Ingredients for the Perfect Summer Road Trip

It's road trip season! So we've made a crucial checklist for you! Here’s how to create the perfect summer road trip:

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Summer is fast approaching, and you know what that means: road trip season!

Aside from picking an epic destination, there’s a lot to consider before hopping in the car, so we made a crucial checklist for you! Here’s how to create the perfect summer road trip:

Plan Well

Spontaneity is great, but when you’re trying to plan a killer road trip, it’s best to plan things out in advance to avoid frustration on the road. These may seem like no-brainers, but these simple steps can make the actual trip that much more enjoyable:

  • Decide your major stopovers beforehand.

  • Research how long you’ll drive between stops.

  • Plan campsites and reserve them in advance.

  • Budget gas money (and always have an extra gas can in the trunk).

  • Pack all of the gear (cameras, tent, etc.) you’ll need.

  • Don’t overbook yourself! Leave some time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Adventure Buddies

The most important element of the road trip recipe is good company! Having awesome people with you comes in handy for a number of reasons:

  • Adventuring is way more fun with friends. Duh.

  • Ever heard of the buddy system? Well when you’re on the road it’s good to have a few people that have your back, safety-wise.

  • More creative brains around you fuels your own creativity.

Be sure to boot any Negative Nancys and Complaining Carls. It only takes one sour apple to ruin the whole trip. After all, there are lows on every trip, but embracing them leads to a better experience and sometimes the best memories!

Road Trip Tunes

Now for the special sauce. Every great road trip absolutely needs a solid playlist.

  • If aren’t an audiophile, delegate the playlist duty to a friend or find one online.

  • Spotify has super accessible, curated lists by mood and/or genre.

  • Soundcloud has user-generated playlists chock-full of more obscure goodies.

  • If you’re on a multi-week trip, try Noon Paciifc’s weekly lists!

  • Remember to download your playlists offline in case of poor cell reception and to save data.

Stop Often, Take Your Time

Do not be so tied to your schedule that you avoid stopping at scenic places, restaurants, or random stores that catch your eye.

  • Trust us, when you pass by a hot springs sign in Nowhere, Montana without stopping, you’ll regret it later!

  • Stop often and take your time. The unexpected stops may be your favorites.

Put the Camera Down

Time for the seasoning on top. Obviously you’re going to take lots of photos on your phone, but don’t forget to stop and enjoy what you’re experiencing. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to capture everything. But remember that photos have a digital shelf life, but those memories and experiences are going to live forever.

Zach Reed


Zach Reed is a Photographer and Videographer based out of Seattle, WA. He loves exploring new places and sharing those experiences with others. He grew up in the pacific northwest and has a deep love for outdoors. Zach enjoys hiking, kayaking, flying drones, his dogs, and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in his spare time.

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