Road Trip Planner: Preperation and Route Guides

Before you take off on a road trip - whether it's just a family vacation or a trip with friends - you need a road trip planner. This should include details of costs, accomodation if you need a place to stay, potential emergencies, breakdown cover and your route, especially if you plan on heading out on a long trip.

Before you start your plan, write down the basics - a list of places you want to visit and how long you want to stay in each place, to get a feel of how your iternary can work out. You'll also need this list to calculate costs in certain areas.


The first item in your road trip planner should be the costs of your journey. You'll need to have enough money to cover all costs, and make sure you have some spare for emergencies. This is important for trips with both friends and family as you don't want to be stuck penniless and away from home. Make sure you'll have access to cash in the event of an emergency in the wilderness.

Tally up the cost of your trip, making sure to include:

  • How far you will be travelling and the cost of petrol;
  • Essentials along the way - for example, if you're not bringing food with you and intend to eat out;
  • Accomodation if you're staying in hotels. Try and get a rough pricing guide for each place you stay;
  • Emergency maintenance costs;
  • Toll ways or currency exchange rates if you plan on travelling across borders, and any visa costs that may be included (remember to check and book your visas beforehand in this case).


Make a list of essentials to take on the trip and pay attention to emergency essentials - medication, maps, the correct documentation if you cross borders, contact information and the right amount of supplies for your journey. If you don't have enough room for all your essentials and your baggage, remove items from the rest of your belongings before considering removing essential items.

Route Maps

The best part of your road trip planner is making route maps. You can either go online and use some trusted route map sites, such as theaa.com/route-planner or planyourroadtrip.com. You can eitheruse maps to plan your route and book everything else (such as accomodation) online, or use online resources to find out information about your whole trip (best places to visit, best rated hotels, scenic routes .etc). Some excellent full-round road trip planning sites include:




Booking and Finalising

Once you have your route plan sorted, you can move on to booking hotels for your road trip planner, if you intend to stay in hotel accomodation, or booking any other visas if nescessary. Make sure you have all the details of any bookings you make to hand, including contact details in case your route plan changes slightly or you become delayed.

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