Travel Methods: Road Trip

The road trip is one of the more ubiquitous travel methods in vacation pop culture. Whether it’s a girls’ weekend away or a month’s-long family drive around the country, road tripping continues to be one of the most popular forms of seeing the world. Relatively low-cost and surprisingly accessible, this is great for both travelers looking to get away on a whim and those who like to plan their trips precisely. Going on a road trip, however, is not nearly as easy as daydreaming about one. There are a few tips and tricks to having a successful drive, and while not every person will have the same experience, adhering to some tried-and-true strategies is the best way to guarantee a low-stress adventure. For a lot of us, not having a plan is part of the lure for going on a road trip. Even still, to be safe and reasonably comfortable, you should have a sense of the steps involved in planning a road trip in terms of choosing a route, finding lodging and seeing the world along the way.

As with most long-distance traveling, less is more when spending much of your trip in the car. The fewer items you bring along, the better. Within a few days, a perfectly packed car will turn into a collection of trash, dirty clothes, and lost belongings. If you start light, you’ll be able to use the extra space for souvenirs and additional comfort on those long stretches of road.

The biggest issue most people encounter when starting a road trip is unsurprising: timing. Whether you’re trying to decide which day to leave or how early to get up, it is essential to pick a plan and stick to it. If you start your drive even a couple of hours late, you risk not being able to find a place to sleep, messing up your meal schedule, or becoming stressed out on what should otherwise be a relaxing trip. A road trip, as they say, is more about the journey than the destination. Don’t harm your experience by trying to get an extra few minutes of sleep each morning.

Finally, though road trips are relatively inexpensive, all things considered, you’ll still need to make and stick to a strict budget. It can be tempting to buy and try everything you see as you drive down the highway, but remember to prioritize what you need: gas, food, and shelter. It can take some time to figure out what type of budget works best for your envisioned trip, so start with an extra frugal plan. If, after a few days, you find yourself with extra money, adjust accordingly. You don’t want to limit yourself too much, but you also don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no gas money.