How to Plan an Epic Road Trip

Road Trips are my favorite way to adventure. The truth is I was 18 years old the first time I set foot on a plane. I was raised navigating trips with a big spiral-bound road atlas on my lap in the back seat of our family car, calling out road names and junction numbers as we drove from our home on the east coast of Scotland down to our favorite camping spots in England (Berwick, York, Scarborough, Whitley Bay, Stroud, Peterborough, Bath) after a summer of early morning rises to spend the day picking strawberries as a family at a local farm to raise money for our week-long summer camping excursion. That road atlas I guarded on my lap was a bonus for me in the pre-screen, cassette tape era, when looking out the window was all the entertainment you needed.

Years later, I’m now based in the US, confident that I’ve mastered the art of the road trip, and want to share some of my top tips with you!

To get started let’s start considering these questions:

  • How far do you want to drive? 
  • How long do you have for a trip? 
  • What’s your budget?
  • A good start is also deciding where you want to end up, right?
  • Are you sharing the driving duties?
  • Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit?
  • Where will you sleep at night? Camping? Hotels? Friends’ homes?
  • How much do you want to pack?

1. Who’s in the crew? Family trips are fantastic, girls trips are therapeutic, sister trips, couples trips… so many options, and depending on what you decide you can dole out responsibilities to each person ie. co-pilot, snack provider, playlist creator, restaurant picker, purveyor of podcasts, audiobook selector, charging cable carrier. Get everyone involved!

When I road trip with a group I like to take into account something each person would enjoy. Typically, if you have an eager group they’ll be happy to experience new things together but I like to consider each of their preferences when planning the specifics.

2. Decide where you’re going. Plugin your destination to Roadside America and Roadtrippers to show stops you likely would have missed along the way. You’re guaranteed the best photo ops and pit stops when you use these types of resources. If you need to stop to stretch your legs it might as well be somewhere you can take a photo, in my opinion.

3. Are you driving your own car or a rental? Try something new like an RV or refurbished van. Route 66 in a convertible is on my bucket list!

4. Where will you sleep along the way? Camping is a great option especially if your goal is hiking and nature-related – how about a night in a Covered wagon or a yurt? Treehouses, Geodesic Domes, and Converted Boxcars are options too. Hotels with breakfast included are great if you value comfort, showering, and a convenient hot meal to start the day. Glamping often provides a comfy bed and hot shower too and is worth considering. Of course, you could check out Airbnb and Vrbo to cover all your bases.

5. What kind of things do you want to see on your trip? Pinpoint what you’d like to experience and maybe discover something you never knew about. Google is your friend as you dive into exploring these options. Do you want to go somewhere you’ve never been? Hot springs, museums, ghost towns, National Parks, seasonal festivals, hot air balloons, locations where movies were filmed, paddleboarding, hiking, mountain biking, shopping, shows, and performances… It all depends on what you’re in the mood for.

Compile Group Photos with Google and iCloud

I use google photos to create an album for all the photos from each trip. You can add people in your group to your google folder to compile all of the memories in one place. The new Persnickety Box app is partnered with Google Photos! Swipe all the favorites into your box. Close your boxes on the drive home and prints will arrive within a few days! Send a box to each person in your group in one click. The Persnickety Box app is available on both iOS and Android and makes it easy to relive your adventure again. If you’re an iCloud user, create a shared album and send it to the group as well. An Android user can view and download a shared iCloud folder but they can’t add to it.


document the adventure

Once the trip is over make sure everyone has their pics uploaded and then it’s time for memory keeping! You gotta print ‘em! Send each person a Persnickety Box of road trip memories in one click right inside of the app! Or you could plan a night to document your trip together, we love Studio Calico’s traveler’s notebook and documenter kits for this.

Laura is a small shop owner, branding designer, strategist, and member of the Persnickety Prints creative team. @ByBeaAndElle | @SugarGrenadeDesigns

  • Persnickety is not affiliated or sponsored by any companies or links listed in this post

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