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How to Plan a Road Trip in less than a Day

I’m like a ninja when it comes to trip planning. I obsess over it way too much but can be pretty decisive when it comes to a destination. A lot of people struggle with pulling the plug on vacation though…excuse after excuse. Well, no more excuses bitches, it’s time you quit working so damn hard and had a little play time ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s pretty simple actually to plan a road trip in less than a day…maybe not every single detail, but you can outline it in that time. Add all of the juicy deets later! Hell, I planned an entirely new road trip in less than 2 hours but I am also very crazy. I won’t hold you to that standard just yet! Follow these amazing, smart, perfect guidelines to help you plan your next road trip in less than a day!!

Establish your budget

The key to planning a road trip fast is to know what you’re working with. You must establish a budget so you can properly plan for food/ accommodation and activities. Maybe this trip is all about sticking to a budget. Maybe it’s all about spending your pathetic life savings on a two week holiday…whatever kind of vacay…KNOW YOUR BUDGET!

help me

This seems to be pretty straight forward. Log onto your bank account, check funds and then probably cry because you have a total of $18.98. No, but seriously, if you are planning a trip, you most likely have at least a little money saved. If not, maybe you’re trying to wing it and go sailing across the Greek Isles for around $500 including everything? I like people who live on the edge ๐Ÿ˜‰

Create a time frame

Time is money so going back to point #1, establish your budget to know how much time you can afford to leave! If you have to take precious time off work, know your company rules and request off in advance! Some people aren’t as lucky as I am to take month-long journeys, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have just as much fun!

Pro tip: Plan your road trip around a major bank holiday so you use less sick/missed days!

Choosing a time frame is very important so you can justify how much you get to see and do in each place. I did a one week (well 8 day) southern road trip toย Austin City Limitsย and knew I had only that amount of time to do it. While reading over my schedule, I knew I had to be in Austin by the weekend and back that next week so I planned everything around those few points!

road trip

Pick your destination(s)

Since I just completed a month-long United States road trip, I can say that America is the place to explore! All the diversity, change in altitude and scenery makes it (in my opinion) one of the greatest places on Earth!! Whether you are in the US or not though…you gotta know where you’re going. If traveling across seas to say, Ireland or Italy…map out places you’ve always wanted to go and start planning! With my road trip out west, I picked some major National Parks and some new fun cities to start; then saw what was in between and connected the dots!

santa monica

Use RoadTrippers or Route Perfect

These two apps have been LIFESAVERS! RoadTrippersย is perfect for the United States! You can put in destination points and it creates an awesomely efficient route! FUCK YES! On top of that…you can explore points of interest, nature, hotels, restaurants etc along with your route. Route Perfect, on the other hand, I have found very useful for Europe! You can add how many nights you want to spend in each place, and it calculates the distance and time you need to get there!!

roadtrippers

Hopefully…I mean, you better have read myย backpacking Europeย post. If not, stop right now and have a look. This entire trip I knew I would fly into Amsterdam and fly out of Berlin. I added my start and end date since those were the only concrete things I had. Routeperfect will suggest cities along the way. You can even go as far as picking a “romantic” or “adventurous” vacation and it shows you the best cities for your liking. Just see for yourself damn it.

route perfect

Start Contacting!

If you are a blogger…start getting in touch with companies as soon as you have a basis. If you are just a plain Jane, start contacting friends, family or acquaintances to give them a heads up that you are thinking about a trip. That puts it in the back of their mind at least for the time being until you build a solid foundation on where and when you’ll be visiting.

friends

ย Check Season

We all know, I hate people. Ha, kidding but I do hate crowds! Not only crowds but touristy crowds. Ugh, they annoy the shit out of me. A top priority on any of my travel lists is to NOT travel during peak season. With that being said, however, sometimes on a road trip, you can’t avoid this due to weather. Planning on taking a cross country Canadian trip in the middle of December? Probably not the best idea.

Checking both weather and tourist seasons can save you some grief in the long run. You don’t want to plan this amazing trip only to find out roads or attractions are closed. On top of that, you don’t want to get stuck waiting in hour-long lines for a shitty museum either because your dumbass decided to go to Disney in the middle of summer. Be smart folks and do your research!

too many tourists

Am I making any sense here y’all?? You CAN plan an entire road trip in less than a day if you really put your mind to it!! I believe in you. Follow these guidelines for planning the perfect vacay and you’ll be on the road in no time! I want to hear your suggestions in the comments if I forgot anything! Until our next encounter…

xo Bonvoyage Babes


  1. Anne says:

    I feel like this post can be applied when taking any trip…. lovee it!!!

  2. Leigh says:

    Great tips! We’re planning to road trip in the US next year so this is super helpful!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Ahhhh its so much fun..definitely do it with someone else though…driving 8500 miles alone gets kinda annoying.

  3. Lyne says:

    Ahahah Loved your post it was a fun and nice read with very nice tips ! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also I love your blog name :p

  4. Madhurima says:

    Haha.. relevant only for those who know how to drive. For example, I don’t! ๐Ÿ™

  5. Christine says:

    Great tips! I have yet to take a road trip because I never have enough time! I would love to do a road trip eventually throughout the US!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Really?? Girl you better get on it!! I mean…even a week long one isn’t bad ๐Ÿ˜‰ Come visit me and we will go on one!

  6. Paroma says:

    I literally guffawed at the “Bridesmaid” reference at the beginning ๐Ÿ™‚ We are not big into road trips since I don’t drive at all, but have done short ones with our dog in California.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      hahaha I love that and say it all the time so it’s very fitting! Even a short one like 4-5 days or a long weekend is good!! California had sooooo many winding roads that were a little annoying to drive alone!! So glad you bring your dog along!

  7. Lyf&Spice says:

    Well said. There are so many handy tips in this post. Cheers!!

  8. Katherine says:

    Great post! I don’t know why, but planning road trips can seem really daunting. I think it’s the fact that sometimes you really don’t know what you’re going to get until you get there. You’ve broken it down into some great easy steps though, thank you!
    Pinning for my next road trip planning.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      So So true, but that is also the fun in planning!! If you take enough time too, then you can add or subtract locations while on the road to better suit your taste!

  9. Candiss says:

    I am a huge advocate of the planning a trip around a bank holiday, extra vacation days for free! And the Routing sites I always forget about! Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Ooo! Gonna give RoadTrippers and Route Perfect a try! I usually use Tripomatic because it has the same map functions but they don’t always have every single address listed. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Veronica P. says:

    These are wonderful tips! I did this just last week when I planned the entire road trip to Moldova in just 30 minutes and we went.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      It’s really not that hard if you just sit down and outline the key points!! Love the go with the flow attitude!

  12. Lisa says:

    This is a very awesome guide, thank you! I hate crowds so always check the season before visiting anywhere. Never heard of Road Trippers and Perfect Route, both look very helpful – thank you! You have a beautiful blog!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Awe thanks angel! But yes they are life savers for finding cool little cities in Europe or Points of Interest here in the US! Totally check them out!

  13. yukti says:

    Brilliant ideas for planning a road trip that too in single day. Route Trippers and Route Perfect look like a perfect app which I was not knowing before. Thanks for sharing the valuable information.

  14. So good that you have mentioned check season! So many of us plan, and then realise its the wrong time to be in a place…the effort goes down the drain. And how awesome to read you post…I have been wanting to go on a road trip for such a long time, but the inertia to plan has pulled me down…let me get to the job at hand!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Yeah girl, seriously you will save yourself some grief if you plan for the season!! Get to it!!!

  15. Those are some fab tips. Since I am the last minute traveler, so I badly needed these tips. Budgeting is most important to me even if it is a whimsical plan to travel on a short notice. To make it sustainable management of time and money is very important.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      I am and I am not too. I love to plan but I also like to be spontaneous…but if I am taking an extended period of time away I wanna make sure it’s worth my while!

  16. Indrani says:

    You make it sound so doable. Planning part is the most difficult but once you set off things kind of fall in place. It is best to know one’s limitations though.

  17. Natasha says:

    I love how you break down everything and explain exactly how to plan a great trip! Great article!

  18. Kellyn says:

    Road trips can be insane. But honestly I didn’t realize until I did it how easy it was to plan one. Seems like your having a blast in all these photos though.

  19. Zinara says:

    Some great tips here. I’ll be going on a road trip soon so these will be helpful. And I prefer traveling during the off-season to avoid crowds because sometimes I hate too many people haha.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Same here!! But a lot of times with road tripping especially the off-season can mean bad weather! ๐Ÿ™ so you gotta find that perfect time in between.

  20. […] going on a roadtrip? This really useful post by Bonvoyage Bitches shows you how to plan a road trip in a […]

  21. Jennifer says:

    I was thinking of taking a spontaneous trip this week and not really sure if I had enough time to put it together. I hadn’t heard of those apps before, but I will definitely be looking into them. This article inspired me to make some decisions and get moving!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      GET MOVING GIRLFRIEND!! It is crazy to see how much I have inspired people because you don’t need a lot of time planning, just a will to go, some money and a creative open mind! So whatcha waitin for?? xox

  22. Marlies says:

    Wow, I did not know about the two apps. Both seem to be great time savers although it takes a bit of the fun away. The Southernmost point in Florida is such a photo icon, I took pictures of all the people too.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      It does take a little fun away but sometimes when you only have a certain period of time it can cut down on searching extensively for things to do…its all kind if right there at least for Roadtrippers! Try them out ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Cool tips! I tend to plan almost everything in a day ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like the spontaneous trips but I must admit with a bit of thinking ahead, it usually turns out better. A month ago I went to Scotland for a long weekend and we basically came up with the route on the spot. It was a nice time!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Both can be fun and adventurous! I just love to pack as much stuff into a trip at once so I love to do my research…sometimes though its fun to just go with the flow!
      p

  24. Blair villanueva says:

    I learned a lot from your tips and hacks! Sometimes travelling needs right timing especially checking the weather of the place you are going.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Yes weather plays a huge role. I thought going to National Parks during the summertime would mean all system go…but nope. 90% of Crater Lake was closed. ๐Ÿ™

  25. Gabi says:

    Road trips are my favorite kind of trip. I like the freedom they give you to discover hidden places off the beaten track as well as the liberty to decide to stay more in a place if you like it or leave earlier if you don’t. I normally travel this way and I’ve fallen in love with places I was not even that much enthusiastic about at the beginning of the trip. Helpful suggestions, thanks

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Yes and yes!!! I am obsessed with road trips too because they give you so much freedom. A lot of places I thought I would hate I ended up loving and vice versa. Like Portland, I hated it so just left and explored Bend instead!! That is the beauty of road tripping!

  26. Ami Bhat says:

    Nice set of tips. There are some new companies here too, who have started helping with road trips. Am heading for one shortly with one of them called Scoutmytrip. Your post is adding to my already excited self.

  27. Wow! That’s an awesome guide! Though I’ve gone on few impromptu trips, those have never been road trips! My road trips have always been very well planned, much in advance! I’m getting over to the website you’ve mentioned! Btw, I understand your concern about crowd. I was in a traffic jam inside a drive in safari once!!! ๐Ÿ˜

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      No way really?? IN A SAFARI? Wow, yeah that is exactly what I don’t want happening! Thanks for the love!! Try out those sites..they are awesome.

  28. Akash says:

    While reading your post i felt that i was writing it. Its not at all difficult to plan road trip. Just thi k and hit the road rest everything comes bye

  29. Eric says:

    I love road trips, and follow some of these same tips! I like it! I may have to try out these apps you are suggesting though. I have never used them before. I kind of just to the going on a whim thing! It works out to my advantage most of the time haha!

  30. Haley says:

    I looveee roadtrips ! I’ve been wanting to take one out West, but it’s hard finding someone else that is down to take off work, pack a bag and go. & it’s a lonnngg drive alone from NC. Pretty inspired by your solo trip, tbh ! I’m so bad at trying to put tooo much into one (road) trip, I deff want to check out the site you recommended, roadtrippers.

  31. Kevin Wagar says:

    Those sound like really cool apps. Road trips are one of my favorite ways to travel, so I’ll check them out for sure!

  32. Raj Aryan says:

    Excellent BLOG! Unbelievable that so many people lose so much time while they plan their road trips when it can be done in less than a day! Keep up the great work BVB team!

  33. Anna says:

    Good tips! would definitely help someone new in traveling.

  34. These tips seem very practical and outstanding, Tatum! Your tips are extremely helpful and thanks to them I can plan a proper road trip on a budget!

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