Hey guys! Next week my boyfriend and I are taking a road trip across the entire state of South Dakota to visit Deadwood! I’m pretty excited. Western South Dakota is drop dead gorgeous in Autumn. Being the organizational weirdo that I am, I figured it was about time to start planning. So I thought I would show you how to plan a road trip! Enjoy!
How To Plan A Road Trip
Before You Leave
1. No matter how far you may be traveling, prepare for something to go wrong.
I always make sure I have the following in the trunk of my car: oil, coolant, windshield washer fluid, a blanket, and a flashlight. I know, this stuff takes up space that you could use for more suitcases, but you really don’t want to get in a situation where you’re stuck and you need this stuff but you don’t have it. Especially if you live in a state that isn’t as populated.
2. Take your car to get maintenance.
Doing this may prevent you from needing anything in the first tip! Seriously, like the week before you leave – take your car into any auto shop and have them check (or change) the oil, check your brakes, and check your tires. Where I live, it only costs about $30-$50 to do simple maintenance and it’s gonna save you a ton of money in the long run. You want to make sure the vehicle you’re driving will get you to your destination SAFELY.
3. Make sure you have your spare tire + jack.
As an adult, you should probably know how to change a tire and you should know that you have a donut tire and a car jack in the trunk of your car. This is a great thing to keep in your car because what if you get a flat tire 300+ miles from home? I never take my spare tire out of my car for this very reason, because ya just never know.
4. Keep your gas tank above 1/4 full.
Fill up your car all the way before you leave and don’t let it get under 1/4 full. Yes, gas is expensive and not fun to buy but you know what else isn’t fun? Running out of gas. Growing up in South Dakota where we have worse winters than Alaska (I know, seriously), I was taught to never let my gas tank get below 1/4 full because if you get stuck or stranded somewhere, you want to keep your car running to keep you and your passengers warm. Though most road trips are taken in the Summer and you don’t have to worry about staying warm, it’s still a good habit to have – especially while on a road-trip.
On the Way
5. Map out meal stops.
We all love food, let’s be real here. So on your road-trip, you should definitely maybe try to eat somewhere new or somewhere that’s only located locally (to wherever you’re at). Whether it’s at In & Out if you’re driving through California or Lambert’s Cafe (where you get bread thrown at you..) in the Ozarks, don’t forget to stop somewhere to eat. We’ll be stopping in Chamberlain, South Dakota to eat at Al’s Oasis (which is somewhere you should eat every time you travel across SoDak, honestly). It’s been a tradition in my life since I was little whenever we headed out west. (this is not sponsored at all by Al’s Oasis, I’m just really excited to eat their food.)
6. Visit some cool sites along the way.
The best part about a road trip is the fact that you can stop literally anywhere you want and explore the surrounding area. You’re not confined into an airport lobby, you know, so take the opportunity to look around. Why not get lost a little bit? We’ll be stopping in the famous Badlands National Park (seriously, look this place up. B-e-a-utiful) to hike around and climb some cool rocks, Bear Country (because you know, bears) to drive through and look at beautiful scenery, and some dinosaur park in Rapid City to look at dinosaur statues. Whatever or wherever it may be, explore your surroundings a bit.
7. Switch drivers every few hours.
Unless you’re driving solo (bravo, by the way) or with someone who doesn’t have a drivers license, switch drivers. You really don’t want to tire yourself out and make the road-trip unenjoyable. Take a break for a little bit. Read a book, check your social media, or take a few pictures. Personally, I hate driving for long periods of time. But, it isn’t really fair to not split up the driving time, especially on longer trips.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post on how to plan a road trip! What are some of your favorite road trips that you’ve done? Let me know!
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