How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

By Kimberly Graf. Published on April 13, 2022

You could just hop in the car, point your wheels in any direction and hope for the best. Sure, you'll have fun, but… you could also plan at least a loose outline of your road trip. It might go a whole lot smoother that way. But how do you even start?

There are a few essential components that you're going to want to plan out, while some other stuff can be a little more fluid. Experience has taught us that the best road trip might not be one that's entirely planned out, either. So we've put together this list to help you plan your perfect road trip.

Location, Location, Location

You may have heard that road trips aren't all about the destination, but how you get there. That's entirely true! But it turns out, having a good destination in mind can also make you that much more excited about those parts of road trips that aren't all that comfortable.

a couple driving sunset

Go where you want to go, and see the things you want to see. At least look up the area you're going to be in to make sure that you aren't going to miss anything that you'd rather not miss. Have an idea, but also be prepared to throw that idea out the window when it comes down to it. Have a plan, but don't make it so rigid that you're afraid to be spontaneous.

Safety First

Make sure that you're traveling safe, even if you're just going a few hours away. Keep your emergency kit with you at all times, and always check your tires and fluids. Be stocked up in case you do run into an emergency situation.

The Best Gear for Your Road Trips

Basically – be smart about it. Make sure your car is in perfect running shape before you head out on any adventures, and make sure that you have all the necessary gear to handle any misadventures. Don't forget the spare tire!

Traveling Companions

You should totally take anyone with you that wants to go. It's a great bonding experience for friends and significant others alike. But there are a few things to bear in mind when you start bringing people along, and space has nothing to do with it. Some of the most fun road trips are with five people crammed into a sedan.

Road trip and camping

But you want to make sure that everyone's okay with that. In fact, making sure that everyone is comfortable is probably one of the best things you can do to ensure the success of your road trip. The last thing you want is to get on the road and have someone not be okay with the way things are going.

Also make sure that you can spend numerous hours in the car with whoever you choose to take with you. If you can't stand them for very long, it's probably not a good idea to take them with you.


This is one of those not so fun things that you still have to be aware of when planning a road trip. Make sure that you're going to have enough funds to get you back home again, no matter where you choose to go. If you have a job where you can work from anywhere, it's a little less stressful. Otherwise, make sure that you have plenty saved up to make it happen.

Create a Road Trip Budget

The Right Stuff

Having the right gear can turn a potentially great road trip into a drag for everyone involved. Make sure that you have just enough creature comforts to make it fun while still maintaining the road trip atmosphere. Take all your cell phone car chargers, extra pillows and blankets, and music that everyone is going to enjoy.

Family Packing Road Trip Snacks

But it doesn't stop there. Snacks, power inverters, mobile hotspots, and other tech and lifestyle gear choices are also beneficial. Basically, it depends on the degree to which you feel comfortable going. If all you and your friends want to take is some sunglasses and an extra change of clothes, then that's the gear that will make for a perfect road trip.

Don't Have a Plan

And ultimately, as long as you've got most of these things figured out, there's no real reason to have a concrete plan. Go where the road takes you and experience life to the fullest. Remember, there are people who never get out and never see the things you're going to see – so make the most of it no matter where you're going!

Rearview shot of a couple reading a map while sitting in a car

It's nice to have a plan when you go road tripping – but for the most part, this stops at having the right stuff, the right people, and the right funds to get it done. Otherwise, outside of a vague idea –the road is yours, and you're making your own schedule! You can plan every minute of the day or you can let the road take you where it will. Your perfect road trip is the one you want to take!


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