How To Plan {and prepare for} A Road Trip

by - March 12, 2015

Road Tripping {a save your sanity series} - How to plan and prepare for a road tripRoad Tripping {a save your sanity series} Part Four

So, by now we've established that I might overdo it a little bit when it comes to planning.  

Today, while discussing the upcoming trip with a friend, we were interrupted by an older couple who are of the 'fly by the seat of their pants' persuasion.  They road trip regularly.  And they do it without a plan.  

"Oh, you can always find a place to stay or get gas along the interstate," she told us.  She doesn't see the point in planning or booking ahead.


Nope.  Can't do it.  Not when I have three children to worry about.

Planning is my key to serenity.

How to plan and prepare for a road trip

How to plan and prepare for a road trip

Step 1. Know where you're going.

There has always been an open invitation to visit my husbands Aunt and Uncle in South Carolina and so our entire trip was built around spending some time with them.

How to plan and prepare for a road trip {road trip fund} 


Step 2. Save your pennies.

Budget for gas, food, shopping {Charleston City Market anyone?!}, coffee stops, etc.  And get the kids to save so they can have some spending money of their own.  I outfitted each child with a jar and they eagerly did extra chores for cash in hopes of having the most when we leave.  It's amazing how much wood a boy can pile when he realizes it will help him buy himself cotton candy at Folly Beach.

Step 3. Map out your route. 

I discovered and it was a huge tool in choosing which way to go and where to stop along the way.  It will show you points of interest, places to stop for great pictures, restaurants, hotels - basically anything you want to look for along the way.

Step 4. Organize.

I did this with my Road Trip Binder.  It keeps everything neat and tidy and ready for easy access at any point I need it.

Before you go:

  • Book your hotel rooms. {I used}  I made sure every place I booked had free parking, free wifi, and free breakfast.
  • Print off your itinerary for reference.
  • Get travel insurance.
  • Get an oil change & top up all fluids.
  • Exchange your money {if you're crossing a border}.
  • Arrange for someone to check on your house/water your plants/feed your cat.
  • Grocery shop for traveling snacks.
  • Go to the library and borrow some audio books.
  • Ensure your phone plan provides what you need for where you're going.
  • Check the extended forecast for where you'll be each day and pack accordingly.
  • Clean the car.

Stay tuned all week as I share more of my brilliant Road Trip Tips {including 10 Road Trip Survival Tips}

Do you have any road trip advice?  I'd love to hear it!

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© Alanna Rusnak