How to Map Out Your Best Road Trip Route

Nothing says summer like piling the car with duffel bags and gas station snacks and turning up your favorite playlist as you head off on your annual road trip. And to help you plan this year, we’ve put together a few tips to help you map out the best road trip route.

How do you choose a road trip destination?

Excited family on a road trip in car, rear passenger POV

First, decide what kind of vacation you’re looking for. Are you seeking adventure and outdoor activities? Or would you prefer a relaxing getaway sitting by the water? Do you want to drive cross-country? Or are you looking to stay closer to home? If that sounds like you, a few Ohio favorites include Hocking Hills and Put-In-Bay. And we also suggest checking out popular road trips within 350 miles of Columbus, Ohio.

Next, consider your budget—as the miles add up, so will your spending— and what interests you the most. As a AAA member, you can save on gas, attraction tickets, car rentals, travel gear and more to make your road trip as affordable as possible.

If you’re in need of more personalized suggestions, our AAA Travel agents are always available to discuss your preferences and provide several destination options.

How do you build a road trip itinerary?

Once you’ve selected your vacation destination, a great strategy to ensure you’ll get the most out of your trip is to build an itinerary. Most cities, states and destinations have Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) online that provide tons of suggestions for restaurants, activities and lodging. AAA Travel Guides also provide in-depth information for several popular U.S. vacation spots.

If building your own itinerary is stressful, our travel agents can handle the planning for you. Schedule an appointment online and our experts will help you plan your vacation from start to finish.

How do you find stops on a road trip?

Jeep driving on a mountain coast road trip.

Building an itinerary is more than the destination itself, it includes the drive to get there. There may even be must-see pit stops along the way that can help break up your trip, and expand your vacation experience. AAA TripTik routings are an easy way to find the best stops, whether you’re traveling close to home or far from it. You can choose to avoid toll roads, specify a scenic route and more. Create your own, or order a TripTik created by a AAA travel agent.

Should you book in advance?

Absolutely. You should contact any hotels you’re planning to stay at and make sure they have rooms available. It may also be a good idea to research specific restaurants/attractions you are planning to visit during peak seasons like the summer. If you prefer to book online, AAA offers a quality list of AAA-approved hotels and activities.

Young lovely couple sitting with a travel agent to plan their road trip. Create new and exciting memories when working with an AAA Travel agent to find the best deals wherever life takes you. And while you’re on the road, AAA is here to provide peace of mind for the miles ahead.

Not a member yet? Join AAA today for our world-class roadside service, exclusive discounts and more!