Road trip planning is an important part of travel planning, especially when time is an important factor. This is often the case during business trips, or in the matter of flight and/or train connections.
Road trip planning – the preparation, step 1
In order to be able to plan a road trip, you need to know the following:
- The time of arrival. At what time do you need to be at your destination? Do you have an important meeting upon arrival, or do you have more flexibility? If possible, it’s better to reserve some extra travel time, as nothing is worse than getting stressed due tolack of time. The more relaxed you arrive, the more you will enjoy your time away.
- The time of departure. When will you be able to leave? Is this flexible, or is the time limited, as you have appointments till the last moment before departure? Again, the more relaxed you arrive at your destination, the better. So, if possible, plan enough time for the trip.
Road trip planning: the preparation, step 2
The next step for a proper road trip planning is to pay attention to the following:
- Do you have a car, or do you need to rent a car? In the last case, you can find suggestions at the page rent a car.
- A few things you need for sure when you travel to an unknown destination are the destination address, a travel map and a road map, and not only and electronic road trip planner! Although the electronic devices have become more and more reliable, it is always wise to bring some old-fashioned paperwork in case of breakdown. Last but not least you need to bring along your trip routing.
- Take care that the car is in a good technical condition, that it is fueled, and that it is equipped with safety devices, such as an emergency triangle, safety vest, torch, blanket (for cold countries), first aid kit, sun glasses and charger for mobile devices such as your (smart) phone, tablet or laptop.
- Depending on the destination, you might need an international driving permit. This license does not replace your original diver’s license, so you always have to bring your original driving license as well! Read here how and where to apply for an international driving permit.
Road trip planning: the real work
With the above information, you can work out the trip routing. A handy tool for this is Google maps. You enter the destination address. Now you see a map of the city you entered, which you can zoom in or out. This site has also the option of trip routing, for which you enter the address of departure, after which you will get a complete route description. The blue line indicates the route. You can choose to see the satellite (landscape), or the roads (map). In some cities you have the option of using the traffic button, which shows you the actual traffic jams. Together with the information on distance and time needed to your destination, you can complete your itinerary. If you want to use another tool for road trip planning, you can choose one of the following suggestions:
RandMcNally maps and directions in the USA
Map24 for USA, Canda and Europe
Travel map: the paper version
Once sitting in the car, you might need an old-fashioned paper travel map. It’s always wise to bring these, even if you make use of an electronic version (gps). You can buy these maps on-line via:
Travel map: the electronic version
When you travel alone, you have no travel mate to guide you. A GPS is a very handy option. In more and more cars this is part of the standard equipment. If you don’t have one in your car, you can purchase a mobile version. Find more information on these devices on:
With the above preparation and information you have made a proper road trip planning. Don’t forget to print the route descriptions, also for the way back.
More about organizing travel
As road trip planning is one part of organizing your (business) trip, you might find this trip adviser very useful.