If you follow me on Snapchat, then you know (from the 50+ snaps in three days) that my best friend and I are on an epic summer road trip across the Mid-West. Over 16 days we’ll hit Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming.
So far we’ve explored Denver, Pikes Peak, the Royal Gorge, Arches National Park and Monument Valley. Today we’re heading out to the Grand Canyon before a fun few days in Vegas!
Road trips are meant to be spontaneous and adventurous, but as this is our first major road trip, we felt like we needed to be somewhat prepared before heading out.
Today, I’ve teamed up with Woolly Threads to share five tricks that have helped with our trip so far!
1. Start a with Pinterest Board.
Since we are visiting multiple cities, states and national parks on this trip, we were overwhelmed with all the options of things to do on or near our route.
To organize our “to-do” wish list, we create a shared Pinterest board titled #LesMagsGoWest16. From there, we start pinning any and everything we found interesting from the places we’re visiting.
Pinterest mostly serves as the brainstorming for our trip. From there, we do a bit more research by checking out travel blogs or websites to start the actual planning.
2. Map out your trip with Roadtrippers.
Roadtrippers has made planning our 16-day trip a breeze! It was recommended to me by a friend who travels all the time, and I immediately saw its value once I started plotting out our destinations on the map.
Roadtrippers maps out your destinations in the shortest routes possible, and in addition it will show you nearby attractions, restaurants, hotels, shopping and more.
Plus, you can share your route with anyone going on your trip so they can view and edit as well. Hooray for collaboration!
It will also show you milage and time between destinations, plus estimated gas costs (that’s the not so exciting part).
3. Create and share your itinerary on Google Docs.
Once we have our route mapped out, we planned out incredibly detailed itineraries for each day. This includes dates, times, addresses, ticket prices, notes and more.
Since you’re planning a trip with your BFF, it’s necessary to collaborate and share. The easiest way I have found is a simple Google Doc. This works best because you both can access it and make edits.
When I’m planning a trip that requires me to move around to multiple destinations, I’m obnoxiously detailed with time. I may take it overboard a bit, but I’d rather write out absolutely everything to make sure I can squeeze in anything I want to do. With that I can manage my time and know when it’s time to hit the road to head to the next place.
Once your Google doc itenerary is complete, it might be a good idea to share it with your family and friends too so everyone will know where you’re suppose to be and when. Safety first, girls!
4. Make other sharable lists on Google Docs.
Expense List- Obviously, when you’re planning a vacation money is involved. Sometimes a lot of money. When it comes to splitting airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, ticket fees, food and more, it can become difficult keeping up with who owes what to whom.
To keep this from happening, we created a simple Google Doc (or spreadsheet) of a list of our expenses. This way we can easily split up costs once the trip is over. At the end of each day, we just make a list of what we purchased and add it to our document.
Packing List- When traveling on the road for an extended period of time, you want to pack as light as possible. I mean, you don’t really need two flat irons and two hair dryers. To save yourself some space in your suitcase, make a sharable document packing list (seriously, Google docs to the rescue!).
5. Set up a way to share your photos.
Once all the logistics are worked out for the road trip, then you get to go enjoy it! While tons of photos will make it to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, make sure you have a way to collect ALL the photos from one another after the trip. Set up a Dropbox or share on Google images. Or after your trip, plan a photo sharing party!
Another thing we ALWAYS do is start a hashtag for our trip so our friends and family can follow along. This year’s hashtag is #LesMagsGoWest16.
What other tips do you have for planning a trip with your BFF? Follow along with ours on Snapchat (lesliepresnall) and with the hasthag #LesMagsGoWest16
p.s. I bet you’re wondering about that comfy sweater and why the heck I’m wearing a sweater in the middle of the summer!
This post was written in collaboration with Woolly Threads, who helped me plan my perfect travel out for my road trip!
I’m wearing the Heathered Purple Woolly (size medium), which was just the pullover I needed for the 35 degree temperatures at the top of Pikes Peak! You really don’t expect it to be that cold up there in the summer!
Woolly Threads is a Baton Rouge-based and 100% American-made apparel company. You can check out their collegiate collection, color collection and more here.