We’re planning another road trip. It’s only a long weekend in Vermont but it will still be amazing.
We are still playing catch-up on posts from our epic four month 2016 Camper Dan road trip. I promise we’ll finish that series in due time.
In the meantime, we thought it might be useful to outline our process for planning a short road trip. When we travel for longer periods of time we don’t do as much planning but we still apply some of these concepts and use these tools.
1. Brainstorm potential destinations. Consider total available time for trip, driving time, special events and activities.
Total available time = ~5 days. We don’t want to spend more than 8 hours driving each way. Limits destinations to greater New England region. It’s autumn; fall foliage is beautiful and we like pretty scenery. It’s Michael’s birthday; he likes visiting breweries. Northwest Vermont it is!
2. Plot your general route. This is useful in determining stopovers, accommodation options, and discovering other points of interest and activities.
For road trips within the US and Canada, we use RoadTrippers to plot points on a map and explore the surrounding area. Not too far off our Vermont route we found lots to consider adding to our itinerary: a huge roadside sculpture, a cider mill, an ice cream factory, a cheese factory, a coffee roaster, more breweries, yummy food options, the largest corn maze, and a number of places for hiking and scenic drives.
3. Where should we stay? Consider your accommodation style and budget.
When traveling with Camper Dan, we’re interested in finding campgrounds and boondocking locations. We often don’t book in advance but we’re generally aware of the options; consider your level of flexibility and the season. We look for ‘green space’ on Google Maps, check out state park and forest websites, BLM websites, and, if we need additional amenities, look for KOA locations. Although we haven’t used it, RoadTrippers now also includes a booking component. Other useful sites include: Hipcamp, iOverlander, FreeCampsites.net and RVParkReviews.com. And, for the non-campers, our favorite booking methods include Airbnb, HotelTonight (use promo code: MMELLI) and hotels.com.
Use our Ultimate Road Trip Packing List.
5. Get excited! Read up on the area and your favorite points of interests and activities.
If we have time we read wikipedia/wikitravel, travel sites, travel blogs, and whatever else we can find. But, the beauty of a road trip is the flexibility it affords; and best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Soak it up, soak it in, and enjoy!
Have you been to northwest Vermont? We’d love to hear from you with recommendations or suggestions. Of course, we’ll share our trip summary when we return.