4 Things You Need to Know When Planning a Road Trip

Planning a road trip for Spring Break or sometime this summer? A well-planned road trip can be so much more than just driving from Point A to Point B—and a great way to bond with family or friends. Before you hit the road, here are four smart strategies for getting the most out of your trip.

Get Your Road Trip Planning Down to a Science 
Data scientist Randy Olson recently mapped out the best cross country road trip of all time: a route that stops in all 48 states in the contiguous U.S. without endless hours driving through boring landscapes. While his Great American Road Trip map is super-comprehensive (Olson estimates it would most likely take 2-3 months to complete), it’s worth a look as you’re planning the route for your next road trip.

Pack Healthy Snacks for the Car 
Don’t waste money picking up fast food at highway rest stops. Instead, pack a cooler with healthy car-friendly snacks, and save the rest of your road trip food budget for memorable meals at local destinations along the way. Remember: You won’t be as active as usual when you’re logging long hours in the car, so healthy snacks will keep you feeling good, rather than gross and tired. If you’re planning a trip that lasts more than a 2 or 3 days, plan to stop at grocery stores to refill your cooler with ice, water, and snacks.

Travel Safely With Your Pets 
If you’re bringing your pup along with you for your trip, these tips for traveling with pets will make your ride much smoother. You should also plan ahead to get your pet used to the idea of long trips: Instead of springing a 12 hour drive on your cat the day you plan to leave, work your way up with small trips that gradually get longer until they’re no longer anxious when they’ve been in the car for an extended period of time. And remember, if you start to feel like you need a break, they probably do, too!

Get the Best Deals on the Road 
Planning on stopping at one or two amusement parks on your way? Knock down costs with membership services like AARP or deals through your company. You can even save money and time by choosing smart days to go to the parks; simple changes like going on a less popular weekday may save you a bundle and cut down on the time you’re waiting in line. For even bigger savings, check out nearby hotels to see if they offer deals on tickets to parks or a shuttle service from the hotel to the park, which will help you avoid costly parking fees.


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Image Credit: William Warby/Flickr

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