Nothing cures wanderlust like a good road trip, but sometimes figuring out all the specifics can dampen the mood.

To make things easier, we put together some tips for setting your trip up for success, paired with travel prep photos by Mallory Morris of Mallory on the Moon, who recently cruised across the states from Ohio to California. Check ‘em out below!

1. Brainstorm

The open road is just that – open. So how exactly do you settle on which spots to visit? We recommend starting with a good brainstorming sesh with your trusted travel companion(s). Now’s the time to pull out your mood boards, bucket lists and recommendations from your fave influencers, and see how they do or don’t work together. The key is building an itinerary that is centered on your must-sees, which will keep everyone happy.

2. Research, Research, Research

Now for the fun part. Once you settle on a few sights and cities to hit up, you need to figure out the logistics. Do you have a place to stay? Know what time everything closes? Got enough clothes and cash? What if you have car trouble? Sorry for going all Mom on you, but it really pays off to prepare for anything the trip can throw at you.

3. Pack Smart

You’re going to be spending hours on hours sitting in a cramped car, so a road trip is def not the time to lug a suitcase with all of those “what if” outfits. Pack light and with intention. Think about what you really need based on the activities you have planned and go from there. Pro tip: Bring a duffle bag–they’re spacious and also space-saving, which means they’re a godsend when you’re cruising in the backseat with everyone’s luggage.

4. Go With the Flow

Thing don’t always go according to plan. Adopting a “stop and smell the roses” mentality on a road trip will keep you sane and also allow you to experience things you might not have otherwise. Take the scenic route or pull over for that breathtaking view. Those fleeting moments are often the best.

5. Plan the Next One

Didn’t get to everything you wanted to see? Wish you planned for more time in a certain city? Take all those what-could-have-beens and save ‘em for the next one. Plus, this cuts out a step so you can get back on the road even sooner.


Amber Dusk Duffle Bag

by SpaceFrogDesigns


Indigo Sky Carry-All Pouch

by SpaceFrogDesigns


Retro 70s iPhone Case


by Alisa Galitsyna


Golden Peaks Art Print

by SpaceFrogDesigns


Jessica McQueen