One of the most interesting and undervalued vacation excursions is the quintessential road trip.
Going on a road trip allows you to see the nature and local attractions of many different destinations, whereas a traditional vacation would only allow for exploring one or two areas.
For those who are moving cross country, it’s a great idea to take the opportunity to drive to your destination as opposed to flying to your new home.
How Do You Plan a Road Trip?
People have figured out many different ways to create a road trip agenda, and there really is no wrong way to do it!
Create a list of broad things you’d like to do – visit a national park, explore a museum, etc., and identify places along your route that can bring that to life.
You may have to make adjustments if your desired excursions take you too far off your route, either by changing your activity or even the route itself to accommodate it!
A key part of preparing for a road trip is ensuring you have a dependable mode of transportation.
If you plan on driving your own car, be sure to get the oil changed prior to leaving, and ask a mechanic to take a look to ensure everything looks good under the hood.
It’s never a good time to have your car break down in the middle of a road trip.
Read our in-depth post: How To Plan Your Road Trip
Reviews are so important in today’s world – so much so, that BrightLocal estimates around 85% of consumers actively use and trust reviews for everything from restaurants to clothing.
Similarly, reviews will be a gamechanger for you when planning your road trip.
Unless you have friends who live in the area(s) you’ll be passing through to provide you with a local perspective, you’ll need to get some insider scoop into the must-know (and must-avoid!) places and landmarks.
Similarly, do your fellow roadtrippers a favorite and create reviews for the places you visit along the way.
This is also a great way to look back and remember your experiences and make recommendations to others who are going to be traveling in the same area.
Stay at a Bed & Breakfast
One of the biggest questions first-time road trippers have is where they should stay to rest during the night.
You have a few different choices, depending on your route:
- Sleeping in your car (you can find recommendations of free places to park your car overnight on apps like AllStays)
- Camping out
- Bed & Breakfasts
To get even more of a feel for the area, local bed & breakfasts are a great spot to pick to rest your head at night.
Not only are the owners typically from the area (and can provide great tips for sightseeing or eating), but oftentimes the bed & breakfasts are designed to reflect the local culture.
For example, the rooms available to book at this Santa Fe B&B are decorated in commemoration of local figures (like Georgia O’Keeffe) or attractions (like the Santa Fe Opera House).
Get Some Good Sunglasses
Go for function over style when picking out some sunglasses for your upcoming trip.
While you can certainly get some cute shades to post on Instagram, you’ll want polarized shades to use when on the road.
You will have a lot more exposure to the sun when on the road for hours, and your eyes can get exhausted quickly if not taken care of during the ride.
Many people notice a huge difference when wearing sunglasses vs not wearing them; not only for visibility, but also for comfort.
Reduce the chances of getting a headache when driving towards the sun with polarized sunglasses that are created to reduce light glare.
Create The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist
It’s an unspoken agreement that listening and singing along to music is an essential part of an unforgettable road trip experience.
If you are going on a road trip with someone else, you can create a playlist on Spotify and set it to “Collaborative Playlist” so that they can add their own songs in addition to yours.
Here are a few must-have road trip songs to add to your queue:
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- Ho Hey – The Lumineers
- Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
- Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
- Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
- Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
- Africa – Toto
If you want to go above and beyond on your music game, you can try to pick songs to play during specific legs of your trip (such as “Canyon Moon” by Harry Styles while passing through Santa Fe’s famous Canyon Road).
Similarly, you can time your music to certain times of the day (like “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles for an early morning drive).
You can also find some pre-created Road Trip playlists on Spotify or other music streaming services that will take all of the effort out of listening to some good tunes during your journey.
You may hear a new song and associate it with a food you tried, a landmark you saw, or some other part of your journey that will become a lifelong memory.
What’s your favorite road trip song? Let us know in the comments below!
Create a Scrapbook
Instead of taking hundreds of photos that will get lost in your phone’s camera roll, bring a disposable camera or Fujifilm Instax (which instantly prints polaroids) with the intent of creating a physical photo album or scrapbook after your trip has ended.
In addition to taking pictures, collect items from each place you visit – a leaf, a brochure, a bumper sticker – that you can place in your book.
Disposable cameras or polaroids produce pictures that have a very nostalgic feel which goes very well with reminiscing on your journey months or years in the future.
Be sure to take pictures of yourself as well – don’t be afraid to ask someone to take your picture at a landmark if you are traveling alone!
One of the many reasons why road trips are so popular is the fact that they are incredibly customizable.
They can be planned to fit any timeframe and accommodate specific interests.
If your road trip happens to pass through beautiful Santa Fe, Inn on the Paseo would love to help make your journey unforgettable. Book a B&B stay with us today!