Family sitting in the back on an SUV admiring the view -what is a road trip

What is a Road Trip? Simple Steps Towards an Awesome Family Adventure

As people, we are in an interesting situation in our lives. We are coming out of Covid but still living with it. And we are eager to return to ‘normal’ life, doing what we used to do, but not quite the same.  

For many of us, that is getting back on the road and seeing things we had to put off.  Perhaps you have come of age and are looking for an adventure. Or you are a young family looking to explore the country.  Sure, you could fly to your destination, but that’s not what we’re about here; we are about driving to our destination…safely.  

That brings us to the question, what is a road trip?  Wikipedia defines it as “A road trip, sometimes spelled roadtrip, is a long-distance journey on the road. Typically, road trips are long distances traveled by automobile.”

Merriam-Webster defines it as an extended trip taken by a motor vehicle.  And yes, these definitions are technically accurate.  But a road trip is so much more than that.  It’s almost impossible to define.  

What is a roadtrip? A road trip is what you make it. It can be a family vacation.  It can be two friends driving cross country.  It can be a couple getting away for a few days.  A road trip is all of these things and more.

Yes, while a road trip technically is a long drive in an automobile.  It is more than that.  You form memories and experiences by taking a road trip. 

The last trip I took with my dad was driving cross country from New York to California.  You can’t replace driving I-80 across the continental divide in Wyoming at sunset when Tom Petty’s ‘Learning to Fly‘ comes on the radio.  That was 25 years ago, and I remember that moment fondly.

Is Road Tripping Worth it?

Is road-tripping worth it? That’s a question that many people are asking themselves lately. With the COVID pandemic still fresh in our minds, some people hesitate to hit the open road. But road-tripping has pros and cons, and it all depends on your circumstances.

There are a number of reasons why road-tripping can be worth it. For one, it’s a great way to see the country. You can explore small towns and villages that you would never have access to if you were flying.

You can take your time seeing everything without having to worry about making tight connections or getting lost in a foreign city. Additionally, road-tripping is often more affordable than flying. You don’t have to pay for airfare; you can save money on food and lodging by cooking your own meals and camping out instead of staying in hotels.

two girls sitting in the back of a station wagon ready for a road trip

However, there are also some downsides to road tripping.

It can be expensive if you don’t plan ahead properly, and it can be time-consuming as well. When planning a road trip, You must think about food, gas, lodging, and entertainment expenses.

If something goes wrong, like a flat tire or a breakdown, it can ruin your whole trip. Additionally, road-tripping can be stressful, especially if you’re not used to driving long distances (or being stuck with your loved ones in a confined space for long periods!).

So, Is road tripping worth it? Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. Suppose you want to save money and have the flexibility to explore at your own pace. In that case, road-tripping is definitely worth considering.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free vacation where everything is taken care of for you, then flying may be a better option. Whichever way you choose to travel, just be sure to do your research and plan ahead so that you can have the best trip possible!

What Makes a Great Road Trip? 6 Essential Road Tripping Tips

There’s no question that road trips can be a lot of fun. But what makes a road trip great? What are the ingredients for an unforgettable journey? We think six things are essential for any great road trip.

1. A Good Destination: The first and most important ingredient for a great road trip is a good destination. You need to choose a place that you will enjoy, whether it’s a scenic route through the mountains or a city filled with cultural attractions. If you’re not sure where to go, do some research online or ask friends for recommendations – we have a huge range of destination ideas here.

2. Choose the Right Vehicle: Choosing the right vehicle is one of the most important things for a road trip. You need something reliable, and that can handle long distances – make sure your vehicle is well-maintained and serviced before taking a road trip. If you’re not sure what car is best for your trip, ask your friends or family for advice, or do some research online. We discuss more of our favorite road trip vehicles over here.

a couple looking at a map in a car - planning your road trip route

3. Plan Your Route: Planning your route is important once you’ve chosen your destination. This will help you avoid getting lost and ensure you see all the places you want to see and build in some meal and rest stops. You can use online tools like Google Maps or Road Trippers to create a custom map of your trip – we share several more itinerary ideas over here.

4. A Flexible Schedule: One of the best things about road trips is that they are flexible. You can stop and explore whenever something catches your eye, and there’s no need to worry about making tight connections or getting lost in a foreign city. This flexibility also allows you to take your time and enjoy the journey without having to rush from one destination to another – though do be mindful of peak vacation periods when accommodation and attractions can be booked out in advance.

5. Bring Plenty of Supplies: Packing the right items is another key ingredient for a great road trip. Make sure you have snacks, drinks, and maps handy, as well as a first-aid kit in case of emergencies. And remember sunscreen and hats if you’re traveling in summer! We have a complete list of family road trip essentials over here.

6. Good Company: Last but not least, you need good company for a great road trip. Choose travel companions who share your interests and who you get along with well. This will make the journey all the more enjoyable. And well, if they’re your own offspring… We have plenty more tips for road-tripping with your kids with top tips and tactics for those long drives!

Final Thoughts…

Taking a road trip is definitely worth it – you get to see things you haven’t seen before, make memories that will last a lifetime, and have an adventure. Just be sure to plan ahead so your road trip is as great as it can be.

Follow our blog for more great tips on how to have a successful road trip with your family!

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© Family Road Trip 2024

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