Here at DrinkTanks, we know that adventure happens year-round, but as the weather starts to turn and the days grow longer, we can’t help but get excited to hit the road! Whether you’re piling in a car with your closest buddies or loading up the van with the family, nothing says spring like an epic road trip!
If you’ve never taken a road trip, consider this your sign to hit the road. We’ve got you covered with 4 tips for planning an epic road trip.
Roadtrip Tip #1: Set Your Expectations + Timeline
When it comes to planning a road trip there are many elements that need to be taken into consideration. And depending on who your road trip crew is, you all may have very different ideas of what an “EPIC” road trip means. but setting the expectation early will ensure everyone is on the same page with the adventure resulting in minimum resentment and maximum fun
Will your trip be more of a “go with the flow” kind of adventure? Or will you stick to a strict itinerary?
Will you stop at any and all historical monuments and viewpoints? Or will you only stop for gas and your next destination?
Will you camp? Stay in a hotel? Or book a unique Airbnb?
Are you trying to stick to a budget or are expenditures less important than experiences?
What’s the maximum amount of time everyone wants to be stuck in the car at a time? Is anyone willing to take a night shift in order to cover more miles?
How much time do you have for your adventure? A long weekend? A full week?
The amount of time you have for your road trip may dictate the style of trip you have and most certainly your route.
Pro Tip: Try to get home a full day before you have to return to work/school so you have time to unpack, clean out your vehicle, and relax a bit before getting back to the daily grind.
Roadtrip Tip #2: Plan Your Route
Going along with having upfront expectations, make sure everyone takes part in the planning of the route. If you’re worried about time or budget, have everyone come together with a list of “must dos”, “want to dos”, and even “don’t want tos” and try to work as many into the itinerary as time and budget allows.
From there, map it out! This may take some guess and check and adjusting, but pour yourself a drink and settle in… planning out your trip could be just as fun as taking it!
Using Google Maps is free and easy but there are also planning apps like Roadtrippers that have both free and paid versions to help you plan your route.
Pro Tip: Make sure you share your expected route, overnight info, and timeline with someone outside of your road trip crew.
Roadtrip Tip #3: Assign Roadtripper Roles
These roles may vary depending on whether you’re road-tripping with a group of friends versus your spouse + children, but everyone should play a part in making a road trip successful!
-Driver – hopefully every road trip has more than one driver
-Navigator – quite possibly the most stressful role
-Snack Master – quite possibly the most important role
-DJ – consider making a shared playlist so everyone can contribute!
Pro Tip: This is where your DrinkTanks cups and growlers will come in super handy! A growler for coffee, a growler for water, and cups to keep refilling all day long.
Roadtrip Tip #4: Pack Supplies
Of course, you’ll be packing clothing (layers are never a bad idea!), a pillow, snacks, etc, but don’t forget about extra supplies in case of an emergency. No one wants to be a Debbie Downer (sorry, Debs!) when planning a trip, but Debby will be a hero if something goes wrong while you’re on the open road!
A few items that should be in your vehicle before you hit the road:
-Extra water – at least a couple of bottles extra per person
-First aid kit – bonus points if you get one that can fit in your glove compartment!
-Cash in small to medium bills – we know, we know… who carries cash anymore? But if you end up in some small town and the only thing is an old vending machine, you'll be happy you had some dollar bills!
-Roadside assistance – your insurance may already offer roadside assistance, if not you may look into something like a AAA membership if you don’t have one already. If that’s not in the budget, at least make sure you have all the necessary supplies in your vehicle to change your own tire!
-Go old school and pick up an atlas – of course, the plan would be to have your stops mapped out on your phone or vehicle’s GPS, but if you end up somewhere with no service, you’ll be happy you grabbed that atlas on your way out of town.
And depending on the weather where you’ll be road-tripping, blankets, towels, or some way to stay warm probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Always be prepared may be the Scout's motto, but it should be true for your road trip too.
Pro Tip: It’s never a bad idea to get your vehicle serviced before you hit the road – oil change, engine service, rotate the tires. Some auto repair shops will even do a pre-trip inspection to make sure your vehicle is in safe working order.
Now that we’ve got everything in order, it’s time to hit the road! Follow along with us on our very first DrinkTanks Road Trip. We’ve planned an epic trip with stops and surprises in 6 states!
Cheers to the open road!