Going on vacation is not always about getting on a plane or even having a single destination. Instead, you can take a road trip, driving for its own sake and exploring the highways and byways of the landscape. The road trip is an American tradition, but if you haven’t gone on one since you were in college or you’ve never been on one, you might not know where to start your planning. Whether you’re going on your own, with friends or taking your family, the tips below can help you have the retro road trip of your dreams.
Make a Budget
If you’re looking for luxury, the road trip probably isn’t for you. Camping or cheap motels are usually the way to go, but you’ll still need to plan how much you can spend. If the vacation fund is looking a little bare and there’s not much time to save, you might want to consider taking out a personal loan. You’ll probably be surprised at how quickly you can explore what you are eligible for, getting matched in just a minute or two with loan options. Once you know what you can spend, you can plan the length of your trip and how much money you have for each day.
Make a Rough Plan
It’s not a real road trip if you over plan it, but you should have some idea of where you are going. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. The romance of road trips dates from the time before the interstate highway system. This can be a largely uninteresting series of roads, but if you try to hit the older roads that they replaced, you may find yourself stuck in 35 mile per hour speed zones or in long corridors of strip mall sprawls. The best approach is to have a few daily routes in mind and some destinations along the way, but you’ll probably enjoy yourself the most if you can identify some scenic routes. If you’ll be traveling with children, you will probably want to have more concrete plans, but having them take part in the planning is part of the fun. Get some atlases and guidebooks and let everyone pick some roadside attractions they want to see.
The remote, unpopulated wide-open spaces of the West and the long stretches without any services can come as a shock to drivers accustomed to the denser East. In some parts of the country, weather can change quickly, or there may be threats like tornadoes that you are unaccustomed to back home. Wherever you go, be sure to have a plan for emergencies. Have snacks, water, warm clothes if it’s cold, a charged phone, and physical maps in case your phone and GPS fail in case of emergencies, and pay to join a service that will come out and tow you if needed. Almost certainly, your trip will go off without a hitch, but this preparation can help ensure that if anything goes wrong, you have plenty of options that will allow you to continue your trip mostly uninterrupted.