Road Trip Planner: 6 Tips for How to Plan a Road Trip for Beginners

A recent study estimated that 208 million Americans plan to travel during the summer of 2022. And 80% of them plan to make it a road trip!

Whether you want a cross-country adventure or a weekend getaway, a road trip is always an experience to remember. Our road trip planner will help make your next trip hassle-free.

We know that the best part of any road trip is the journey, not the destination. Your trip will be way more fun when you plan ahead for inconveniences or emergencies.

A road trip planner is a great way to check off everything you need before you hit the open road. You can write one or use an online app.

With our travel tips, you can create a smart, comprehensive checklist. So please sit back, relax and enjoy the ride with our helpful road trip planner for beginners.

What to Bring on a Road Trip

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of road trip planning, let’s go over what you should bring on a road trip.

If you’re traveling with kids, bring along entertainment for them. Don't forget an inverter and power source so they can charge their devices.

No road trip is complete without some good tunes. Make playlists ahead of time, if you like. Choose songs that everyone will enjoy.

Road trips are full of photo opportunities. Bring a camera so you can capture all the memories.

Now that you know what to bring on a road trip let’s get into the planning process. Follow our seven travel tips, and you’ll be on your way to the best road trip ever.

1. Keep Your Vehicle in Top Condition

Before you leave, check the brakes and tires on your vehicle. It’s also a good idea to get an oil change and tune-up. This will help ensure a smooth ride and cut the risk of breakdowns.

Clean the vehicle before you go – the trip will be more pleasant if the car is clean and organized.

Roadside assistance is always a good idea, especially if you’re driving an older vehicle. Be sure to sign up for a service like AAA or CAA. It will give you peace of mind in case of any problems on the road.

2. Stay Powered Up

Bring a generator to power up the car and RV when you need it. You’ll be glad you have an extra power source in a breakdown or an emergency.

Bring a portable power station for emergency power and keep everyone's devices charged. We recommend a 600w power station for short trips.

With an AC wall outlet or USB-C connection, you can fully charge it in 3 to 5 hours. The upgraded LiFePO4 battery provides six times the life of an ordinary lithium-ion, enabling you to charge your devices reliably on the move.

The built-in LED flashlight provides light when needed and three different modes so that no matter what situation arises.

3. Be Prepared to Repair

It's always good to prepare for issues that might arise. Here are a few things that you should keep in your road trip emergency kit:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Spare tire and a jack
  • First-aid kit
  • Multi-tool / lug wrench

If you’re traveling in an RV, you'll need more tools. We won't go into the specifics of that one because that's enough for an entirely different article! But at the very least, be prepared with plumbing, electrical, and towing supplies.

4. Plan Your Route

Plan your route before you go. Don’t forget to pack a road map! Even if you have GPS, a physical map can come in handy.

You can often find them at convenience stores and rest stops. Choose rest stops, gas stations, grocery stores, etc., ahead of time to make the most of your time.

Consider the time of day when you’ll be driving. You might want to avoid desolate areas if you're driving at night.

5. Watch the Weather

Check the weather conditions along your route and plan accordingly. You don’t want to get caught in a storm or blizzard. Sign up for weather notifications from the National Weather Service.

Pack a weather emergency kit during the winter in case of a winter storm. Pack extra blankets, hats, and gloves if you're traveling in the cold. Bring an ice scraper and de-icer for the windshield, too.

If you’re traveling in extreme heat, stay hydrated and take breaks often. Make sure to pack sunscreen and plenty of water. A dash cover is also a good thing to have when parked.

You’ll be spending a lot of time in the car, so dress comfortably. Wear clothes that are easy to move around in and won’t make you too hot or sweaty. Pack an extra set of clothes in case of spills or accidents.

6. Take It Easy

When you’re on the road, take it easy. Don’t try to push yourself too hard.

Stretch your legs and take breaks often. Stop at rest areas and take a break every few hours.

Don't let one person do all the driving. Switch drivers often to stay fresh.

Give yourself plenty of time so you can enjoy the ride! Stop at interesting places along the way instead of just driving to your destination. Be curious and explore.

Document your trip with photos and videos. It's a great way to share your memories with friends and family. And you can always look back on the journey to relive the experience.

Don’t forget to enjoy the little things. Road tripping is all about making memories and enjoying the journey.

The Ultimate Road Trip Planner

Now you know how to plan a road trip and you're well on your way to planning the best road trip ever. With a bit of preparation and forethought, you'll be sure to have a blast.

A road trip is an adventure. The best way to enjoy it is to take your time and make memories along the way.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your road trip planner, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! And when you need power for your mobile devices or emergencies, you know where to go!

While you're planning, take a look at our best power stations for road trips in our shop.