How To Plan A Road Trip

How To Plan A Road Trip

Road tripping is one of our favorite ways we like to explore the great outdoors – especially National Parks and we’re determined to see all of them. I’m also super organized (surprised, right?)  and every road trip of ours usually starts with a Google Map and spreadsheet with the budget 🙂

We recently went on a road trip around Washington (particularly the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Vernon areas) for 5 days and then made our way up to Vancouver, Canada for a visit. This entire area is incredibly gorgeous (if you go during the right time of year) and I’m going to be writing a travel guide for them soon, so be on the lookout!

I thought it would be helpful if I shared our road trip planning templates so you can use them too to plan your own. You can copy them and customize it to your trip!

First, I start with a Google Map.

On here, I create an initial ‘layer’ and start putting all the places we want to go. After we consider logistics and how many days we have, I add additional layers for each day and then drag the pins to certain days that make the best sense for the route we’ll take. I label, color code, add fun icons, and photos with descriptions as well.

TRAVEL TIP: Save your map “offline” so you can access it without data too (a.k.a. when you’re driving in the middle of nowhere). Find out how to do that right here.

Next, I create a Google spreadsheet with the budget.  

On this spreadsheet, I also included a separate sheet at the bottom with the daily route in case that view is easier for you than the map. Use whichever you like best, or both! Click on the image below to open the spreadsheet.

TIP: If you log into your Google account you can go to ‘file’ → ‘save a copy’ to create a template for yourself to use forever

We save up for all of our trips before we go on them. If you want to know how we do that and get a detailed explanation on where the money “lives” until the trip, hop over to THIS post where I explain what we do in detail in the “budgeting software” section.


Now, you just need to pack! If you need help with that, you can find my Ultimate Packing Checklist HERE (hint: it’s customizable too)

If you plan for road trips in a different way, let me know how you do it!



  1. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    1. Thank you so much and I hope it’s helpful! I see you’re in Frankfurt! We’d love to travel that direction soon.

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