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5 Easy Ways to Plan the Perfect Summer Roadtrip

Pretty much universally, summer means roadtrip season. The scenery, the sing-alongs, the snacks…there’s just nothing like the open road, simultaneously thrilling and relaxing. 

Almost as rewarding is all the prep work before actually hitting the road. Filled with the promise of adventure and unforgettable memories, planning the perfect summer roadtrip is an exciting process. 

It’s not necessarily the easiest process, though, with so many decisions to make and logistics to account for. So before deep-diving into designing your perfect itinerary, I recommend doing some groundwork to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are five of my favorite simple ways to plan the perfect summer road trip. 

A winding road running through the mountains in Alaska
Where will your summer roadtrip take you?

1. Define Your Ideal Roadtrip Activities

The key to a memorable summer road trip lies in aligning your interests with your destination. Take some time to define the activities you most want to do, whether it's wine tasting, hiking, exploring museums, catching an MLB game, trying a bunch of local restaurants, taking in a live performance, or simply relaxing by crystal clear lakes. 

2. Let Your Activity Wishlist Determine Your Destination

By identifying your must-do experiences, you’ll easily be able to narrow down your list of potential destinations and start creating a literal roadmap for your adventure. Consider places that offer unique experiences based on your interests, but be open to new adventures along the way, too. 

One of the best things about traveling is stepping outside your comfort zone and exploring something new, so don’t be afraid to embrace that, both in terms of activities and destinations. For example, if your heart is set on wine-tasting and hiking, consider heading to a lesser-known wine region. Likewise, visit quirky, super niche museums rather than uber-famous ones. Whether it's a vibrant major city, a charming small town, or a breathtaking natural wonder, you’ll discover a world of possibilities when you think outside the box. 

A woman running through a vineyard, one possibility for a summer roadtrip

3. Consider Your Travel Vibe

Your accommodations can significantly impact your road trip experience—or any travel experience, for that matter. Decide whether you prefer the convenience of a traditional hotel, the cozy charm of an Airbnb, or to rough it and camp under the stars. 

Consider factors like access to a kitchen for cooking meals (and saving a bit of money!), hotel amenities such as room service and onsite restaurants, and the overall vibe you’re looking for. If you prefer privacy and unplugging, a vacation rental or campsite is much more your jam than a hotel. But if you love the vibrant buzz of a hotel bar or being able to walk downstairs to a great coffee shop, a hotel may be the perfect fit. 

4. Get Organized From the Start With a Travel App

Having an organization system from the very beginning goes a long way in planning a stress-free summer roadtrip. There are countless options out there, but my personal favorite is the Wanderlog app

This handy tool allows you to manage reservations, create itineraries, and keep track of places you want to visit—all in one place. Better yet, you can invite your travel partners to collaborate and share plans within the app. Simply download Wanderlog and start adding your travel reservations, including flights, hotels, and even restaurant bookings. One of my favorite features is the ability to email these reservations directly to the app. Once you do, it automatically inputs everything for you, putting the activity into the correct day and time!

Palm trees in front of colorful buildings, just one sight you may come across on a summer roadtrip

5. Book Reservations in Advance

This last tip may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it’s easy to overlook formal reservations when you’re on the road. Maybe it’s that feeling of freedom or more relaxed travel pace! As your road trip nears, ideally no less than 2-3 weeks out, make sure to secure reservations for any tours, activities, and even restaurants you're interested in. More and more, things like popular campsites and national park vehicle reservations book out months in advance.

Side note: on the topic of food, be sure to load your car up with plenty of snacks and drinks. Not only can eating on the road be limiting and expensive, but having food on hand also ensures you have a built-in backup plan. A lot can happen on the road!

By planning ahead, you’ll avoid last-minute stress and scrambling and be able to relax and enjoy the journey. Plus, of course, you won't miss out on your major wishlist attractions. Don't forget to upload your reservations into Wanderlog for easy on-the-go access during your trip!

Hit the Road With Sunny & Turquoise Travel

Whether you're embarking on a solo summer roadtrip or planning an adventure with friends and family, Sunny and Turquoise Travel is here to help. From itinerary planning to booking reservations and more, we offer a wide range of travel services to make your getaway unforgettable. 

If you need help getting your summer vacation booked, reach out to me for personalized travel planning services at Happy trails!

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