By Guest Author: Andee S.

 Road trips are an American tradition, the subject of films and songs and home movies. They’re where memories are made. Twenty years from now, you’ll recall the experiences you had as you rolled along the open road.

To get the most from your experience, you’ll have to do a little planning and prep. Take care to consider your needs as well as your limited space on your adventure. Gathered below are some tips for preparing your van and avoiding packing mishaps.

Plan

To get the most out of your road trip, you’ll want to sit down and make a plan. What do you want to see? Do you want to kayak down a river or ride bikes off-road, or do you want to stay on foot? Create a route and an itinerary.

Now that you have that part down, do the following:

  • Reserve camping sites ahead of time. If you’re traveling in a busy season, these fill up fast. We offer free trip advice on destinations and campgrounds.

  • If you’re going to visit National Parks, get an America the Beautiful pass online to let you into all the parks for a year.  State parks also sell passes. Both sell passes or one-time day use passes at the entry gate.

  • Check weather conditions for where you’re going so you can plan what kind of gear you need.

  • Consider getting some packing cubes that will easily fit under car seats or use compact duffel bags. Bring sturdy clothes you can wear multiple times (except for undies and socks, of course). If your trip's long, take quarters and soap for the laundromat.

Get Packed

Packing for any trip can be stressful but it’s an essential step before you can get there out and explore. To avoid the hassle and the scrambling, we have compiled a master list of everything that you should bring along and leave behind.

Check out our recommendations for all of the gear you will need here.

Stay Relaxed 

Remember, you’re on vacation. There's no need to be strict with your schedule. If you see something interesting that you didn’t put on your list, then it’s perfectly fine to pull off the road and look at it. 

Also, remember to take breaks every two hours for at least fifteen minutes, so you can stretch your legs. To really get your blood flowing properly, uplift your mood, and keep up your fitness level, stop at a local park and power walk, run, or do other cardio activities for twenty minutes.

Make sure to drink plenty of water, even if you'll need to take more frequent pit stops.

If you have to go to the bathroom, don't try to hold it too long.  If you start feeling sleepy while driving, don’t try to power through—pull into a rest stop and take a nap on your comfortable memory foam mattress.

Make time to look at the stars. If you’re tired, sleep in. If you don’t feel like setting up a cookout on your cook table found in your campervan, then eat out. 

Hit the Road

Wandervans works hard to make your experience as enjoyable as we can. We can provide advice and accommodations, but in the end, it’s your trip so really make it your own! Get out and explore, find an unforgettable adventure in the outdoors and become a wanderer.