Summer is usually the best time for everyone. To me and my family, it’s our road-trip season.My husband and I love traveling; therefore, we go on road trips every summer to look for new experiences in different parts of the country as well as the world.

Our kids love road trips even more than we do. Despite the fact that they are only 12 and 15, they have gone through almost every place in America, such as Colorado, Carolina, California, and so on. Road trips are great occasions for them to relax after long semesters at school and learn camping skills.

I can be proud to say that if I let them prepare their own trip right now, they can do it excellently.I know that not many of you have known about what to prepare for your own trip like my children; therefore, I am writing this article to give you all of the tips for planning a road trip. They include everything I have shared with my kids within the last six years.

So I hope you would have a great time discovering them.

1. Choose your destination

  • First, you need to know where you are going, which depends on what your road trip style is. Does your road trip have a purpose? Is it to visit your grandmother or just to travel?
  • Do you have a specific destination or like to stop by any place on the way and have fun? You want to sleep in a hotel or under the sky with a tent? 
  • Think about all of those things; then, ask yourself what your style is and where you want to go before starting. You will avoid tons of time being lost along the trip.

There are many tools you can use to have a perfect route. For example:

  • Roadtrippers (https://roadtrippers.com/): It’s a very useful website to look for the shortest way, all the places you can stop, and also the hotels or camps you can sleep overnight.
  • OnTheWay (http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/): It can help you not only look for the road but also find out the best stops as well as excellent destinations, such as museums, parks, attractions. What I like about it is that it’s an app used on iOS, so you can download it to your Mac or iPhone and use it on the trip. 
  • Touristeye (http://www.touristeye.com/): Another great tool to build a road trip plan. Although Touristeye does not show you how to organize the destinations or the best places to visit, you can find the best experiences of each place under the eye of a tourist. Therefore, sometimes you don’t need to plan, just let it surprise you.

2. Find the best time

The next part is to decide when to start and how long your road trip is going to last. This is a very important factor to set up the money and package, which I will mention in the following sections. An average time for a road trip is usually 10 days. If you live in America, it’s sufficient for you to go through and several states. But if you have time and have a trip across America, it takes at least 20 days.

Planning the time is not difficult, but it is much relevant to other factors. So make your choice wisely. My secret is not to pick a specific period but make it flexible between some numbers. For instance, I don’t plan for a 20-day-trip; I plan for an 18-to-20-day trip. Therefore, if there is anything wrong or an emergency, I can change the plan immediately. Try it if you like.


3. Calculating your budget

Now you have the time, you need to decide how much you want to pay for this road trip and how to distribute reasonably among the costs.To find out the total expense for the trip, just research the costs at the place you are heading to. The most common ones you need to think about are:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Activities

These are the most fundamental ones that you need to calculate. For my family, we have an RV, so it’s quite cost-effective for accommodation and transportation. And we also love foods, so our road trip style is spending time tasting new dishes and unique foods wherever we go. Combining with fuel cost, it usually takes about 2500 dollars for a 15-day-trip, which is nearly 170 dollars per day. It’s not quite expensive for us.

If you have a different style, which is more likely to join in activities or ride along the way with a motorbike, you can distribute a larger amount of budget on transportation. Just find out what your priority is, you will know how to spend your money.

Check this blog if you want to find more information about places and destinations: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/


4. Pack yourself

It’s time to get going. Let’s pack! These are some essentials you need to bring:

  • - Soap- Glasses (sunglasses, lenses, and so on)
  • - Sunscreen
  • - Toothbrush
  • - Toothpaste
  • - Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • - Umbrella or raincoat- Insect sprayer
  • - GPS, maps, or atlas (If your phone has GPS, it’s a convenience)
  • - Pills
  • - First aid kit
  • - Flashlight
  • - Battery charger or extra batteries
  • - Spare keys
  • - Phone number in emergencies
  • - Entertaining tools (headphones, iPod, books)

You can add more stuff to this list, as long as they can be contained in your suitcase.


5. Foods are definitely needed

Do you need to bring any foods for your road trip? I say “Yes” no matter how long your trip is. Although we usually eat out on our road trip, we still bring some snacks and nutritious foods which are easy to prepare. In case that we cannot find anything good or the foods there are not so tasty at all, we are sure to never get hungry.

But you will ask how you could keep those foods in good condition. It’s easy. Find yourself a good cooler or freezer and your foods will always be safe. Have a reasonable choice to make your pack not so heavy.

And now, for eating out, you can avoid the delicious foods like us by using these websites:

They contain reviews about the best restaurants in the world, such as Azla in Los Angeles, Ivan’s Cookhouse in Miami Beach, or Mary and Titos cafe in Albuquerque. My family is trying to taste all of the foods on this list. If you love food and culture as we do, you can try it as well.


6. Prepare your vehicle

Your vehicle is one of the most important things needed to prepare beforehand. There are many types of transportation you can try, such as plane, cars, or motorbikes.

It depends on your style.If you don’t have a car, you can rent one of going straight to a car rent location or making reservations on the phone and through the website.

If you have a car like us, it’s necessary to check if there are any troubles with the engine and ensure that it is in good condition.

Consider the updating the insurance, repairing the engine, or bringing it to a professional mechanic before starting the trip.

You don’t want your car to be crushed along the way, do you?


7. And have fun

Now you have done preparing. To make it less boring while riding, you can bring your iPod, CDs, books, or any entertaining tools you want. You can make a CDs having songs that everybody likes or decide who is going to be DJ of the day. It’ll be fun.

Besides, making your own games is not a bad idea. My kids make up their games and play all the time. It’s better to have yourself filled up with energy by games than feeling tired all the way long.These are some games you can try:

  • - I am a spy: One person picks some object in the car and each person takes turns to guess what that is.
  • - Spell my spell: A person says a word and another has to say a word having the same sound. For example, I say fantastic, then you say terrific.
  • - ABCs: Choose a topic and a letter, then name the subjects of that topic starting with the letter you have picked. For instance, I choose the topic movie and letter M. Then, I say Me Before You, and you can say, My Girl.

You can find more fantastic games in here: https://www.mrvehicle.net/beat-road-trip-games-even-youre-complete-newbie/


8. Some other useful tips

• How to save money?

  • - Make the pack as light and convenient as you can.
  • - Fill up the gas one day before starting the trip. Because you already know where the cheap gas is around your house, it’s much more cost-effective
  • - Plan some gas station along the way and find out which one has a reasonable price before going. You can try this site, it’s useful: http://fuelmyroute.com/
  • - Get yourself a travel credit card: This is a wonderful way to earn a significant number of free tickets, hotel rooms, or even cash repaid. You will be able to minimize all the cost with this tiny card. Watch this video to find out how to get it: 

• How to book a room

My experiences are to book ahead a few days before you get to the accommodation. Especially when you can anticipate the day you will get there. In long-day road trips, this is very necessary. There are some sources for you to get a room with nice price:


• Why and how to buy travel insurance

This is what travelers don’t usually notice; however, it is quite convenient and necessary. A travel insurance will help you get a new camera when yours is broken, rent a new car if it breaks down, or when somebody has health issues and you need to come home. My family usually buys travel insurance and gets a lot of bonuses as well as guarantees. Wherever you are going, it is recommended.

These are some guidance to find a good insurance company that you might want to take a look: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/travel-insurance/


Conclusion

Have you been enjoying my list so far?

I believe that your next road trip would start becoming one of the best ones in your life. Thank you for reading my article and if you like it, do share it to let other travelers know. Perhaps, you will have other companions on the road in near future. Goodbye, and see you in my subsequent articles.

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About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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