Are you planning an exciting road trip and could use a little help making sure you manage to see all you want without wasting too much time or having to constantly be in a hurry? In this blog, we bring you a list of some helpful road trip planning apps and some tips on what to make sure you have planned before leaving for a road trip and what is better to keep for the road, once you see what kind of pace you are happy with and what is important for you to see. A road trip planner can make all the difference between a chaotic vacation and an unforgettable, fun holiday - so have a read through this article for some vacation prep!
How to plan your road trip
1. When will you go?
It's important to look at when is the best time for your road trip, as that also impacts the best choice of destination! However, if you're settled on a destination, desperate to tick it off your bucket list, that will determine when you travel as well.
2. Where will you go?
Choice 2: You can either design your own road trip, choose your top destinations, make a route and have complete control. But if this is a bit overwhelming, or not your interest, you can also follow a known road trip. In Scotland, you could take our NC500 road trip itinerary or SWC 300. There are plenty of road trips in England, including the summery London to Cornwall drive.
3. How will you travel?
Of course, we can't recommend campervan travel enough! But it's worth checking whether motorhome travel is for you. It gives you freedom on the road, and allows you to stay anywhere. No more hotel bookings or plublic transport schedules to tie you down!
4. Hire a motorhome
You can arrange your private motorhome hire easily, which will be cheaper than renting from a company, and supports your community through local owners.
5. How long will your trip be?
You want to be in each place long enough to explore it sufficiently, without time to get bored. On a road trip, where you're visiting several places in one holiday, you can't see everything. Unless you set aside months for your trip! So make a list of the main destinations or sights that matter to you, and have your travelling companions do the same. This will ensure everything vital is on the route.
6. Putting it on paper
It doesn't have to be on actual paper, but you do need to visualize your trip. You can either do this on a physical map, or using mymaps and create a route. There are various road trips apps that can help, such as the ones listed below.
Perhaps you prefer to take things as they come, choose your destination day by day. That's fine too! But make sure you know the most important places on your list, and have an idea of where campsites are by midday. This ensures you don't end up too late to check in, or with only overpriced options within reach.
We live in a time of technology and innovation and probably for most of us it is difficult to imagine life without our smartphones. Though this obsession with technology can be harmful and many of us are becoming more and more wary of all the games and other entertainment our phones can provide to us, we should not forget how useful they can also be. If you are going on a road trip, you will be happy to find countless apps designed to help you plan the vacation you want and maximise your positive experience of the trip. Here are a few apps that we definitely recommend for a vacation on the road!
This app is community based and is designed in a way that it recommends you the best routes to take based on real-time information from other drivers - if there is a traffic jam or a road is closed down, you will know in time to choose to take a faster and more convenient route.
If you will download one road trip planner app to bring with you, let that app be Roadtrippers! You can create your trip planner map by outlining all the places you want to visit and based on people’s experiences and reviews, you will straight away have access to an infinite number of attractions nearby, best places to eat at, cheap gas stations and much more that apps such as Google Maps may be prone to miss. You might end up visiting the most beautiful places that you didn’t even know about thanks to this app!
Last but not least, GasBuddy is an app that connects thousands of travelers with the cheapest gas stations around them during their trip. You might not be too fussed about paying a little more once, but chances are that if you are on a road trip, cheap gas could save you a lot of money. Again working on the basis of a community, where everyone can add in the price they paid at a gas station, which is of course monitored to ensure accurate information, you will be able to save quite some pennies if you use it on your travels! This trip planner map full of the cheapest gas stations around will be a great addition to your planning.
Tips for a Road Trip Planner
- Less is more
Now that you’ve got your arsenal of apps to help you along the way, it’s time to figure out what are actually the places you want to see most. Remember that even if there may be 10 places you really want to visit and 10 more you also kind of want to see and you’re road tripping for two weeks, it may be a better idea to just focus on your main attractions. Though everyone is different, it is often much nicer to have enough time to calmly experience a place, rather than know that you’ve got one hour there and then you have to be on your way again!
- There will always be surprises
It’s also good to count with surprises - bad ones, like car trouble or bad weather but especially the good ones. You may be driving to your next destination when you pass by the most beautiful castle or national park you’ve ever seen. Give yourself some leeway in your planning to account for some wonderful surprise stops that may await you along the way. Trust me, you will be happy that you did!
- What not to plan
Just like with accounting for surprises, it is usually best not to book all of your hostels/hotels/Airbnb’s before the trip - you never know where the wind will take you and wouldn’t want to lose money or time because you have to deal with a booking cancellation. Always check in advance the lodging possibilities in the area you are visiting, and once you are there, you will surely find a nice place that is exactly where you need it to be at a point where you are maybe too tired to keep driving.
Planning a road trip should already be fun and we hope that with these apps and a few of our tips your vacation prep will be easier and more enjoyable. So rent a campervan at Goboony and start planning! Going on a road trip is a wonderful experience so enjoy the freedom and beauty of it and even if you don’t manage to see every place on your list, you will surely have a great time with your loved ones or on a solo adventure!