As flight prices climb, flying to your summer vacation destination may not be as appealing as the other alternative — a road trip.

You can pack some snacks, put together a playlist and enjoy life on the open road with your family or friends for a few days. Planning a road trip can be daunting — there’s no Expedia for it — but you can make your road trip work for you.

One of the advantages of the road trip is it works for both spontaneous people and planners. If spur of the moment stops and surprises work for you, you can plan to be spontaneous. If you like having everything meticulously planned, you can do that as well.

Here’s a guide to road trips for this summer.

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Are road trips more expensive than flying?

It depends on distance, the amount of people and whether or not you’re splitting the cost. The big costs on road trips are gasoline, food and lodging.

You can use tools like Be Frugal’s Fly or Drive calculator to see what’s the best option or you can calculate it manually. Road tripping with family or friends can be economically savvy because chances are the price of gas will still be less than the combined total of all the plane tickets you’ll need. It’s still worth it to check.

Be prepared for unexpected costs when you road trip. You may need an oil change or extra washer fluid or other car repairs. Before leaving, you’ll want to check the fluids of your car and make sure your car is running properly. It’s important to also make sure you have tools like jumper cables or a blanket in your trunk.

Where should I go on a road trip?

Road trips can be to destinations near or far — there are many different combinations of destinations you can have.

If you want to do a road trip to a particular place like a beach or a national park and then stay there for a couple days, you can find one near you. You can also map out a road trip where you have multiple stops along the way, such as historical markers and museums.

Here are the 11 most popular road trips, according to AAA.

  • Southern New England.
  • Northern Arizona canyons.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway.
  • Hershey, Pennsylvania.
  • Southern Arizona.
  • Southern California.
  • Northern California and Southern Oregon coast.
  • Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon.
  • Smoky Mountains.
  • Grand Pacific Northwest.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

You can customize your road trip destination based on your hobbies. Say you’re a fan of history, you can pick an area of the country to road trip to learn more about the history there. If you like art, you can pick a route which has many art museums along the way — there are many different variations of a trip you can take.

How many hours a day should your drive on a road trip?

Conventional wisdom, according to Open Road Odysseys, says eight hours of driving a day is reasonable for one driver. There are a few things to think about — if you have multiple drivers, you can switch off driving. If you’re driving at night, it can be easy to become drowsy and driving drowsy may pose some safety risks.

Driving for long periods of time can also make you feel tired. It’s important to make sure you are awake and alert while driving, so planning driving around that is important. Taking breaks when driving long distances is important so you can refocus on the road after your break. If you have younger kids, your driving times will likely need to shorten, too.

What do I need planned for a road trip?

There are a few things you’ll need planned for a road trip.

  1. Gasoline and stops. When planning the route to your destination(s), you’ll want to plan out where you can stop for a while, get some gasoline for your car and maybe pick up some water. Some stretches of road can be long before you see another rest stop or gas station, so it’s important to think ahead.
  2. Safety of your car. Make sure to check to see if your car is safe to drive long distances and has all the necessary repairs and fluids before embarking on your journey.
  3. Lodging. You’ll want to reserve hotels along the way (depending on the length of your trip) and at your destination. Hotel reservations ideally should be done in advance so you don’t end up in a town where all hotels are sold out. If you plan on camping, be sure to have sufficient sleeping bags for night temperatures and make sure you’re aware of how to safely store your food (bear-resistant canisters may be needed).
  4. Food. This one can be spontaneous or planned out, depending on your preference, but you’ll want to make sure you have a plan for if you’re going to keep some food in a cooler to eat or if you’re going to buy groceries at your destination. Be sure to have a way to safely store food (and change out the ice) or you know there are open restaurants in the area your travels take you.
  5. Bring a map. It’s old-school, but having a map can be important if you lose signal or your phone runs out of battery. You might not use it, but it’s a valuable tool.
  6. Bring some cash. Old-school again, but you never know. When you’re traveling to a new location, it’s possible the cute little restaurant you were dying to go to only accepts cash or you’ll need it for an emergency.
  7. Make an emergency kit. Fill it with supplies for everyone in the car. Supplies like Band-Aids, nonperishable foods, repair kit, a blanket, a tent, a flashlight and other emergency supplies can help you in case you need them.
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Preparing in advance can help make a road trip better than you imagined. A solid plan can lead to smooth sailing.