Since being cooped up during the pandemic, many people have been anxious to get out and travel again now that things are slowly opening back up. But with stricter airport regulations, and the thought of being in an enclosed plane sharing the same air as a few hundred other people, you may still be having second thoughts before hopping on a flight. A road trip is a great alternative and one of the best ways to travel. There’s nothing quite like that sense of fun and excitement you feel in the air when loading up the car, hitting the open road, and setting off on adventures with close friends or family by your side! Plus, you’ll have more autonomy to do whatever you want along the way.
Road trips are super versatile because you can make them as long or short as you like, heading wherever your heart desires and visiting the attractions and areas that interest you and your traveling mates the most. But with so many options to consider, planning a road trip can feel like quite a challenge!
This guide will offer some simple tips for planning a road trip to help you have the best possible time.
One of the most fun things about a road trip is that you can be uber flexible, changing your plan at a moment’s notice and simply seeing where the mood takes you. Even though you may feel more spontaneous than ever, it’s still worthwhile to have a basic plan in mind and know more or less where you’re headed so you can pack and prepare accordingly.
If you head off without any kind of plan whatsoever, you might end up getting lost or having no clue what to do first or even next. So make sure to chat with friends and family about what you all want to do and make a list or itinerary to give yourself a guide.
Check out maps and use GPS devices to figure out the right roads to take and the best places to stop along the way, and also to make sure the places you visit are open for visitors again after the pandemic. For example if you’re planning a Route 66 run, be sure to consult a Route 66 map in advance to pick some good places to visit each day. Plus, a map makes a great souvenir!
We get it, packing isn’t the most exciting part of any trip or vacation. It can be pretty dull to spend hours loading up your bags and car when in reality, all you want to do is set off and start enjoying yourself.
Even though you might not want to do it, packing is just as important to plan for a road trip since you’re going to be visiting a lot of different places, and your car is basically going to become your home base for the days (or weeks!) ahead. Put on some feel-good music, grab a snack, and make packing fun. Here’s a list of essentials you may want to throw in your suitcase:
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Backpack for light traveling during the day
2-3 pairs of shoes based on your travel needs (hiking shoes, beach shoes)
Phone, tablet, and laptop chargers
Headphones (Bose, Skullcandy, Airpods, etc)
Snacks, water, and other beverages to stay hydrated
First aid kit
Vitamins and other medicine you may need in case someone gets car sick
Tiles to keep track of all your stuff.
Check out other road trip travel checklists online for more ideas and inspiration of what to pack, and make your own list of all the essentials.
Something you should keep in mind during a road trip is that it can be pretty easy to lose track of your belongings along the way, especially if you’re stopping at a lot of different places. People tend to overpack items when anticipating needs because these kinds of trips can feel a little hectic at times, especially if you’re traveling with kids. You shouldn’t have to worry about misplacing things like phones, car keys, wallets, or your child’s favorite toy while on vacation.
Have no fear- Tile tags can help! You can attach Tile tags to your belongings and sync the tags to your phone via Bluetooth to keep track of all your Tiled items near you at all times. This can help make your road trip a lot less stressful by helping you avoid those “Where are the car keys!?” moments. A simple tap on the Find button via the Tile app on your phone will ring the item and you’ll be able to hear it wherever it is nearby, even if it’s buried under all those bags.
Premium features like Tile’s Unlimited Sharing can be especially useful to help out that one friend or family member who always seems to leave things behind. You’ll both be able to see the location of the Tile and ring it. Additionally, setting up Smart Alerts will let you know if you’ve accidentally left an important item behind at your last stop.
So now you’ve nailed down a loose itinerary, have a plan to pack your bags, and Tiled your most important items. But what else should you keep top of mind?
When planning a road trip you know you’re in charge, but also being flexible will help you avoid any frustration along the way.
If you’re traveling with kids and they start to get a little restless along the way, you might want to change your plans for the day and stop off at a local attraction like a zoo or amusement park for a fun-filled family day.
Or if you’re traveling with friends and someone feels a little sleepy or ill on one of the days, you can adjust to meet their needs, switching up your schedule to try an activity with a more relaxing air, rather than sticking with your original plan. Everyone loves a good beach day!
Bonus tip: Make sure to pay attention to any COVID rules and restrictions at the places you visit, as some areas and attractions still enforce mask-wearing, social distancing, and so on.
The final tip is the simplest and most important of them all: have fun! Road trips are made to be memorable and magical in all the right ways. Many families and groups of friends are able to look back fondly on their road trips for the rest of their lives, and you can do the same.
Soak in every minute and make the most of your escape from day to day life. We all need a break from the grind every now and then to rest, reset, and get back to who we are.
Stay safe and happy traveling,