How to Plan Your Way Into a Mistake Free Road Trip - Even When It's Not Your Job

We've all had one of those vacations that you needed a vacation from. They suck the life out of you. 🚐🏖⛰🥱

Where did it start to go wrong? How do you make sure it never happens again? What can you do to make sure that your next trip is one for the ages?

I want to make sure your next trip is epic, so I'm going to share with you my secrets to quickly and easily planning a trip like it's your job. 🙌🏻

But I'm not going to stop there. 😮

After I help you plan out the details to perfection, I'll help you plan out some extras like it's your passion, but in a way that won't take 100 hours of work. Because who needs another job? I've already got two of those.

As a family who wants to make the most of your adventures, you know you want more, but not sure how to make it all happen without a guide.

Are you ready to be more prepared for your next family adventure???

Then let's DIVE IN!

As we get started today I want to start you with something that's worth the price of admission. But if you want the thing that's a game-changer, I want you to wait around to the end, because that's where I'm going to help you take your trip from great to unforgettable.

1. Plan your route

I'm a PLAN-NER. Can you relate? I don't just like to have a plan, I like to have backups to my backup plan. So when it comes time to plan out our route for a trip I'm into the details and figuring out all the contingencies. So if that's what we're going to do, then I need a tool to help make it happen.

As we tow our house around the country we use a program called "RV Trip Wizard" to help us pick routes, figure out how far we can go before it's time to fill up the tanks, find diesel, and even figure out where to find free parking or a nice campground if we're in the mood. Maybe you've heard that Walmart is a great place to park overnight, but did you know that some Walmarts don't allow it? And did you know that some city ordinances don't allow overnight parking? We didn't know that either. But it's definitely not something you want to find out at dinner time when you're pulling into a space where you figured you were going to be able to sleep for the night.

Trust me on that one.

We believe in this program enough that we've got an affiliate link with these guys, so if you click our link and sign up you'll get a discount and you'll also buy us a cup of coffee. Well, maybe tea, since I don't drink coffee.

While using a program to plan out your route is really helpful, we love to find the little gems that you wouldn't normally find on the road, and for those kinds of things, we turn to Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts.

Boondockers Welcome will help you find free overnight parking on private property. It's a great way to make new friends and sleep soundly

Harvest Host is a membership network that invites self-contained RVers to stay in really cool places like wineries, museums, golf courses, and breweries overnight for free.

Finally, I just found out about something called Candle in the Window Hospitality Network that is kind of like a cross between Airbnb and staying with your Aunt Sylvia. It's based on the Bible verse in the book of Romans, chapter 12 that says we should, "Practice hospitality." The idea is that you meet new people, make lifelong friends, enjoy great conversational dinners, and stay free when traveling.

OK, so we're off to a great start.

Now that you've planned your route to perfection, it's time to:

2.Plan for Trouble

Check out this list:

flat tire

refrigerator breaks

leaf spring bracket breaks

axle support breaks

hit a tree

slides don’t work

Run out of electricity

water heater breaks

window flies off (you heard that right)

tire falls off


Spare tire doesn't have enough air

gas station tire pump doesn't inflate your spare tire

busted window

door breaks

truck breaks down

truck battery dies while you're driving

speeding ticket


These are just a few of the things that have happened to us at least once on the road.

Now that I've told you some of our issues, tell me a doozy you guys have gone through.

So needless to say, we are huge proponents of having a plan for when things go wrong.

To start with, I'm going to agree with your dad. You need to know how to change a spare tire. And you also need to make sure you have the tools (working tools) to do so.

While we're on the topic of your dad, if you get a ticket, it's still nice to have someone to call, even if it's not your dad. Amy and I just started using a service that can help you when you get a ticket, when you have a contract that you want someone to read for you, when you have a legal question but don't want to pay "lawyer hours", or even in concealed carry or other situations pertaining to your handgun. If something goes wrong with your rig, or with your reservation, it's nice to have legal support that can help you sort it out. This is also a great resource to use if you're concerned with ID Theft and credit monitoring. It's pretty new to us, but so far we're really impressed with everything they have to offer.

Finally, it's also good form to have roadside coverage, either through your insurance company or through a separate provider. We've had one company that we've used since we started traveling, and they've been there for us on numerous occasions. But, lately, they've let us down, so I'm not going to tell you who they are. I'd like to think that we've just had bad luck with them. But I would encourage you to find a company that can help you with your car or truck, but someone that can also help you get your RV repaired or towed if you need it.

3. Plan the little things

Over the years I've met some people that are crazy "engineery" types. Like my dad. You probably know some of them too.

They can definitely drive you crazy when they are rigid about "The Plan", but at the same time, there is a rest that happens when you've planned for as many of the details as you can so that you can relax about everything else.

In other words, try to plan out as many things as possible, then relax and go with the flow.

One of the things we try to remove the stress from is planning out our meals. We all know that you spend more at the grocery store when you don't have a list. Well, what if you could plan out every meal, including recipes, and it would automagically give you a shopping list that you could customize by quickly and easily pull out the things you've already got in stock?

I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Plan to Eat. Just like with RV Trip Wizard before, we've got an affiliate, but when you use our link, it also connects is as friends and we can share recipes with each other...AND you get a free 30-day trial. Cool, right?!

4. Plan something big

I hope you feel like you're getting some good nuggets. But right now I want us to take things to the next level. I promised that I'd finish today's video by helping you take this trip from good to unforgettable. Are you ready?

We have some friends back in Kingwood that are incredible people. They are the people you always wanted to have as friends. They're amazing. And their youngest son has a heart of GOLD. A few years ago they went on a trip to NYC and Caleb wanted to give money to every homeless person they saw. After his dad explained why that wasn't always the best idea, they came up with a plan to make some bags they could give out instead. In those bags, they put things like socks, deodorant, washcloths, a few snack bars, some bottles of water, a Bible, and a note that told them how much they were loved, that they matter.

Tell me they will ever forget this trip. Let's be honest - YOU may never forget that trip.

Another favorite of ours is ten envelopes. For this challenge, you and your family will get ten envelopes (or you can pick a different number). You can change the specifics any way you want, but here is a general idea.

In each of the envelopes you will put some money (the amount of money doesn't matter, it could be one dollar, or it could be $100) and then you will write a note. On the note just tell the person that you want them to know they are loved, that God is watching out for them, and that they matter. Tweak it how you want, but write something encouraging. For this one, I'd also challenge you to let your kids write their own notes (with guidance if they need it). Next, take the envelopes to a store, or downtown, and give them to people that you're impressed to give them to. You'll be amazed at the reactions. Some will be nothing at all, but others will be... amazing.

So I want to encourage you to carve a little time out of your trip to give back. Maybe it will be some You Matter bags, or maybe it will be envelopes, or maybe you could just grab a trash bag and spend an hour picking up trash on the beach. It's less about the specific task you do, and more about the fact that you're finding time to serve someone else.

Watch my full video here:

Other Videos in this Series:

How You Can Stay Healthy While on the Road

Eating Healthy with Kids on the Road

How You Can Protect Your Family and Your Sanity While on the Road

How You Can Get Along as a Family Even While Traveling