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Everything You Need to Plan a Road Trip

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The road trip is a quintessential American experience. Organizing a cross-country journey, a family vacation, or a solo trek takes a lot of thought and preparation, which is why we’ve rounded up everything you might need to plan a road trip, whether it be a cross-country journey, a family vacation, or a solo trek. From gear roundups to the best routes to nifty services and entertainment to help you survive (literally and figuratively), here’s a comprehensive USA road trip planner. Keep coming back throughout the month of June 2018 as we add more to our guide.
To get you started on your adventure, here is a quick rundown of the road trip essentials:

Must-have gear, gadgets, and services
Best road trip songs of all time
Where to find the most bizarre roadside attractions
Road trip apps to make the journey easier
The best cars and ultra-light travel trailers to consider
Our favorite road trip snacks

Surviving a winter road trip breakdown is all about preparing with the right tools and essentials.

Here’s how to survive a road trip breakdown in the dead of winter

If your cold-weather road trip will take you to a more remote part of the country, here’s how to survive a breakdown in the dead of winter.
Relaxing in the back of a car on a mattress

Here’s how to live in your car comfortably for a few weeks (or longer)

best ultra light travel trailers version 1666544314 happier camper exterior cliff feature

The 9 best ultralight travel trailers for your road trip

The 9 best podcasts for long road trips in 2022

best road trip cars vw van 32

The 14 Best Road-Trip Cars for Exploring the Country

Here Are Some of the Best Van Life Tips and Gear

Wingman-of-the-Road Goose Motorcycle Camping System lake feature

The 6 Best Motorcycle Tents for Camping on Two Wheels in 2022

Interior view of man driving car.

A List of Road Trip Essentials You Should Never Journey Without

Dispersed Camping Is Your Way To Camp for Free All Over the U.S.

The 9 Best Road Trip Apps To Make Your Next Journey More Epic

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge Taos New Mexico

New Mexico Road Trip Itinerary: Three Routes For Highlights and Lesser Known Stops

The 12 Best Road Trip Routes in the USA for Embarking on an Adventure of a Lifetime

broken down car emergency snow

Here’s What You Should Pack In a Car Emergency Kit

Here’s What You Should Pack In a Car Emergency Kit

Even if you’re not planning on going on a cross-country road trip, having an emergency kit in your car could be the difference between life and death.
best rooftop tents smittybilty tent

The 7 Best Rooftop Tents That Every Seasoned Car Camper Must Have

The 7 Best Rooftop Tents That Every Seasoned Car Camper Must Have

Rooftop tents serve as an on-the-go "bedroom" for car campers. Here are the best rooftop tents, all comfy enough for you to live a bucolic life.
Best Road Trip Snacks

The Best Road Trip Snacks to Bring Along for the Ride

The Best Road Trip Snacks to Bring Along for the Ride

When prepping your road trip snack pack, you need a balance of things. These are the best snacks to take along for the ride.
overlanding camping for free

How To Camp for Free When You’re on the Road

How To Camp for Free When You’re on the Road

There are many places all over this great country where you can experience nature for free. Here's where you can find them and explore.
campanda van rental

The Best Ways to Rent an RV for Your Next Road Trip

The Best Ways to Rent an RV for Your Next Road Trip

RVs are expensive, gas-hungry, and more prone to mechanical problems than the average car. The solution? Just drive someone else's.
isolation road trip

Tips for Planning the Perfect Socially Distant Road Trip in 2022

Tips for Planning the Perfect Socially Distant Road Trip in 2022

A road trip is an ideal vacation right now, but there are precautions you need to take to make your trip as safe and socially responsible as possible.

13 Ethereal Swimming Holes To Dive Into This 2022

13 Ethereal Swimming Holes To Dive Into This 2022

Forget trekking to Thailand or South America -- the U.S. boasts some of the best natural swimming holes in the world. Here are our favorites.
Wild Atlantic Way

Best Road Trips in the World: 12 Drives Worth Flying For

Best Road Trips in the World: 12 Drives Worth Flying For

Some of the world's best drives are worth flying for. Here are 12 of the best road trips in the world, including routes in South America, Australia, and more.
best audiobooks for road trips roadtrips 2021

The Best Audiobooks for Road Trips

The Best Audiobooks for Road Trips

Enjoy the hours spent traveling from coast to coast, past miles of empty highway and through long nights, with these best audiobooks for road trips.

The Must-Have Gear, Gadgets, and Tools for Your Next Road Trip

The Must-Have Gear, Gadgets, and Tools for Your Next Road Trip

If you're prepping for a winter road trip, take a look at our favorite gear and tools for planning, loving, and surviving your adventure.
car camping

The Best Car Camping Gear for Any Season

The Best Car Camping Gear for Any Season

Long nights, coolers full of beer, and comfortable beds are a good recipe for year-round car camping adventures. Here's what you need to bring.
overlanding with family

Yes, You Can Take Your Whole Family on an Overlanding Trip

Yes, You Can Take Your Whole Family on an Overlanding Trip

Overlanding with a family, especially with teenagers, is not as difficult as it sounds. A bit of preparation and some creativity on the go will make the adventure a great way to bond with your loved ones.
overlanding tech

The Best Tech to Pack on Your Next Overlanding Trip

The Best Tech to Pack on Your Next Overlanding Trip

While the purpose of overlanding is often to go off the grid, using the latest technology will make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Here’s a quick list of the best tech to master before going on a long trip in remote areas.
overlanding

A Beginner’s Guide to Planning Your First Cross-Country Overland Trip

A Beginner’s Guide to Planning Your First Cross-Country Overland Trip

dirtbag style guide

Dirtbag Style Guide: 5 Lessons That Apply to Everyone

Dirtbag Style Guide: 5 Lessons That Apply to Everyone

Without the luxuries of a room to stand up in, a bathroom mirror to shave in front of, or a closest larger than a pair of plastic bins, dirtbags are forced to think creatively about their clothes, facial hair, and general appearance. These constraints lend themselves to some innovative solutions.
Mikah Meyer flag

On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip

On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip

What does it take to visit every National Park in the country? For Mikah Meyer, it took three years and thousands of miles.
drivin and vibin interview airstream upgrade exterior

Professional Nomads Show Off How They Renovated an Airstream

Professional Nomads Show Off How They Renovated an Airstream

Kyle and Olivia of mobile lifestyle brand Drivin' and Vibin' recently renovated an Airstream to become their new home. Here's how.
new york road trip

Your Guide to a Road Trip Across New York State

Your Guide to a Road Trip Across New York State

A multi-day drive around the state of New York could have you behold famed Niagara Falls, pass through multiple mountain ranges, skirt deep glacial lakes, and visit multiple New York cities that are not New York City. And best of all, in most cases you can enjoy open roads with little traffic.
Driving the 2019 Corvette on Route 66

Icons of America: Taking a Corvette Road Trip Along Route 66

Icons of America: Taking a Corvette Road Trip Along Route 66

Corvette is not just the most iconic American sports car, but the most iconic American car ever. It redefined what was possible in an American vehicle. What better place for a test drive than America's most iconic road?
Highway 104

The Quietest and Loneliest Roads in America

The Quietest and Loneliest Roads in America

Hidden amid the four million miles of roads that criss-cross the country are some of the most amazing routes in the world. If you’re looking for stunning, Instagram-worthy scenery and as few other travelers as possible, these are some of the quietest, loneliest, most scenic roads in America.
bowlus endless highways camper back road chief s luxurious highway

Bowlus Road Chief’s Luxurious Endless Highways Is the Original Silver Bullet Camper

Bowlus Road Chief’s Luxurious Endless Highways Is the Original Silver Bullet Camper

Airstream's iconic aluminum design is rooted in Bowlus Road Chief — a lesser-known RV company whose history dates back to the birth of modern aviation. Now, after almost 90 years, it has resurrected the most striking travel trailer we’ve ever seen.
beards booze bacon ultimate road trip planner episode the manual podcast roadtrip

The Ultimate Road Trip Prep Guide from The Manual Podcast Crew

The Ultimate Road Trip Prep Guide from The Manual Podcast Crew

The Manual podcast crew breaks down the essentials for a good road trip. From accessories to great routes, here is everything you need to hit the road.
Airstream Caravel

Airstream Brings Back 2 of Its Most Popular and Affordable Travel Trailers

Airstream Brings Back 2 of Its Most Popular and Affordable Travel Trailers

Airstream travel trailers are legendary among roadtrippers. Sadly, they’re too expensive for most, with some models starting north of six figures. However, Airstream just announced the return of two of its most popular and affordable models: Bambi and Caravel
Carapate travel trailer parked on the beach.

The Airy Carapate Teardrop Trailer Is Your Window to the Natural World

The Airy Carapate Teardrop Trailer Is Your Window to the Natural World

Today’s teardrop trailers eschew the bare-bones, ultra-minimalist designs of the 20th century in favor of more stylish, full-featured alternatives that appeal to young road-trippers and vanlifers. The newly announced Carapate teardrop trailer is no different.
roadside-attractions-carhenge-recrop

Weird Roadside Attractions: 10 Picture-Worthy Pit Stops in the U.S.

Weird Roadside Attractions: 10 Picture-Worthy Pit Stops in the U.S.

From Cadillac Ranch to Salvation Mountain to Lucy the Elephant, wonderfully bizarre roadside attraction line American's highways. Here are the can't-miss destinations to include on your next road trip.
best road trip songs header image

The Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

The Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

Ah, the open road! It beckons us to cast aside responsibility, embrace the unknown, jump in the car, listen to a playlist of the best road trip songs, and just go.
Rocky Mountain Road Trip - 14 WY Tetons - Road - feature

The View of an American Road Trip from the Back of a Motorcycle

The View of an American Road Trip from the Back of a Motorcycle

One day while heading to my favorite peak, an idea formed: "What if I could tour the Rocky Mountains of the West on the motorcycle of my dreams?"One day while heading to my favorite peak, an idea formed: "What if I could tour the Rocky Mountains of the West on the motorcycle of my dreams?"
blue ridge parkway

North Carolina Road Trip Itinerary: What to Eat, Drink, and Do in the Tar Heel State

North Carolina Road Trip Itinerary: What to Eat, Drink, and Do in the Tar Heel State

The best way to see what the North Carolina's mountains offer is by experiencing them through scenic drives and stops in the cities that offer quaint places to stay, incredible restaurants, and lots of activities to fill your time.
canada newfoundland road trip guide fogo island inn fnewfoundland featured image

Newfoundland Road Trip Itinerary: Where to Visit, Eat, and Stay on the Canadian Island

Newfoundland Road Trip Itinerary: Where to Visit, Eat, and Stay on the Canadian Island

One of Canada’s most remote provinces is also one of the most spectacular places to visit within the massive country. This Newfoundland road trip includes stops in Gander, Gross Morne National Park, Fogo Islands, and Change Islands.
unbound merino shirts travel

5 Best Travel Clothes Brands You Can Get Away with Not Washing

5 Best Travel Clothes Brands You Can Get Away with Not Washing

By blending traditional fibers like cotton with premium materials like merino wool — sometimes a dash of precious metals — these high-tech, premium travel clothing brands are comfortable, quick-drying, odor-resistant, and infinitely wearable.
polydrop trailer

Futuristic Polydrop Travel Trailer Looks Straight Out of Blade Runner

Futuristic Polydrop Travel Trailer Looks Straight Out of Blade Runner

The travel trailer space has become crowded indeed. There are European models with retractable roofs, models designed to serve as “basecamp” for hardcore adventurers, and off-road-ready campers capable of going just about anywhere. The minimalist Polydrop travel trailer lies somewhere in the middle.
sylvansport vast trailer

This Camper Wants to Be Whatever Type of Travel Trailer You Need It to Be

This Camper Wants to Be Whatever Type of Travel Trailer You Need It to Be

A new breed of travel trailers is targeting hardcore explorers. These adventure trailers forego frilly luxuries like faux granite countertops, big-screen HDTVs, and smartphone-controllable mood lighting. Instead, they’re all about function, versatility, and gear hauling.
Rhino Rack Batwing Awning

Take Shelter Wherever You Roam With Rhino Rack’s Batwing Awning

Take Shelter Wherever You Roam With Rhino Rack’s Batwing Awning

Hiding in your tent every time you want a reprieve from the sun, wind, or rain while camping can get old quick, which is why retractable awnings like the Rhino Rack Batwing have become popular. Here's our test of the new Batwing during a weekend camping trip.
driveshare classic cars

Road Trip! DriveShare is the Airbnb of Vintage, Exotic, and Collectible Cars

Road Trip! DriveShare is the Airbnb of Vintage, Exotic, and Collectible Cars

DriveShare’s goal is simple: connect owners of the world’s most sought-after cars with prospective non-owners who would very much like to drive said cars. It works like any other sharing website.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT Tire Review

These Off-Road Tires Are an Overlander’s Best Friend

These Off-Road Tires Are an Overlander’s Best Friend

Cooper's new Discoverer AT3 XLT squares up against BFGoodrich’s K02s as an aggressive all-terrain tire with an even higher tread life rating and comfort-oriented engineering.
Beauer 3X trailer

Beauer 3X Camping Trailer Expands From Pod to Palace in Just 20 Seconds

Beauer 3X Camping Trailer Expands From Pod to Palace in Just 20 Seconds

Meet the Beauer 3X camping trailer, a compact, towable camping pod that expands to three times its size. Towing the Beauer 3X on cross-country adventures means no more cramping (cramped camping) in small trailers and no maneuvering massive gas-guzzling RVs.
pugvan camper van module plugvan exterior

PlugVan Converts Most Vans Into Full-Fledged Campers in 5 Minutes

PlugVan Converts Most Vans Into Full-Fledged Campers in 5 Minutes

Traditional campers and travel trailers can be prohibitively expensive both to buy and to maintain. PlugVan is a unique plug-and-play module designed to literally “plug” into a variety of stock work vans, converting them into full-fledged campervans in less than 10 minutes.
nestbox turns your suv into an off grid camper in minutes nest gal7 1200x800 q75

Nestbox Turns Your SUV Into an Off-Grid Camper in Minutes

Nestbox Turns Your SUV Into an Off-Grid Camper in Minutes

Sleeping in your car is never quite as cushy as overnighting in a decked-out RV or travel trailer. Egoé is looking to deliver that same experience to SUV owners with Nestbox, a clever camping kit “insert” that transforms a wide variety of automobiles into full-featured travel trailers in minutes.