The First Timer’s Guide to Planning Road Trips

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Road trips are the absolute dream, especially now that people have been stuck at home for so long they’re getting cabin fever. It’s especially exciting for high school seniors and college kids who had to sacrifice their time together because of the pandemic. It might also feel like a far-off dream for families who have been planning to hit the road since early 2020. ;

That road trip might not happen anytime soon, though. You have to check public health recommendations and pack a COVID-19 kit just to stay on the safe side. But this doesn’t mean you can’t start planning. If planning road trips is new to you, here’s what you should do.

Know where you’re going.

As appealing as it sounds to just drive off with no particular destination in mind, you might end up wasting more time you could use for quality time. Look up different campgrounds you can drive to. Some will be near a lake, some will be in the forest. Some are at the end of a hiking trail, others are by the beach. In addition to choosing which one best appeals to you, check the COVID-19 restrictions in the area, too.

Know when you’re going.

Now that you’ve got a place down, check your calendar and finalize the schedule. Do research on when the place is least crowded, and when the best weather is. That way, you can avoid being around too many people, leading to the peace of mind that your health isn’t compromised. Check the weather for your chosen schedule, too, so you know what clothes to pack and what snacks to bring on your trip.

Get a camping car.

You might be wondering whether you should bring your own car or rent a vehicle for your road trip. If you plan on bringing heavy equipment like bicycles or a kayak, or if you plan to stay on the road without stopping at hotels, a toy hauler is the way to go. You may opt to rent one if camping is a one-time thing. But knowing that it’s an activity that many can’t get enough of, you might want to get one for yourself.

classic volkswagen van

Build (and stick to) your budget.

As tempting as it sounds to splurge on your road trip, you have to lay down a budget plan. Yes, you need to store snacks and drinks in the vehicle. But remember that you’ll have pit stops, too. There, you might find something you want to buy. And remember, the trip is an adventure with loved ones, not the time to go on a shopping trip. Spend quality time with your family or friends, not the money in your wallet.

Plan your meals well.

While it would be good to pack chips, candies, and other snacks for the road, there’s no reason to bring stacks of canned food on your trip. There are pit stops along the way. And who knows, you might come across a restaurant that might just serve your next favorite dish. When planning your schedule, make sure to add your meals and to indicate whether it’s a time to explore or a time to check what you packed.

Enjoy your trip!

Last and by no means least, just enjoy your road trip. You could get lost and your companions might disagree about which route to take but that’s okay. Those are all part of the adventure. Even people who’ve been on countless road trips still get lost and still find things to argue about. At the end of the day, just remember that this trip is supposed to be a way to relax and have fun with the people you care about.

So, enjoy the road trip. You’ve worked hard to bring it to life. Make the most of it.

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