Travel News Planning the Perfect Summer Road Trip

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Planning the Perfect Summer Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip can be almost as fun as the trip itself! There are so many great road trip destinations that it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve got tips to help you get started with road trip plans.

Planning a Road Trip

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Setting a Budget

Determining your budget should be the first part of your road trip plan, but with the right travel hacks, you can make any destination fit your budget. However, it’s crucial to set your road trip budget ahead of time so you can properly set expectations and not find yourself with a pile of credit card bills to come home to. Your budget will determine your answers to many of the following questions.

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Narrowing Your Interests

The first thing to consider when planning the perfect summer road trip is to identify what your interests are. Do you like hiking in the mountains, swimming at the beach, visiting museums, battlefields, etc. Knowing what kind of trip you want to take will make your road trip planning much easier.

Here are some summer road trip themes to consider:
• Major League Baseball parks
• Battlefields of the Civil War
• Route 66
• National Parks of the Southwest US
• Beaches of Florida
• Outer Banks of Carolina
• Pacific Coast Highway

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Choosing a Starting Point

Now that you know what activities you want to include in your road trip, you need to hone in on a destination. Is your road trip destination in a reasonable distance from your home, or will you be better off flying to a destination and renting a car? With patience and planning, you can get a great deal on flights and car rental, so don’t rule those options out! There’s no need to spend two days driving before you reach the first stop on your road trip.

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Choosing Your Road Trip Route

This is the best part of road trip planning. I love to get out the old school road atlas when planning my road trip destinations. Online maps are great for getting from Point A to Point B, but if you want to meander, nothing works as well as a paper map. I also enjoy leaving the Interstates and sticking to the two-lane roads, where you’ll pass through small towns and get a better sense of a place. I love to look for off-the-beaten path places to stop. It’s fun to seek out classic diners or unique cuisine that is local to the area.

Choosing Your Accommodation

Does your family like to rough and sleep outdoors, or is five-star more your style? Perhaps something in between? If you are spending many nights in hotels, you might also want to check out various points programs so that your hotel stays can earn you points towards another night. (Hotel rewards credit cards are great, too, as even your gas and groceries can earn you points for free hotel nights. You can include kitschy accommodations in your road trip plan, like yurts or teepees, along the way.

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About the Author

Leigh Wilson// Campfires and Concierges

Leigh’s adventures began at a young age as she traveled the Midwest with her father, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Since that time, she has visited 49 states, 32 National Parks and 11 countries and loves photographing the places she visits.
In August 2017, Leigh and her dog Bailey will embark on a 6-month road trip through the American Southwest and Mexico.