How To Plan A Road Trip That’s Safe & Fun

Whether it’s across the state to grandma’s house or from coast to coast, road trips are a source of fun, everlasting memories for many families. But the question is how to plan a road trip that’s both safe and fun for everyone, especially in the midst of Coronavirus. 

According to MMGY Global, a global marketing firm with a location in Kansas City, two out of three travelers planned on taking a road trip in 2019. 

For many families, road trips can be a more affordable way to see a multitude of cities, states, and experiences within one vacation. And with the ability to control their surroundings and interactions, they can be a more attractive option for families who want to travel while still maintaining their social distance from others. 

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To give your children, friends, and family a memorable vacation that will last a lifetime, our travel experts created this checklist for how to plan a road trip that’s safe and fun for the whole family:

  1. Choose the road less traveled
  2. Pack your own food & drink
  3. Bring sanitary wipes 
  4. Eat outside when possible
  5. Prioritize family time 

Why Take A Family Road Trip?

Before you learn how to plan a road trip, it’s important to know why you should! There are many reasons that families choose to take a road trip. Here are a few of our favorites:

Include your children in the process

When you plan a road trip, you’re able to really open the doors up to your children in terms of destinations and places to stop. From choosing which fast food place to have for lunch to mapping out a route that hits a few destinations they want to check out, children are able to play more of a role in trip planning when it’s less about logistics and flight patterns and more about flexible family time.

Experience more than one location

When you fly, you only get to “see” another city or state from 10,000 feet above. With a road trip, you’re able to truly stop and smell the roses in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and South Carolina all in one trip. 

Spend time together as a family

With a road trip, your family stays together the entire time. And while for some people, that may not seem like the most fun option, it is a great way to really make memories as a family (even if the memories are about how annoying it is to hear your children fight in the back seat all the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles.) 

Save money

The best part about road trips is that they are often as expensive as you choose to make them. We break down the average cost of road trips below.

Are Road Trips Cheaper Than Flying?

According to Investopedia, a typical road trip from New York to Los Angeles costs $1,151.69. This price includes everything from food and lodging to gas and detours. 

If you consider that the average price of one plane ticket is around $377, the cost of a road trip seems a lot cheaper because you can fit more people in a car and your flight prices don’t include any of the extras like hotels, rental cars, and food.

 

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Experts say the best time to take a road trip is when gas prices are low. While gas prices are increasing with the reopening of states and cities, the national average is still only $2.104 per gallon. This really handy page on the U.S. Department of Energy can help families plan a route and estimate their fuel costs throughout too to figure out which route makes the most sense for their budget and their plans.

Are Road Trips Safer Than Flying?

Statistically speaking, flying is safer than driving in terms of accidents on route. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are nearly 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. Compared to the number of plane crashes, which is around 80 per year, driving inherently comes with more risks.

But in the age of Coronavirus, where travelers are worried about much more than a wreck, the question is: is driving safer than flying with COVID-19? The answer is “it’s complicated.”

Airplanes are designed in a way that helps circulate air and keep it fresh. Because of this, it’s not inherently dangerous to fly during a pandemic—but it also isn’t exactly safe either. From sharing common spaces with dozens (if not hundreds) of people inside the plane to traveling through a crowded airport, flying is pretty much the exact opposite of social distancing.

And with flying, it’s a lot harder to control your surroundings in terms of sanitation and distance. Whether it’s using the restroom, filling up a water bottle, or shopping for headphones, common spaces in airports are hardly the epitome of sanitation. 

Because of the health risks associated with flying, driving can be a safer and more comfortable way to travel for many families. But, pit stops at diners and gas stations can be a risk for families as well if the proper steps aren’t taken. 

how to plan a road trip checklist

How To Plan a Road Trip That’s Safe

Here’s how you can help make your road trip safer this summer so that your family can get its much-needed quality time without having to cancel your vacation.

Choose the road less traveled

While Robert Frost may not have predicted the Coronavirus pandemic, his poem about taking the road less traveled means more today than ever before. Choosing the road less traveled means fewer opportunities to come into contact with other people, places, and things that may have been exposed to COVID-19. It’s also a great way to experience more unique areas that you may have otherwise driven past. 

Pack your own food

Minimize the number of times you need to stop at communal places by packing your own food and drinks as much as possible. Plus, packing your own food and drink is a great way to save time and money on your trip as well.

Eat outside

Try to find outdoor rest areas to eat your picnic. Not only is this a great way to keep your distance from other travelers, but it’s also a fun break from the inside of a vehicle! Pack your own games and other fun activities to help make the time outdoors seem more like an adventure than a pit stop.

Bring sanitary wipes

Sanitary wipes will be useful throughout the road trip in a variety of ways, including:

  • Wiping down rest areas
  • Cleaning gas nozzles
  • Sanitizing 

No matter where you stop, make sure to wipe down the area before you make yourself comfortable. To get the most out of your disinfectant wipes, make sure the area stays wet for a decent length of time (4 minutes, according to Lysol) so that the product has time to truly cleanse a surface before you use it.

dad and children exploring outside

Prioritize family time

Our number one tip for how to plan a road trip is to make sure that your family gets as much time together as possible. The more you prioritize spending time as a unit during your road trip, the more likely you will be to stay away from large crowds and areas. Spend time together at a scenic byway or playing cards on a picnic table. Try your hand at rock climbing or wildlife photography. There are many options for fun experiences that put your family first. 

Rent a safe vehicle

Don’t risk your health and your budget with a cheap rental vehicle that doesn’t work properly. Our rental vans are frequently maintenanced and serviced to ensure the safest and most comfortable ride possible. 

And with our reduced summer rates, you can save more money on your family vacation this summer when you choose to rent our passenger vans! We offer options for 8, 12, and 15 passengers. And we also have luxury and SUV options as well.

Now that you know how to plan a road trip, it’s time to actually do it! Call us today for a personalized quote so you and your family can hit the road safely and more affordably this summer.

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