Planning a road trip can be a fun experience, but also stressful. Driving across country is a lot different than flying, you’re in control of where you go and where you stop along the way. So here 8 helpful tips for your stress free road trip.
- Plan your route. Make sure you know where you are headed and how long it will take to get there. Communicate your plans and ideas to everyone in your vehicle so expectations are managed. Also give yourself some wiggle room when unexpected traffic or construction throw of your time.
- Set a budget. Many people opt to road trip over flying because of the cost savings. Start your budget by estimating the cost of gas for the entire trip, then add hotel, tolls and food. Use an app like GasBuddy to get an estimate on gas prices during your trip. When driving with someone, use Venmo or a similar app to make splitting the costs easy.
- Be spontaneous. Part of the fun on a road trip is the exciting and interesting sites. If something catches your eye take the time to go explore it.
- Underestimate your daily mileage. As you plan your nightly stops in advance, give room to not feel rushed. This will make it easier to take those side adventures and still keep you relaxed on the road. It may also keep you from driving while tired.
- Consider a rental car. A road trip can place a lot of stress and mileage on your personal car. A rental car could be a relatively inexpensive option. You can choose what kind of options you want, such as eco friendly providing great gas mileage, or more room with good GPS. When sharing the expenses with a group of people, a rental car expense can be marginal.
- Maximize space. Unless you have a minivan, space in the car is going to be tight. Make sure you leave extra space for the souvenirs you pick up along the way. If you are struggling with space, pack light or pack in malleable duffel bags instead of hard suitcases.
- Consider healthier road trip snacks. Instead of going straight for the junk food, try some alternatives like fruit. If you are worried about perishables, their are great alternatives like dried fruit, trail mix and rice cakes. If you can’t give up your favorite snacks, opt for items like lollipops that take awhile to eat and aren’t messy in car. If you have the space, it’s also a great idea to pack a cooler.
- Don’t forget the necessities. Car chargers, earbuds, sunglasses, a physical map, sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer, trash bags and a first aid kit are all essentials to pack before embarking on your trip.
Planning a road trip can be an exciting if stressful experience. Making sure you are prepared but also flexible can go a long way in having a good time. The allure of the road trip is not the destination, but the process of getting there. Give yourself time to enjoy the journey and the little adventures that may take up some unexpected time.