I LOVE road trips. The longer, the better. Whenever I plan a road trip, I try to cram in as many places to see as possible. I mean, of course I want to see “The World’s Largest Ball of Twine”!
The first step to planning a road trip is deciding where your destination point is. Once you have that figured out, the rest is cake. When I plan a trip, I type the destination into Google Maps, and look at multiple routes. I usually pick the fastest route there, and an opposite route home. That way you have twice as much to see.
Next you have to decide on how much driving you want to do each day. Obviously the further the destination, the longer each day’s drive will be. When I am going on really long road trips, I try to drive around 8-10 hours the first couple of days, and then shorten the other days up. Look for cities along your route that you plan on staying in, or close to.
Look for cool places or cities along your route. If you see something out of the way, but close enough to make it worth visiting, add that into your itinerary.
Creating an excel sheet helps me keep organized, and plan our trips more efficiently.
Sometimes I plan the hotels in advance, other times, I wait until we are finished driving for the night. The pros to booking lodging in advance is usually the prices are lower. The con is, if you plan on driving 8 hours and book your hotel, no matter what, you have to drive that far. If you’re tired, you can’t find somewhere closer to you, or if you feel like driving further toward your destination, you can’t do that either because you already have the hotel booked. Unless, of course it is refundable.
On my excel sheet, I make note of the following things:
Estimated Departure Time
Estimated Arrival Time
How long Google Maps says it will take
Additional time possible needed for restroom, food, tourist breaks
Here is an example of my latest itinerary.
I like to use the website, Roadside America to look for touristy things to do along the route. You can type in the area you plan on visiting, and it will tell you all of the tourist sites around.
Most of all, have fun! Planning a road trip doesn’t have to be stressful!