A road trip is the perfect way to fit a summer vacation into your schedule. They’re fun, easy, and always full of adventures. Have you never taken a road trip before? Or have you always gone with your family? Don’t worry – with a little planning, you can plan the perfect vacation.

Who, What, Where
The first step to planning the perfect road trip is figuring out who you want to go with. Before asking any friend, make sure that they are someone you’re willing to sit in the car with for hours at a time, and that you trust driving. Once you’ve determined your passengers, figure out where you want to go. Consider if you want a circular route or if you want to drive towards a certain destination and back. Not sure where to start? National parks, monuments, and historic locations are all great destinations.

Be Prepared
Never take a trip in a car that isn’t safe and fully functioning. Would you rather spend time getting it checked out before leaving or get stranded on the side of a highway and spend hours waiting for a tow truck? While you’re at it, make sure at least one person in your car knows how to change a tire. Have at least one physical map with you. You can’t rely on your smartphone always having a signal or on your GPS being completely up-to-date. It’s also important to make a rough budget before your trip. Road trips can be very inexpensive, but if you aren’t careful, gas, food, and activity expenses can add up. It’s also smart to make a general timeline. Of course, you don’t have to stick to it exactly but having an idea of when you want to reach a certain point will keep you on track.

Have Fun
Some people like to have their schedule planned to the hour while others want to explore and see what they find on the way. Regardless of your style, you’ll want to plan at least a couple destinations to hit, at the very least as back-up entertainment. There are sites that allow you to enter your route and will suggest activities along the way. Whether you plan on pitching a tent, crashing at relatives, or sleeping in the car, you also will want to have a list of hotels along the way in case of emergencies like extreme weather. Finally, be sure to stock up on snacks and drinks and bring plenty of music. Following these easy tips will make your summer adventure less stressful and more fun!

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