There is nothing better than packing up into a car and setting off for a new adventure with your best girlfriends.
Road tripping is part of America’s pastime, just like baseball games and hot dogs, but it can be difficult to plan. Getting past everyones work schedule or family matters and then there’s saving up the money for trip and of course, choosing a place to go that everyone wants to visit.
I myself am in the midst of planning the perfect girls road trip and it can be exhausting. But once you finally go on that road trip, it will all be worth it for the memories that you make.
So, I am here to give you tips on how to plan that perfect trip with your best gal pals.
I’m not talking about the Dave Matthews Band song that won a Grammy here, I’m talking about where should you travel.
This is completely up to you and the friends you’re planning the trip with. Obviously it can be anywhere, but there’s more to it than just picking out the final destination spot. You have to figure out how long it would take to get there, and if it’s a trip that would take multiple days in the car, where are you going to stay overnight.
There’s a lot that goes into it than people think. The best course of action is to map it all out. Yes, old school mapping it out. You can find a map in almost any supermarket. You can get one of those giant old school books that has everything plotted for you, which is probably the best way to go if you have no idea what areas you are driving through. Or if you’re doing an in-state trip, simply by a state map and figure it out from there.
If you don’t want to be old fashioned, there are some services you can get to help plan your trip the same way. There’s Roadtrippers which uses Google Maps to help plan out your route, calculate fuel costs, time and distance.
Another app you could use is On the Way, which is available for iOS, that can show you stops for food or even cool hang out places like museums, parks or other attractions in the area.
Once you have your actual route all figured out, then it’s time to map out what places in your destination city you want to visit. This can include restaurants, national parks, shopping areas, museums, just about anything.
You can use Yelp reviews to help you determine what places are worth seeing and what you should steer clear of, but don’t just go for all the tourist-y places. If you want the real road trip experience, dig deeper into your research to see where some of the best local hang out spots are. Locals know best.
If you’re a fellow college student or are tight on money, it’s important to set a budget for your road trip, and stick to it!
During the planning process, figure out the cost for gas, lodging, food and any attractions that you might have to pay to see. And of course leave some extra for shopping purposes.
To keep costs at a minimum, fill up gas before you leave. If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, try to fill up at those places since the cost for gas is typically cheaper than regular gas stations.
Bring food and snacks for the trip. Again, if you have a membership to the bulk stores, this is perfect. You can fill up on water bottles, ready-to-go snacks and any other miscellaneous items you may need for the trip.
If you need to stop for gas, stop somewhere that has multiple gas stations and food areas. The competition means the prices would be lower so you’re sure to find a place that fits into your budget.
I’m sure we all know how much it would suck if our car broke down in the middle of a road trip. To avoid any problems, take the car that you are driving to get a routine check-up before you set off on your adventure. Make sure that you don’t need an oil change, the engine is good and the tire pressure is up to par.
Buy a car tool kit from the store. Most typically come equipped with jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries, emergency tools and first aid kits.
If the worst possible thing that could happen on a road trip happens to you, you get a flat tire, be prepared. Make sure you have a spare tire that would work and take the time before the trip to learn how to change the tire. You don’t want to be caught on the side of the freeway with a flat and waste precious road trip minutes.
It wouldn’t be a road trip if you didn’t have a kick-ass playlist to jam out to in the car. Of course you can go on Spotify and choose one of the pre-made road trip playlists that range from indie trip to hip hop adventure, but here are some of my personal favorite road trip songs.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are a classic choice for any trip and the lyrics just fit the road trip atmosphere so perfectly.
Favorite lyric:”Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies/fully loaded we got snacks and supplies.”
It doesn’t get any more perfect than that.
It wouldn’t be a road trip if you didn’t have Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen on the playlist. Take note from Wayne and Garth and head bang your way through this tale.
Favorite lyric: “I see a little silhouetto of a man/Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango.”
We have two great artists for this quintessential road trip jam, but I prefer the Rascal Flats version. Even if you aren’t a country fan, like me, this is a great tune that anyone can belt out and sing.
Favorite lyric: “We won’t hesitate/To break down that garden gate/There’s not much time left today.”
What other song makes you want to sing your guts out like Don’t Stop Believing by Journey? There is none. Pretend that you’re Steve Perry and sing your little ’80s heart out.
Favorite lyric: “For a smile they can share the night/It goes on and on and on and on.”
When that piano rift first comes on, you can’t help but think of Terry Crews and the movie ‘White Chicks.’ This song is perfect for a girls trip because girls are the only ones who truly appreciate the greatness of this song. Vanessa Carlton, we thank you.
Favorite lyric: “If I could fall/Into the sky/Do you think time/Would pass me by.”
Another classic group who fought for our right to party, especially on road trips. This trio created a new generation of rap that will never be forgotten.
Favorite lyric: “While you’re at your job working nine to five/The Beastie Boys at the Garden/Cold kickin’ it live.”
Before you take your girls trip, it’s important that you and your friends take the time to ready yourself before going on this great adventure.
And how might you do that? With a movie night of all the greatest road trip movies out there.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few of my recommendations.
Not only is this one of my favorite movies, it is pure genius. Two best friends get ready to go to their ten year high school reunion, but want to show that their lives are much better than they were when in school.
If you’re planning a trip with just you and your best friend, this is the perfect movie for you.
Who could forget the masterpiece written by Shonda Rhimes and starring Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning. This tells the tale of three childhood friends who re-connect with one another on a road trip across the country.
This hidden treasure is the story of a teenage girl, Juno Temple, who runs off with her new gay friend, Jeremy Dozier, on a trip to find her dad. If you love the ’80s then you will love this movie. The fashion, the music, the hair; it’s too perfect.
In this film adapted from the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, the father of Gonzo journalism, a man, Johnny Depp, and his attorney, Benicio Del Toro, take a drug fueled trip to Las Vegas.
Obviously if you’re planning a trip to Sin City, this is the perfect movie for you, but I would recommend leaving out the drug part on your vacation.
Girls trips are meant to be fun. Getting away from reality and hitting the open road with your best friends, there is nothing better than that. So take the time to really plan out your trip so you’re not stressed or frazzled and can truly enjoy you vacation.
Feature image: Eric Chu