sealed tightly. Always remove the roof box from the car after using it because it can decrease fuel efficiency.

Pearce Kibaale is a freelance writer, content creator, and CEO of Trip Dhow.