Travel experts declared 2020 “The Year of the Road Trip” — and that trend won’t change anytime soon. It’s still the safest way to travel during the pandemic, and the allure will likely continue long after.
Do you dream of driving old Route 66? Circling the Outer Ring Road in Iceland? Traversing the Alcan Highway?
Wherever your wanderlust wants to take you, our road trip guide will help you prepare. Keep reading for your crash course in Road Tripping 101.
Choose the Right Vehicle
If you plan to use your own car, make sure it’s ready for the coming miles. Get an oil change, top-up those fluids, and make sure the tires are in good shape (or get new ones installed).
Depending on the route, you may also choose to rent a car, campervan, or RV. Be sure to factor in gas mileage and what the roads and parking options will be like along the way. You don’t want to pull into New York City (and try to find a parking space) in a 40-foot RV!
Speaking of RVs, if you’ve been thinking of buying an RV, 2021 is the perfect year to make it happen. You’ll have the freedom to drive and sleep just about anywhere, all while safely maintaining physical distancing.
Plan Your Route
There are two ways to plan your road trip: by the destination, or by the route.
Let’s say you live in Oklahoma and you want to take a road trip to Florida. You could swing south and hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast beaches of the Florida panhandle. Or you could stay farther north and drive through the Ozarks in Arkansas and the charming small towns of Alabama and Georgia.
Another option is to plan your route based on people you want to visit or activities you want to do. If your goal is to visit family, you might decide that it’s best to visit your cousin in Tennessee, your brother in South Carolina, and your grandparents in Florida before you loop back home.
You can also plan your road trip based on specific sites or interests. Do you want to visit all the National Parks in Utah or drive the Pacific Coast Highway top to bottom? You might also plan your route around the best places to go kayaking or the top restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Do Practical Research Too
Before you get too excited, be sure to look at the practical aspects of your road trip too.
What will the weather be like at your destination (and along the way)? Are you likely to run into a snowstorm? Is it the peak of hurricane season? The more you research, the better you’ll be able to pack and the more prepared you’ll be.
Bonus tip: Don’t rely solely on Google’s estimates for driving time. If it says it will take six hours to drive to a certain destination, factor in at least eight, including fuel fill-ups, bathroom breaks, and unexpected sights along the way.
Use This Road Trip Guide to Unlock Adventure
There are few things in life as exhilarating as long-distance travel.
As you prepare your next road-tripping adventure, bookmark this road trip guide for reference. That way you’ll be sure you didn’t miss anything in the planning process!
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