The ongoing pandemic has changed the way we vacation. But rather than trying to ignore your travel itch, why not set your sights on the open road?
According to Destination Analysts, 61.3 percent of U.S. travelers surveyed say they’re planning on taking a road trip in 2022. Driving tends to be more cost-effective than flying, and you have greater mobility. You can stop off anywhere along the way and enrich your travel experience.
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Here are a few things you should consider when starting to plan a road trip in 2022
Get ready for the ultimate road trip! Whether you’re traveling cross-country or just for a quick weekend getaway, planning ahead will make your trip smoother and more enjoyable. Here’s how to create a detailed itinerary, plan your route, and make sure you don’t miss any of the best sights on the way!
Create a basic itinerary
While many fancy the freedom of a Jack Kerouac, it’s best to create an itinerary before hitting the road. Map out the places you really want to visit, taking into account distance, roads required, and any local restrictions in effect during COVID. Download your maps in case you hit an area without cell service.
Leave room for flexibility and improvisation in your itinerary. Travel will always throw curveballs your way. Just remember it’s all part of the journey.
And if you’re experiencing anxiety over traveling right now, consider picking low-key, quiet destinations—somewhere off the beaten path where you can enjoy the outdoors and relax.
Set a Route & Find Accommodations
After you’ve decided on your destination(s) and the length of your road trip, it’s time to map out a route.
Research the area you plan to drive through using online maps or navigation apps so that you can see which roads are available to take.
Once you’ve determined your route, book accommodations in advance along the way. You don’t want a surprise last-minute detour or stop because there are no rooms available!
Research Interesting Stops along the Way
Finding interesting stops along the way can make your road trip even more memorable. Whether you’re stopping by tourist attractions, historic sites, or quirky roadside attractions – research these ahead of time to ensure you make the most out of every leg of your journey.
Dedicate some time for exploration, sightseeing, and fun activities throughout your route to create an enjoyable travel experience.
Book your stay ahead of time
You’re not the only one getting ready to hit the road, which means accommodations fill up fast. Use an app like Launchtrip to easily find and book hotels ahead of time, and avoid the stress of scrambling for last-minute options.
Plus, hotel and motel rules and availability may differ during COVID. The last thing you want is to show up at a hotel late at night that requires 24-hour notice of booking. We also suggest booking accommodation that provides contactless check-in and checkout to minimize face-to-face interactions. One good option to choose from is luxury chalet rentals like Val D’Isere Chalets.
If you’re planning to camp, look into campsites in advance. Some may have COVID restrictions. And make sure to book popular destinations, such as major National Parks, well in advance.
Planning the ultimate road trip involves packing thoughtfully. Know what to pack.
Three pairs of sandals may seem important at the time, but if you get stranded, they’re not going to be much help. Leave room for essentials, such as non-perishable food, a water container, and a portable power station.
It’s also never a bad idea to have a tent and camping chairs in case you’re forced to improvise an overnight stay.
Finally, make sure you have your COVID kit, including masks, lots of hand sanitizer, and a few rapid tests.
Review your budget
When you are all done with the planning and booking, it is best to review your budget to know if you can stretch it.
Calculate the big expenses first such as car, accommodation, and food. Always leave some extra budget for your daily basis activity on the road because you don`t want to be stressing about your budget while traveling.
Always be flexible with the budget. I like to write down all the things I need in a planner. Get the total amount and add some extra to the grand total. It`s always a good thing to be prepared and review your budget.
ALSO READ: Why you should visit Japan
Consider Your Vehicle Maintenance Needs
Before you hit the road, make sure to have your car inspected for any maintenance needs. Have an oil change if necessary and fill up on gas so that it’s ready to go.
It’s a smart idea to pack touch-up paint kits for vehicle maintenance before a road trip. Before setting out on a lengthy journey, it’s crucial to check that the car is in good working order.
Having a touch-up paint kit on hand will help you swiftly take care of any minor dings or chips that happen along the route. Furthermore, touch-up paint kits are lightweight and convenient to pack in case repairs are required while traveling.
Additionally, be aware of any potential road hazards based on the weather and terrain you will traverse – this could influence what type of tires or spare tires you should pack!
Prepare for Emergencies & Weather Conditions
Road trips can be unpredictable; it’s important to be prepared for any emergency or unexpected weather conditions. Research the route you plan to drive, particularly the roads less traveled – is there a reliable cell signal?
How quick is the response time for emergency services? Is there a climate risk and will you need to carry extra supplies such as blankets, food, and water? Have a contingency plan should anything go wrong, as well as an emergency kit with tools, maps, and medical supplies.
Sharing is Caring
Before heading out on an extended trip, check that your car’s up to it. You don’t want to get an hour from home only to have your engine light blinking. Not only is that an expensive hassle, but it would require coming into contact with service personnel.
Just in case you do end up plagued by car trouble, invest in a AAA membership so you aren’t gouged by towing fees.
Finally, always make sure you’re covered by travel insurance! A lot of people travel without it and this is not recommended. Safety first when it comes to planning your ultimate road trip.
Fransic verso says
Great guide to plan a road trip. Last time we were on a road trip, we didn’t set the accommodation and it was not good one. We learned to be ready haha.
Yeah, always be ready.
Neely Moldovan says
So many great tips! I look foward to my kids being a smidge older and doing more road trips!
Thank you for reading.
Blair Villanueva says
Having a road trip is our favorite couple’s activity. We usually pack thoughtfully and light. And instead of staying in expensive hotels, we opt for local Airbnb’s or local inn.
I love staying locals too or Airbnb.
A Nation of Moms says
It is good to have a road trip strategy. Traveling is so much easier when you do a lot of planning.
MELANIE E says
I’ve not been on a road trip in so long. This is great advice. Booking accommodation in advance is very important.
We do a lot of road tripping and I agree to all of this! I’m actually on the way home from a trip right now (13 hours from Houston to visit Angel Fire, New Mexico) and we have a very similar routine when it comes to planning any vacation.
Luna S says
Great information! I love taking road trips with my family.
These are great recommendations! I haven’t done a big a road trip and hope to be able to get one done this year!
Ntensibe Edgar says
Nnniiiiccceeeee….thank you for this elaborate guide! I love planning to the final detail, for my trips so that I am able to enjoy them fully, to the maximum.