Well, it looks like we are all trapped in the country for the foreseeable future.  Travel is going to look very different and I want to encourage you to travel as safely as possible! Wear a mask, avoid crowds, stay six feet apart, and try to limit your travel group size.  While a huge part of my soul is mourning the international travel plans I had, another part of me is excited to explore my home country. You can do it by yourself, with your boo, your mom, best friend, or make it a group trip and get the squad together. Here are my tips for planning a great road trip!

First, you have to decide what style of road trip experience you want. In general, there are two, the first is a roaming trip where you stop in several places. The second is one destination and stay the entire length of your vacation.  I love both and think that you should experience them at least once. In this article, I am going to be discussing a roaming trip. 

Choosing your destinations
  • Make sure to choose destinations that are in a straight line or a tight cluster. You don’t want to spend your whole trip driving so make sure that your destinations are within 1-3 hours from each other. 
Transportation
  • Renting a car is your best bet. It allows for much more independence. 
    • Make sure your rental car comes with unlimited mileage. Some cars are limited and you never know if you will want to double back to a destination if an attraction is closed. During our trip, we went back to Vermont so we could tour the Ben and Jerry’s factory and then drove another 30minutes out of the way to get more lobster rolls. So seriously, read the fine print. 
    • Do not order a compact car even if you are short. Legs get cramped up after a while, give yourself some space. 
  • If you don’t want to do all the driving, I can’t recommend Amtrak high enough. I absolutely love riding trains. You don’t have to do any of the work, you can take a nap, there is a dining car (which has surprisingly high-quality food I got crab cakes and rice pilaf), and there is a viewing car made almost completely of glass. This is also a great way to see the countryside in between destinations. Amtrak also allows a considerable amount of luggage so you can bring those extra pairs of shoes. 
Choosing your route
  • Google Maps allows you to add up to 10 destinations. Create your ideal route based on the cities you want to stop in. This will help you narrow the list down if there were several cities you wanted to visit. Nothing makes you reconsider a city faster than a 4-hour detour. 
Planning hotels
  • If you are a control freak this may not be the thing for you but don’t book your hotels!!! When you are wandering through the country you never know where you are going to end up or when. An activity may take longer than you thought. You might see a cool attraction on the side of the road or you might just be tired of driving. Booking your stay at the last minute will give you the freedom to stop as you please. The itinerary you leave with isn’t the itinerary you are going to follow.
  • This is last-minute deal heaven. However, if you are traveling solo this will be pricey unless you are open to alternative sleeping options such as Airbnb private rooms. 
  • Take advantage of sites like Hotwire, Priceline, Trivago who hide the name of the hotel to get better rates. Always search by amenities or star option. You don’t want to be surprised by a Motor Inn if you are a Marriott elite type of traveler.
  • Calling a hotel directly can get you better rates. I know us Millennials aren’t a fan of phone calls but talking directly to a reservation agent can pay off. Ask if there are any deals or upgrades they can give you. 
Planning activities
  • Do not plan more than three activities per day, it’s a marathon not a sprint. You should be prepared to not see everything on your list. Identify your priorities so you don’t miss anything you really care about. 
  • You might be able to swing back around to a destination.
  • Check the hours of operation! Then call them to double-check. Covid-19 has changed all of our lives and businesses may have changed the way they operate as a result. You also don’t want to visit on a day it’s closed. Example: The Lourve is closed on Tuesdays. 
  • Make sure to plan accordingly for longer activities. Will you be too tired to drive? Will you be wet, sweaty, or want to change afterward? 

The most important thing is to be flexible and have fun. If you can manage those two it doesn’t matter how different travel is right now. Y9ou will still manage to make memories that will last a lifetime. 

Are you thinking about taking a road trip? Where do you want to go? Do you hate planning? Download my free trip itinerary complete with destinations, adjustable google map directions, food recommendations, and activities in New England!