How to plan the perfect road trip

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A successful road trip is one where everyone gets to the destination on time and is still talking to each other. Achieving that is no mean feat and takes planning, which is where we can help. Having undertaken several road trips in our time, we use our experience of what to do and what not to do in order to help you plan the perfect road trip.

Are we there yet?

As with any endeavour, the devil is in the detail when planning a road trip. The route you choose should include regular stops for bathroom breaks and to see something interesting. Nobody wants to spend 8 hours straight in a car without having some kind of diversion or something to look forward to.

There are online trip planning tools, maps, and road trip guides that can help with route planning. Use them as you see fit. Just remember to build in enough flexibility for traffic, breakdowns, or coming across something you just have to stop and see.

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Budgets are not just for bills

Driving is certainly cheaper than flying but can include hidden costs and extras you don’t think of. Build a realistic daily budget for fuel, food, drink, entrance fees to landmarks and all those things you’re planning to see and do. Add your accommodation, souvenirs and entertainment too. Then add an extra 20% on top as everything will cost more, it always does.

Carrying a credit card is also useful for those unseen emergency extras. It can be there in case of breakdown, mechanical issues or other emergencies.

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Be ruthless with your packing

Unless you drive a large SUV, space is going to be at a premium on a road trip. The more you take, the more space it uses and the more it weighs. Weight just adds to tyre wear and fuel costs so you have to be stringent with what you take with you. Nobody wants to sit in a car full of people wearing three-day-old socks but neither is it necessary to take a ball gown on a road trip. Be sensible but be strict with what you take and what you leave behind.

Ready your ride

Unless you’re hiring a car for your road trip, you will need to prepare yours for the endeavour. Get the car serviced, check tyres including the spare, pack a tool kit, make sure you can do basic repairs yourself should you need to. Also, make sure you know the location of garages along your route and the numbers for emergency roadside assistance.

Preparing for a road trip can be as exciting as the drive itself. If you do your job well, you not only have an amazing experience, your family can also come out the other side happier, closer and more worldly wise than they went in. That’s a great holiday by anyone’s standards!

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