To Organize a Road Trip

For a smooth ride

An artifact of master-planning a 5 day road trip with JZ, JM, and JC


  • Choose friends that are easy going
  • Call everyone in the group and get the information you need. For the most part, more constraints are actually helpful to narrow down the scope of activities
    • Top 1-2 destinations to visit
    • Food restrictions/preferences
    • Icks, pet peeves, fears, dislikes
    • For drivers, how much they're willing to drive in a given day
  • Jot down the archipelago of destinations and start mapping


  • Share the planning document with everyone early for transparency
  • Source pre-planned road trips from various blogs for location inspiration and useful warnings. Read 3-4 extensively for the best big picture idea of what is most suitable for your group
  • Find fun things to do using these websites and asking friends
  • Predict a few things throughout the day
    • Energy levels - Critical to alternate between intense, packed days and more relaxed ones
    • Hunger - You're not you when you're hungry
    • Cleanliness - Especially relevant for outdoors enjoyers and beach goers
  • Sketch out a daily itinerary. Budget for driving AND parking time. Also consider at what points you will need gas
  • Make key bookings for hotels and car rentals first. Inelastic goods first, or your wallet will experience the worst
  • Book non-refundable hotels with absolute caution
    • Background check by appending "reddit" onto your search and reading reviews - both about the area and hotel itself.
  • Pointsmaxx while making bookings, also look into credit card specific deals you may unknowingly have access to
  • Make a packing list and delegate who is packing what. Things you'll likely need are:
    • Health-related - First aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer
    • Food-related - Utensils, cooler, ziploc bags
    • Misc - Garbage bags, sitting towel, waterproof speaker, cables


  • Snack run with whole group at beginning is great for morale boost
  • Let different people take aux. Music fatigue is also possible. In that case, passively playing a podcast or listening to the sounds of the road can be nice
  • The person sitting shotgun should aim to be awake as much as possible. Swap out people if necessary, but really nice to keep the driver company
  • Very fun to have people take turns giving deep dives on their life, or lessons on things they know a lot about
  • Hide important things in the trunk. Even when you think you don't have to
  • Save your receipts and add them to a communal Splitwise at the end of every day. Bookkeeping is infinitely easier when all expenses are recent
  • The itinerary is ultimately a guide. Following it to the tee for the sake of it will result in less fun and more stress for all


  • Get everyone to dump photos into shared album. If it isn't done in the first week it'll likely never happen
  • Start thinking about your next :)
© 2024 or something like that
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