The great American road trip! It’s the tales of 80’s movies and Vloggers and the heart desire for anyone with an adventurous spirit. But what holds back so many, isn’t the time off, or the finances, or the desire to see new thing. The “why” so many don’t embark is the feeling of being overwhelmed in the planning phase. As someone who loves planning adventures (and even looks at maps for fun), here’s some tips to create a successful road trip.

Tip #1: Start on day zero

The worst part of any road trip is the anticipation of getting somewhere new, but having to spend hours and hours in a vehicle waiting to get past areas you’ve seen before. My tip here is to leave after work before the first day of your trip. You can easily get in four to six hours of driving and be several states away from home before day one even starts. For many road trips, this means that you’re starting your adventure around noon on day one instead of day two. It really helps morale to start the trip off ahead half a day.

Tip #2: Know your big rocks

All “big rocks” means is to know the things that you “have to see” and things that are “nice to see”. Categorize in this way and make sure it’s not just your list, but your entire family has contributed to it as well. Your “nice to see” may be your spouse’s “have to see”. At the end of the exercise, you’ll be surprised how few things are on the “have to see list” and how you can sprinkle in a lot of great “nice to see” as the trip unfolds. This also lets each person in your party have “their road trip” and provides insights ahead of time for everyone else of what each person is valuing in this experience.

Tip #3: Afternoon breaks on travel days

On your long travel days (8+ hours of drive time), plan something for two to three hours in the afternoon that the whole family can do that breaks up the trip. We’ve done cave tours, waterfall hikes, science centers, museums…all sorts of great things on those days. What’s crazy to me is how you remember that day after the trip. We once had a 14 hour drive day, but because we stopped by a NASA space museum in Alabama ½ way through, all we remember now is those couple of hours. Sometimes traveling for an entire day feels like a waste, but if you break it up and create a great memory in the middle, it has a way of feeling short and motivates you to go on more road trips.

About the Author: Eric Rauch
Eric grew up near the Monroe Campus of 2|42 near the Ohio-Michigan border. He attended Eastern Michigan University and spent 10 years as a Civil Engineer managing construction and development projects. In 2009, he went on a mission trip with several other 2|42’ers and shortly thereafter he and his wife Stacy started getting plugged into the ministries at 2|42. After spending a couple years volunteering in kids ministries, Eric took on a part-time role as the Elementary kids director at the Ann Arbor campus and then in 2012 came on the staff team full-time. He currently oversees Ministry Operations for the church. Eric and Stacy have two kids, Skyler and Emery, who they love spending time and seeing God’s creation with. They have a family goal of traveling to all 50 states together before their oldest graduates high school.

Subscribe to get the latest messages

Leave A Comment