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The Complete Beginner's Guide on How to Plan a Road Trip

Divya Bichu Aug 20, 2019
Planning a road trip properly, will make your trip organized and far more adventurous. Here are a few tips on planning a road trip and the factors to be considered while doing so.
"Where is the camera?? Oh crap! No fuel and can't see the fuel station anywhere near-by... whose brilliant idea was this!! I am running out of cash" You get to hear all this when your trip is not well-organized or well planned. Don't you?? Well, yes. It is most common and always happens.
But one can definitely avoid these small hangups, by planning the road trip well in advance, making all the arrangements properly, and considering all the factors to make things work smooth and easy.

Trips are a great bonding experience. They bring families and friends closer, and most importantly, create wonderful memories for lifetime.
Umpteen number of things have to be considered, as it is more difficult than what it seems. Your planning alone will make the trip either disastrous or a great one. To avoid all these pitfalls, we have made a list of various factors to be considered while planning your road trip.

Planning a Road Trip Well


Selecting a destination is very important. And more so if you are planning it across America, as the country gives a wide variety right from deserts, mountains, ocean shores, shopping destinations or small towns that haven't changed for years now.
All of them are super exciting to explore and the trip is sure to amaze you with how diverse and huge the US is. Once you zero down on to your destination, decide the route you are going to take. Keep a map handy, you never know.

Fuel and Other Fluids Check in the Car

Check whether there is enough gas, get the oil changed, fill the windshield fluid, and get your car ready for the long trip. Get the car fully serviced to avoid trouble. Keep your license, registration, and insurance up-to-date in your car.


The people you are planning the road trip with make all the difference in the basic planning.
If you have your family and kids along, you have to be a little more attentive towards their needs, and if you're planning it with your friends, it can be more spaced out and relaxed. But anyway, both are going to be super fun and memorable.


Music gets everything rocking. Carry your favorite music which can be played in the car while driving. Music also reduces the intensity of fatigue on a long road trip. If you're planning the trip with your kids, make sure you carry snacks, water-bottles, juice boxes and fruits.
Store convenient food anyway. Carry garbage bags to dispose the waste. Some kids or even adults suffer from motion sickness, therefore you must carry vomit bags too. Also make sure you and the kids (if traveling with them) use the restroom every time you stop.


Ensure you carry enough cash or cards and don't run out of them. With less cash or no cash, you just might have to compromise on a lot of things, which you don't want to, so go loaded.
To capture beautiful moments and make them immortal, a camera is essential. Make sure you carry it along, charge it and replace it with new batteries if the camera happens to work on batteries. Games!! Here is when the fun comes in. Plan for games, adults enjoy it as much as kids, and they are always a great idea on a long road trip.


While traveling with kids and family, hotel booking should be confirmed beforehand. With friends, it's fun to stay at a roadside motel when it gets dark, it adds more adventure to your trip; you get to meet interesting people as well.

Other Accessories

Figuring out what has to be carried during the road trip and packing your trunk efficiently is another important thing. You don't want to regret forgetting something you 'so' wanted on the trip. 
For example, your sunglasses and sunscreen must be carried. If you don't want those embarrassing sunburns and the tan, sunscreen should be kept handy. Sunglasses reduce the strain on your eyes and look stylish at the same time.
Wearing flip-flops is recommended, because during a long road trip, kids or may be even adults usually happen to take them off in the car. They are easy and convenient to slip into and take off during every pit stop.

Avoid Peak Traffic Hours

A trip that you have planned most probably is because you want to break from the long work hours, traffic and routine, right? Therefore, check your route and study the place well. Remember, even though you are on a vacation, the world is still working.
Make sure you avoid the rush hours, because then you will be beating the whole purpose of the trip itself. So, plan your route accordingly. You can also make use of bypasses and alternate routes to avoid peak driving times.

Acquire Ideas and Information about the Place

Put in more time and interest in planning your trip. Get to know all the famous areas and places in and around the destination, and make sure you visit them, because you do not want to miss out on anything. Find out the different attractions and how to get there. You can also consult road trip planners for more ideas.

Just Go All Out and Have Fun!!!

A happy state of mind is the aim of the trip. So go all out and have a blast. Despite proper planning, things can go wrong sometime. But, you don't have to worry, instead take it in the right stride.
You are going to be laughing uproariously on those silly things that went wrong when you look back at it once you are back from the trip. Lay back. Relax. Laugh. And enjoy the self planned road trip!!!
With these checklist, nothing can go wrong planning a road trip. So now that you know how to plan a road trip, make it the most memorable one, enjoy and have a blast!!!