Spring is coming, and it's looking like the perfect time for a road trip. These multi-day tours can be incredibly relaxing even without an expensive destination. While a spontaneous escape is always satisfying, prior planning can add stability and peace of mind to an excursion, especially for cross-country jaunts.
Regardless of how long your trip is, take these considerations into account when planning your escape to ensure smooth sailing.
Keep the time in mind
If you're planning your trip in advance, the first thing to decide is how long it will last. A day trip is pretty easy to fit into a lazy Saturday, but multi-day escapades either require precise planning to fit into a weekend or time off. If you go on a multi-day trip, allocate an extra day before returning to work so you can transition back to normality smoothly.
Don't forget to plan some type of schedule into your road trip days too. What activities will you be doing on which days, and how long will it take to get from Point A to Point B, C and so on?
Pick the destinations
One of the best reasons to plan ahead for road trips is figuring out where your meandering path could lead. Whether you're hopping from one place to another or driving out to a special location, the most scenic routes are almost always the best paths.
Interstates are excellent for getting somewhere quickly, but a classic winding road will generally be prettier, especially since the lower speeds let you take in more of the environment’s beauty.
In many cases, it's best (and cheapest) to just set a particularly pretty road or region as your destination, so search state tourism guides to find breathtaking sites practically in any corner of the country.
Don't forget to consider your intermediate destinations too. Where do you want to stop and rest for multi-day trips? Hotels make for reliable, conventional pit stops, but they tend to be expensive, especially in tourist-trafficked areas. Campgrounds offer a cheap and more adventurous solution, especially if the outdoors sounds like the perfect vacation to you.
Set a budget
You should have some budget for any trip longer than a day, and it's not just for gasoline and lodging. Take into account food costs, souvenirs and entertainment. Plus, whatever you believe it'll cost, add 20% just so that your budget isn’t a stressor while you're out and about.
Road trips are inexpensive compared to most other vacations, so even if your budget is less than $100, money should not be overwhelming your mind on the trip. Give yourself the budget, but don’t pinch pennies.
Find a car you can rely on
The last, and most important, consideration is the car that'll enable your road trip. Many people opt for their own vehicle, but if your car isn’t suited for a long journey, a rental can be a great option. The right car can make or break the trip, whether it’s yours or something fresh, so you want to be confident in the car's abilities to get you where you want to go.