Looking for a road trip planner with stops and the best tips to plan the perfect road trip? We’ve put together this step-by-step guide, loaded with tools, that’ll tell you everything you need to know when planning a road trip.
The open road is calling your name! But before you jump in the car and hit the road, you’ll need to do a little planning and preparation first.
The first step is the fun one: selecting the route. To do so, decide what’s most important to you: distance, destination, or budget. Once you know this, you can begin researching and building out the rest of your plans.
Make sure your route is broken down into doable driving segments both to and from your final destination. Your plan should also include a list of attractions you want to see along the way.
Tip: Ahead of your road trip, research attractions’ hours and visitor guidelines. Reservations may be required.
Once you know where you’re going, you’ll need to decide where to stay.
If your road trip is all about the great outdoors and you plan on camping, visit recreation.gov to find and book campsites on your route.
Or, check out Airbnb for a more unique lodging selection.
You’ve heard it, you’ve probably said it, and we all know it’s true: “there’s an app for everything.” And as a matter of fact, there’s quite a few to aid in your road trip success. Here are the ones we suggest downloading before you go:
TripIt: Yeah, so this might be a shameless plug, but we can really help! You’ve already selected and booked your lodging and attractions, so let us automagically create an itinerary for you. That way you can find all your plans in one place and you won’t have to dig through all your email to find times, locations, and confirmation numbers. TripIt will also help you find restaurants (for takeaway meals), cafés, and stores near your pit stops with our Nearby Places feature. Our Navigator feature can act as GPS to help you navigate between stops. We also recommend leveraging Neighborhood Safety Scores (which include COVID-19 data) to assess the risk of a place you’re thinking of visiting along your route.
OpenTable: With OpenTable, you can decide on a restaurant around you based off of reviews and photos. Dining al fresco? You can book a table right in the app. From there, you can forward your reservations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spotify: Every road trip needs good jams and lots of them! Although the free version of this service is awesome, it’ll definitely be worth your money to upgrade to premium for your road trip. For just $9.99 a month you have access to any song at anytime… even when you’re offline.
AAA: Although we suggest you check out your car before leaving, you never know what can happen out there on the road. With this app, you can contact roadside assistance and help them locate you. You can also discover AAA discount locations, Diamond-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
Wi-Fi Finder: Whether you need to post to Facebook, FaceTime mom, or email your team, Wi-Fi Finder will help you stay connected by locating both free and paid Wi-Fi spots.
On your road trip you’re going to see some breathtaking sights and make some incredible memories, so documentation will be key.
If you’re into the visuals, snapping pics on your phone is a must. Step up your editing game with VSCO Cam; this will help your pictures come to life and look at least half as beautiful as in real life. Then your photo will be ready to share on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to tag your pictures with #TripItPic to share your travels and have a chance to be featured on our page.
For your videos, you can use Magisto to automatically create and edit amazing videos, complete with music and effects.
Evernote is yet another great documentation tool. Write down everything you love and learn along the way, and add photos to create the ultimate travel journal.
Any other road trip tips? Tweet us @TripIt! Happy travels!