It's never too early to start planning your vacation this year. One popular idea that you might want to try is to plan a road trip. Unlike planning for other types of vacations, you need to be more flexible when planning a road trip–because half the fun is being spontaneous and enjoying unexpected discoveries.
Some things you may want to consider are where you might go, how to find the ideal hotel, what to pack, and which games to play in the car.
Plan a Road Trip for Your Vacation This Year
Let's take a quick look at each of these factors:
Where To Go on A Road Trip
Since spontaneity is part of the adventure, you can't exactly get too structured with your planning. While you can simply jump in the car and start driving around at random, chances are you might end up driving around in a broad circle and not see anything interesting.
A better idea would be to pick a famous highway which will guarantee that you will come across interesting places and enjoy some wonderful scenery. Some famous roads that you might want to consider include:
- Oregon's Columbia River Highway,
- Middle America's Route 66,
- New Hampshire's Mount Washington Auto Road,
- Vermont's Route 100,
- Florida's U.S. Route 1,
- Michigan's Black River National Forest Scenic Byway, or
- California's Pacific Coast Highway
Find the Ideal Hotel
It's usually better to pick a hotel, using it as a base camp to travel around the local area, than to simply hope to find the right hotel as you meander across a state. Randomly selecting a hotel will result in ending up at places that don't fit your limited budget or that don't provide the quality of accommodation, hospitality, and amenities that you would like. If, for instance, you decide you want to explore the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, then a good city to set up your base camp would be Carlsbad. You'll find a variety of Carlsbad hotels on the beach that will suit your budget and tastes, and you can choose between budget-friendly hotels, luxury resorts, and vacation rentals.
Tips on Packing
Packing right can make all the difference to your trip. If you pack too little, then you won't have the things you need when you need them. If you overdo the packing, then you will hardly have any room in the car to enjoy a comfortable ride.
Let's start with bags. Usually, duffle bags work out well because they are soft and easy to stack and squeeze into the car. Besides some bags for clothes, have a bag for overnight stops. Additionally, each person should have a small tote to access their snacks, electronics, or books. This is something that they can tuck next to their seat. If you plan on going for scenic hikes, then be sure to include a small daypack.
When it comes to clothing, informal clothing and dark clothes are best. Darker colors hide stains, dirt, and wrinkles better. Make sure you have enough tops and bottoms as well as underwear, socks, and PJs. Since you are able to do laundry at hotels, you just need a few days' worth of clothing even if you're going to be traveling for a long time. It's helpful to take a drawstring laundry bag so that it's easy to sort out your clean clothes from those that need to be washed. Also, prepare for different types of weather.
Finally, you may want a variety of healthy snacks on your road trip to sustain you on a long stretch. Use ziplock bags for nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, and nature bars. You can even organize your snacks by portion sizes so that they are easier to access.
Games to Play in the Car
While you can get by with handheld devices to keep you entertained on the road, it's also fun to have a few non-electronic games to engage everyone in the car.
Here are a few ideas:
- Music. If you take a playlist of catchy, family-favorite tunes, the whole car can sing along. You can also play “Name that Tune” with your playlist.
- Storytelling. After someone offers an opening line, say, “It was a dark and stormy night,” the next person has to add to an original line. Eventually, as everyone contributes an idea, a simple theme sentence will evolve into a complex plot.
- 20 Questions. After someone thinks up the name of a famous person, place, or thing, everyone is limited to a quota of 20 questions to get the answer.
- Would You Rather. This fun game makes you think about your decision and we go around and let everyone explain why they'd choose it. From cold showers or hot food for a month to a pit of snakes or a cobweb full of spiders, the family will get a good laugh and great bonding time from this game.
By planning ahead while also leaving room for spontaneity, you can have a total blast on your road trip.