Summer is here, and summer road trips are once again back on the menu! Whether you are taking family on a multi-stop domestic holiday, or shuttling friends across the country to catch a festival, your summer road trip will require some planning. How best should you go about planning such a thing?
Setting a budget is a vitally important early-stage task you should do before getting too far into planning your trip. Knowing exactly what you have available in terms of funds will allow you to make more informed decisions about key aspects of your trip, and could even save you a headache when it comes to setting off.
Your budget not only covers your spending money at any destinations on your road trip, but also the running costs of your car during that trip and even emergency costs. With fuel prices rising, the cost of re-filling your car could eat into your travel purse a little more than you’re expecting; likewise, an unexpected car breakdown could end your trip prematurely if you don’t have the funds for an immediate repair, or to hire a car for the remainder.
Good planning is a natural requirement for any road trip, and this summer is no different. If you have any concrete destinations for overnight stays on your road trip map, you should make sure you have guaranteed accommodation for the nights you expect to arrive – whether a camping plot or a hotel bed.
You should also make note of all service stations and potential fuel stops on your route, so you are never in the dark about your next fuelling opportunity. You might even pick out some quiet rural spots for driving breaks, where you and your passengers can simply enjoy the view before carrying on.
Speaking of advance planning, you should also start packing a little earlier than you might otherwise think to. Giving yourself ample time to pack well and pack carefully can ensure you won’t be missing anything when you do.
If you’re travelling with friends, or over a particularly long distance with multiple stops, it goes without saying that you’ll need a spacious car to fit everything in. As far as what ‘everything’ constitutes, there are some key road-trip items you will need on top of your regular clothes and toiletries packing:
- Power banks and car charging adapters, to keep your phones well-charged during longer stretches.
- Back-up road maps, in case your devices lose signal or battery.
- Blankets and pillows, to make camping more comfortable – and in case of an impromptu overnight stay in the car.
- Drinks and snacks, for fun!
Don’t Forget the ‘Fun’
Lastly, it is especially important that you don’t lose sight of the reason for your road trip: fun. Getting bogged down in the details can make road trips seem a serious endeavour, but once all the planning and preparation is out of the way, there is little left to do but give yourself to enjoying the experience. Just be sure to carry this philosophy through to the journey itself, where diversions and necessary route changes can easily derail the good vibes!