Want to spend some vacation time with family and friends? Take a road trip!
Maybe you want to get a group of friends together to take a fun road trip? Or you’re trying to plan a family trip to one of the country’s many national parks?
You’ll have the fun of your destination to look forward to, of course, but also plenty of time to reconnect with loved ones and see and do interesting things along the way.
The time you spend in the car on any road trip is just as important as where you’re headed. Since you’ll be spending a lot of hours on the road (hence the whole “road trip” thing), you’ll need to plan out that car time.
Check out our top tips for an unforgettable road trip.
1) Keep Your Itinerary Flexible
First, decide where you want to go on your road trip and consider what you’ll do when you get there. Planning your itinerary is a fun appetizer for the vacation itself, since it gets you excited about the memories around the corner.
An itinerary may be important, but it’s also a good idea to leave some flexibility with a road trip.
Plan where you want to go and what you want to do, but resist the urge to schedule out every minute of the journey from start to finish. Staying flexible will leave room for unexpected delays and fun surprises, like small town tourist attractions or funky roadside diners.
You should also be open to switching up your itinerary if your road trip takes you in a different direction or you want to spend more time somewhere than you originally intended. It’s totally okay to make changes, or to eliminate certain stops altogether. The important thing is having fun, not checking everything off your list.
Maintaining some flexibility in your itinerary will help you enjoy your road trip without getting frustrated as things change along the way. After all, you never know what might happen on a road trip!
Here are some additional tips for planning the best travel itinerary if you want to read more.
2) Know How Much Time You’ll Be in the Car
Sometimes, a road trip sounds a lot more exciting before you actually get in the car and drive.
It’s easy to focus on the fun destinations and forget about how much time will be spent on the road! You can avoid this unpleasant surprise by taking a close look at the map so you know exactly how much time you’ll spend driving on your road trip. Doing this kind of planning will also help you figure out if you’ll need to plan any overnight stops.
When you know exactly how much drive time you have ahead of you, you can plan road trip games and even road trip songs to fill the time, ensuring that the vacation is fun for everyone involved!
Who wants to dread being in the car on a road trip?
Yeah, no thanks.
3) Stop as Often as You Need to
Plan for regular stops on your road trip — and not just for getting gas or using the restroom.
Your body isn’t designed to spend days stationary and sitting in a car.
Taking regular breaks gives you the chance to stand up, walk around, and stretch your bod, which will help keep you from getting sore. Even a few minutes out of the car and walking around will make a big difference. Better yet, strike a yoga pose!
We know you’re antsy to reach your final destination, but there’s no shame in a few mini breaks. And if there are multiple drivers along for the road trip, you might also want to think about switching drivers at each stop… for safety’s sake!
4) Don’t Focus Only on the Destination
Your destination — or destinations — may be the whole reason you decided to plan a road trip in the first place, but don’t be so focused on getting there that you forget the actual road trip part.
If it was really all about the destination, you’d probably just get on a plane.
With that in mind, try not to focus so much on your destination so you can stay on the lookout for interesting tourist attractions, restaurants, or other things you might want to check out as you drive. Stopping along the way at interesting locations is just as important as the ultimate end point when you plan a road trip!
At these unexpected spots, you might be introduced to new foods, find unique souvenirs, or snap super cool photos. These surprises might generally be more fun than your original itinerary!
5) Stay entertained in the car
Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the car, stock up on things to keep you entertained. Road trip games, road trip songs, and road trip snacks can be a fun part of the overall experience, and they’ll help the time pass more quickly, too.
If you have impatient kids with you, road trip games are going to be especially important. But let’s be real, even if your car is full of grown-ups, games and songs can keep time on the road more fun and pass the time.
Our Personal Favorites – The 7 Best Road Trip Games
- The License Plate Game (find license plates from as many different states as possible!)
- Twenty Questions
- Never Have I Ever
- Would You Rather…
- The Movie Game (say a line from a movie and have everyone guess the name of the movie!)
- Name That Song
- Who Am I?
You should also make a playlist just for your road trip, full of songs that will keep you energized and excited about your trip. Include plenty of great singalong tracks for the best possible driving experience.
Make it a group effort by inviting each person joining you for the road trip to make a playlist. Those playlists will bring back great memories of your vacation, even years from now!
6) Take care of your body while you travel
When you travel, it’s easy to forget to eat properly or move your body the way you should. It’s good to have road trip snacks in the car, but that doesn’t mean you can skip meals. And while stretching during pit stops is good for your body, it’s not a substitute for your regular exercise routine, especially if you’re spending tons of time cooped up in a car.
Make sure you have healthy road trip snack options and look for nutritious meals while you’re traveling.
Even if you can’t go to the gym to keep up with your exercise during your trip, there are ways to stay physically active. Going to a local gym or even doing online yoga classes in your hotel room — gives you the chance to keep your body moving and stay healthy while road tripping.
Now Go Plan That Trip You’ve Been Thinking About
Whether you’re looking to take the road trip of your dreams or just a fun weekend getaway with friends, it’s always smart to think about all of these items beforehand so you can really live in the moment.
Now, pick up the phone and get that group chat going.
Think about which friends and family you would like to go on a fun road trip with then start planning a date. Once you can agree on a date then it gets easier from there.
Tell us about your favorite road trip experience or even where you’re planning to visit!
Let us know on Instagram & in the comments below.