Tips for a Killer Road Trip. Part 1

I never ended up writing a post about our epic 7 day Los Angeles – San Francisco – Las Vegas and back trip in May 2015. It was one hell of a road trip and with spring and summer coming up, I hope these tips will help you plan an even better one for you and your friends or fam!

1.Make a List.

If you have limited time, but have a packed schedule and a lot of places you’d like to see, planning is a must do to ensure a successful trip.

San Francisco

You will not be able to see absolutely everything that you want – it is impossible.

So start with research and a big list of things that you would love to see, put them all down in writing and then start crossing them off, based on a few different criteria:

  • Start by narrowing down cities or places you want to visit. Depending on the city – 2 to 3 days should be enough for one.
  • How expensive it is? Maybe you can’t afford to explore some cities or attraction. If so, postpone them for future.
  • How far away is the attraction from where you live or where you plan to be prior to visiting it?
  • Is it really worth it (my time, driving distance, money etc.)?

And don’t forget to create and go through the list with the people who are joining you on the trip. Even though, it’s impossible to please everyone, compromise is key to a successful and fun trip for everyone.

Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory

Be realistic and don’t overplan.

We were very ambitious with my 2 girlfriends when we initially sat down to plan the trip. Yosemite Park, for example, was on our list of places to stop by while driving from LA to San Fran. I’m glad we were smart enough to drop it from the list eventually. Grand attractions like Yosemite deserve a few full days of exploration, so we decided to leave it for the next time, when we physically could give the park the time it deserved.

Las Vegas

2. Schedule Things in.

Smart planning will help you to fit in as many things as possible and do it efficiently. We had an excel spreadsheet. Yes, really. It also included a budget tab.

  • Ask yourself: what time are we OK to wake up? Waking up early is a key to having more time, hence, the ability to see more.
  • Check opening times of attractions that operate only during certain hours and/or require a ticket.
  • Pre-buy all your tickets online! It’s a HUGE time-saver, especially if it allows you to skip the line.
  • Schedule in almost everything: every meal and how much time it will take to get from point A to point B. (In LA especially, driving took a lot of time).

Golden Gate Bridge, San Fran

3. Go to Instagram for Travel Inspiration.

During your research stage don’t neglect Instagram and it’s location tags and hashtags to help you figure out which spots are a must-visit according to locals and experienced travelers.

Instagram is probably best for finding beautiful spots for a photo opp and food, of course.

 

Urth Cafe on Melrose Avenue, LA

LA Pink Wall, Paul Smith store. Although I heard it’s no longer pink!

I hope these tips are helpful for when you’re planning your next trip! Stay tuned for Part 2 of the blog!

-Sasha

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