Sunday, April 29, 2018

HOW TO PLAN A ROAD TRIP


Let me first say Welcome to my blog if you've never been here before! I'm Braylea, writer and creator of everything on Sweet Southern Vogue blog, Instagram & Facebook page. On here you can expect to find, pink, trendy, and budget friendly things. Whether it be a top or the trendiest wall in Phoenix, AZ! I absolutely love to travel which brings me here today, to help my fellow travel-lovers plan a Road Trip. If you're not a lover of traveling, you will be after this post when you know how to plan a seamless road trip for you and your best friend! 

How to plan a Road trip Part One: Making A Game Plan

Planning a road trip is easy and a lot of fun if you have a solid place to start. 
This means making a plan before the planning even begins. I know that stresses some people out but don’t let it, I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds. What I mean by that is getting a base. It’s like a primer before you start painting and it ensures everything else is smooth. 

Before anything you have to figure out what your budget is, who’s going and where you want to go. Since all of those variables could be different from person to person this little Planning a Roadtrip series is going to cover everything I am doing and the people, numbers, and miles calculated for me.

To catch you up if you just started reading my blog, last year one of my best friends Keridan and I took a week long road trip on $300. Yes you read that right! We saw so many amazing things two being the Grand Canyon & Horse Shoe Bend in Arizona. See those post my clicking on the words in pink. Once we got back I put together a travel guide on "How to take a 7 day road trip on $300" and you can check it out as well to get a little bit of an insight. 

Though I shared everything fairly briefly, I didn’t go through the process of planning with you and that has been one of the most requested things people want to see on my blog and I understand why. We had the best time last year and have a goal of seeing the whole United States before we graduate college in a few years! 

Alright let’s get started. As mentioned above you have to answer a few questions that should be fairly easy depending on how long you’ve been planning this trip in your head 

Question #1
What is my budget? 
Before deciding who’s going or what vehicle your going to take, first you have to figure out what money you have to spend. This is the most discouraging part. But it doesn't have to be. Start a piggy bank, I use a white envelope decorated with the words “Roadtrip” and start putting money into it every time you think about it. Instead of going out to eat, eat a bag of ramen noodles and put the money you would have spent into the piggy bank, or decorated envelope. It adds up quick and remind yourself nothing taste as good as traveling feels. 

Question 2: 
Who am I going to take? 
The person you choose to take with you is the most important thing about the whole trip. I debated saying it was the second or third most important but came back to saying it is THE most important. The person you chose will have a say in how much fun you have when things are going good and when things are going bad. Are y'all going to laugh through the no-service navigating through the mountains or gripe about not having cell service & adding an hour or two to your 30 minute drive? Chose Wisely!

Question 3: 
How are we going to get there?
Vehicle: There are a few options. Renting a car, taking their car, or taking your car. It shouldn't be too hard or a decision. Chose the vehicle with the least miles, best tires & most reliable and the rest will fall right into place. I highly recommend running the chosen vehicle through the shop for a full inspection before hitting the road! 

Budget: Set a budget everyone going on the road trip can agree with. Then open up Maps on your phone or on your computer to figure out where you want to go (broadly) and then once you know your budget, who’s going, and where you want to go then you can actually begin planning.

Find Dates that work for everyone.  

Question 4: 
Where are we headed?
I start the planning off at Day 1. Typically on Day 1, I choose to go the furthest route of driving because we are all gassed up and ready to go and don’t mind a long drive. However that's just a personal preference that I've found works for me! Another thing to note is how much driving you're okay with each day. When Keridan and I went last summer we were comfortable at 5-6 hours a day. You'll figure out what suits your fancy, quick! 

The most important thing I do when prepping, after the dates and route has been set, is research! I will google, Pinterest & Instagram “cool places in...” and then make a note on my iPhone of a huge list of places that we might want to see when we are in that particular city. Let someone else do your research for you! Kind of like I'm doing in this blog post. Bloggers are the best to go to because they've already done most of the work! 

This step is one of the best steps and is essential to planning. It is the best feeling ever to have gone on a road trip and know that we saw everything we wanted to see instead of going somewhere and being 5 miles away from this amazing location but because we didn’t do the research needed, we missed out on it. This is also the most time-consuming part of planning a road trip is planing the content of your Roadtrip. I typically spend a week or two doing absolutely nothing but searching for places to eat, places to play, and scenic areas in every destination we are planning to go. I also like to rate the things I find a scale from 1-15 depending on how bad I want to see, do, or eat at each place. 
Then once I (we) have a ridiculous amount of research done on places we want to see I then incorporate those things- eat, see, do into our itinerary. 

Planning activities and planning a place to stay kind of go hand in hand. There have been a few instances when I thought we wanted to stay in a town and then I couldn't find much to do, so we stayed somewhere else. I plan what were going to do, and then where we are going to stay!
Once I figure out where we are going each day, then I find where we're going to eat, activities to do and lastly where we plan on sleeping that night.


Question 5:
Where are we going to Stay?
Airbnb is the only way to Road Trip in my opinion. 
Especially if you aren't trying to spend much. Keridan and I can sleep safely for about $40 ($20 EACH) a night; give or take. However, if budget isn't a factor there are a TON of really nice Airbnb houses and mansions too. We stayed in airbnb houses on our last road trip and didn't have a single problem with anything! I talk a little bit about each of the houses we stayed in, in my blog post "How to take a Six Day Road Trip on $300" you can refer back to! 

Once you have you budget, destinations, activities, road trip partners rallied together and bags lightly packed your are ready to hit the road!

Click here for $40 off your first Airbnb Booking that's over $75!


SMALL DETAILS & TIPS
-Bring food & drinks in a cooler and don't eat at a restaurant every meal. This will save you SO much money!

-Book things in advance. I'd hate for the tickets to the concert you want to go to, be sold out.
-Everyone pitch in a certain amount of cash for gas before you leave point A. It makes things so easy. 

-Make a dope music playlist

-Set your cruise control. Don't speed. You're not in a hurry you're on a ROAD TRIP!


-Try and disconnect from social media and life in general and live in the moment.

-Step out of your comfort zone. No one knows you ;)

I hope this helps you plan your next road trip, whether it's your first or fifth! As long as it's not your last! Have so much fun & tag me in your pictures, I want to see!!

xoxo, braylea

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