Road trips are one of the most freeing, adventurous types of travel. With plane travel at a slowdown at the moment, you may want to opt for a road trip instead, which will avoid crowded airports and airplanes and offer you a different experience altogether. If the idea of the open road seems exhilarating but daunting, take some time to do some research and make necessary preparations to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. This way, you can indulge in the joy of exploration stress-free. From packing healthy snacks to double checking your car insurance, here are just a few tips for planning the perfect road trip.

1. Research your destinations.

In order bring your ideal trip into fruition, conduct research for some road trip inspiration. Do you want to focus on one region, like the Southwest or the West Coast of the United States? Or are you eager to drive cross-country from coast to coast? Perhaps you want to focus on national parks, spending your time hiking through canyons and forests of towering redwoods and camping beneath the stars. Or, maybe you’re more of a cultural type and are interested in seeking out historical monuments and music scenes. If you’re a foodie, you may want to check out local food scenes or hit up microbreweries and wineries. Do some brainstorming. Make a list of your top places you want to explore and the most important activities and experiences you want on your trip and take it from there.

2. Map out your dream route with attractions.

After you’ve figured out where you want to go and what you want to see, map out your route. While it is okay to keep some details undetermined and spontaneous, having a loose plan will help you avoid some obstacles and prepare the best you can. This way, you can make the most of your time and money spent on the road. Along your route, mark places you want to visit, potential hotels or campsites to stay, and towns or attractions for rest stops.

If you’re a dog-owner, you may want to look up ideas for dog-friendly vacations. Road trips are the best kind of travel to do with dogs. You don’t need to worry about about flying or boarding them and can have them partake in some of the fun. They can easily accompany you on camping, to the beach, or in the mountains. You’ll need to look up parks that allow animals, as many national parks prohibit dogs. While you’re mapping your route and planning your stops and activities, keep in mind details such as bringing a dog along that will impact your trip.

3. Create the ultimate packing list and come prepared.


Since you’ll be driving, you’ll have more freedom with what you can bring. That being said, you still want to pack light and sensibly so you’re not overloaded with unnecessary items while also making sure you’re prepared. If you’ll be spending time outdoors, bring appropriate shoes and clothes for hiking and exercise. Add layers for chilly mountain nights and in case of a change of weather. Pack a first-aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, a flashlight, extra chargers, plenty of water, and healthy snacks. Bring a tent, sleeping bag, and any other appropriate equipment if you will be camping.

For clothing, make sure to pack lightweight, comfortable clothes that you don’t mind wearing for hours in the car. Layers are a great option that work across multiple climates. If you’re looking for some new gear, you may want to check out online deals that offer everything from outdoor gear on clearance to bras on sale. Bralettes are comfortable and easy to wear on the road, sports bras are great for hiking, and unlined t-shirt bras are versatile, casual options for everyday purposes. Some of the most important elements to look for are quick-dry and wrinkle-resistant clothing items that are easy to wash and dry on the go.

4. Make necessary preparations.


Before you depart, it is important to make a to-do list to ensure your car is ready for the road. Make sure you have the appropriate type of car or RV insurance for your mode of transportation. Bring your car in to your local auto shop and have the oil changed, the battery, engine, and tires checked, and any other tuneups that might be necessary for a long trip on the road. Roadside assistance is a great investment for a road trip that can help you if you’re stranded on the side of the road even in remote areas. Remember to get a good night’s sleep the night before you hit the road and then stay safe and have fun!