If you have enough days on your next holiday, a roadtrip can be a fun way to discover new places while having the flexibility of leaving when you will (almost). Here are some things to consider when planning your next road trip.
To plan or not to plan, that is the question
It all depends on a lot of things. Finances, destination, vacation days, traveling companion and flexibility to name a few. If you have a limited budget, then it is best to plan so there are no surprise expenses. However, it is still smart to have a small buffer. If you don’t know where you are going and don’t need to know, then it doesn’t matter where you are headed. But then it removes the excitement of looking forward to reaching a destination, right? I prefer to know where I am headed. For vacation days, if you only have a weekend, you don’t want to use all days to drive. If you are the one who invited a traveling companion, then make sure to inform him/her if there is a plan or none. That way, they know what to expect / what not to expect. Flexibility can get you to a lot of places.
What vehicle to take
Do you want to drive to your destination(s) and then sleep at a road motel or hotel as needed? Or do you want to sleep in our own camper/vehicle ? If you want to sleep in your own camper and do not have one, ask around. You probably have some friends who can lend it to you at a reasonable price.
Check out these apps
If you the only thing you have decided is that you will go on a road trip, then that is fine. Don’t let the lack of a plan stop you, but don’t waste your time either. Here are some apps that can help you along the way.
iExit – Gives you information about exits along major highways and what amenities they have (hotel, restaurants, gasoline station, hospitals, etc). You can also see the distance to the next exit. As they say on the website, your GPS gives you directions, iExit tells you what to find at your exit. Available free on iTunes and Google Play.
Roadtrippers – They have both the desktop and mobile versions on both iTunes and Google Play. You enter the address where you will start your journey, and the address where you end your journey. It then shows you tourist sites worth stopping for.
Hotel Tonight – You want to drive until you get to a hotel with good deals. This app shows you last-minute deals in cities, literally deals tonight. Check out their cities, though because it is not for everywhere. A lot of cities are there, though. Free on iTunes and Google Play.
Park Me – You want to stretch your budget every step of the way. That’s smart. When you are new to a city, you don’t know where the best place (read: affordable) to park your vehicle is. This app will tell you. You decide what your criteria is. Free on iTunes and Google Play.
So there. I hope that you enjoy your road trip. I myself have tried road trips that are planned and unplanned. Several years ago, there were no apps, so unplanned road trips were a test of patience and tolerance. Today, as long as you have a smart phone, you can find any information you need anytime, anywhere.