Summers were made for road trips. When the weather is dry and the sun is high in the sky, temperatures are comfortable and all the national parks are open. A road trip through the USA is the best way to see it and all its natural marvels and can be done again and again as you focus on one area or even attempt to go cross country.
The United States is massive, and attempting to do it all at once without enough time set aside is going to be hectic, stressful, and expensive. Skip all of that and instead narrow your expectations so that you can get more out of your summer road trip and potentially make it into a yearly tradition between you and your friends or family.
Be Specific About What You Want from Your Road Trip
If you want to truly escape from the world and have the freedom to decide on the day where you are and where you’ll go then a hotel is not the right option. Say you want to explore Florida and Florida Keys. The state is large and hotels get very pricey the further down south you go. Instead, rent RV in Tallahassee and take your home with you. Simply find an RV campsite for the night that’s nearby and that’s all you need. Push comes to shove you can even stay in a rest spot and still enjoy all the comforts of home.
If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy the beaches and nightlife, then simply city-hopping might be the better option. Do look at your accommodation options in advance, however, as booking on the night is going to be very expensive.
Be Picky About Who You Go With
A road trip sounds like a great idea to everyone, which is why everyone will want to go on one trip together despite the fact that it is not ideal. When you are in a hotel and have creature comforts it can be easier for everyone to get along, but when you are cramped into a van or car everyone’s individual habits could quickly become irritating.
And that’s just dealing with your friends in a small, enclosed space. Road trips can be anything. They can be customized to suit anyone’s tastes, which means that when you just invite your friends on a road trip they will all have different ideas of what you should do and where you should go.
Be upfront about the type of trip you want to organize and only invite the people who also want to go on that type of trip for the best results.
How to Budget Out Your Dream Trip
The next step is to budget out your dream trip. This can be done by estimating several costs ahead of time and multiplying them over the days you will be gone for.
• Cost of the Vehicle
• Cost of Gas or Diesel
• Cost of Campsite or Hotel
• Cost of Insurance
• Daily Allowance for Food
• Cost of Activities You Want to Enjoy
Generally speaking, working out the fixed costs and then giving yourself a buffer is a good way to save. Add on top of these fixed costs a daily allowance for food or gifts and you should have a realistic budget to cover you during your trip.
Tips to Help You Spread Out the Cost
Before you get nervous about the cost, there are many ways to spread out the cost of your trip:
• Go During Low Season
• Book Events Early
• Skip the Hotel and Opt for an RV
• Start Planning Early and Save Up
How to Plan the Perfect Route
To plan the perfect route you will want to skip the detailed itinerary. It will only make people frustrated if they either lag behind or don’t have enough time to really enjoy something that they like. Instead, keep your day open. Know what is available by all means and note them down on a digital map, but don’t plan where you’ll be by which hour.
The only exception to this is if there is an event you really want to see or go to, but again by limiting the amount of restrictions you have on your itinerary you can easily make time to get to the ticket doors before they close.
Improve Your Packing
Travel in a car, travel in an RV, travel via train or plane and the reality will stay the same – bringing less is far more comfortable during travel. Packing last second and throwing in the summer clothes that you own is a big mistake and will only frustrate you later on. Instead, plan ahead and choose items that will keep you comfortable best (linen is ideal for summer) and items that work well together.
This way you reduce the number of items you bring but increase the outfits. In return, you’ll have a lighter suitcase and room to bring back presents.
Document it All in Style
The best summer road trips will last with you for a whole lifetime, but try as we might the details will slip from our grasp as time goes on. That is why documenting your trip and putting effort into recording what you have done and what you have felt is so important.
Rely on your strengths. If you love to write, then create a beautiful journal that documents your trip not like a diary, but a novel. If you love photography, aim to take as many candid photos as possible, and don’t forget to take videos. In fact, challenge yourself to create a summer road trip video compilation so you have something you can easily look back to when you are feeling nostalgic.
Draw the destinations you go to, journal about them, photograph them – you don’t have to be talented in these arts to capture the beautiful essence of your trip and store them in your memories forever.
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