Road trips are a such favorite because going on one is a fun way to not just explore new places or things but also to bond with friends, family, or even just yourself. But while getting in your car and answering the call of the open road sounds great, spontaneity has many disadvantages, from not being able to find a place to stay for the night to wasting time and mileage by taking wrong turns. This doesn’t mean that you have to plan out every single minute of your trip, but you should at least have an idea of where you’re going and what you want to see.
Here are tips on how to map out your road trip.
Figure Out What You’re Interested in Seeing
First, you won’t have an enjoyable trip if you don’t factor in what you’d like to see on your travels. Are you fascinated by historic landmarks? Have you always wanted to see the manufacturing process of sports cars- from turbo engines to intercoolers? Or do you always go to new destinations to eat new food instead of visiting tourist traps?
You don’t want to map out a route that passes through all the best hamburger spots when what you want to see are landmarks like the Grand Canyon or the Golden Gate Bridge.
Even if you’re not sure what your interests are, it’s a good idea to figure that out first. Try to recall all the times you’ve gone on vacation and what made those trips enjoyable for you. You can also look up different travel destinations online and see what interests you.
Get a Good Road Map
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’ll be surprised at how many people try to map out their road trips without a good, old-fashioned paper map. Sure, GPS systems are great, but they’re not always accurate and they can be expensive if you don’t have one built into your car.
Plus, there’s something satisfying about planning out your route on a map and then tracing it with your finger as you travel. It’s a good way to get a feel for the distance you’ll be traveling and what parts of the country or world you’ll be seeing.
Plot Your Route
Once you’ve figured out what you want to see and have a good map, it’s time to start plotting your route. If you’re starting from scratch, a good way to do this is to pick a destination and then work your way backward, figuring out the best way to get there.
And you can still use online mapping tools to help you out. These sites will allow you to input your starting point and destination and then give you a few different route options to choose from.
Once you’ve selected a route, you can use a pencil or highlighter to trace it on your map so you’ll be able to easily follow it when you’re driving.
Mapping out your road trip doesn’t have to be complicated. Just figure out what you want to see, get a good map, and plot your route. By following these simple steps, you’ll be sure to have a trip that’s both enjoyable and hassle-free.