Plan Your Next Road Trip

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A 1969 Porsche 911 sides at the side of a desert back road, which stretches off toward the mountains on the horizon.
Road Trip Advice and Insights provided for free! *Porsche not included

Planning a road trip is often fun, exciting, and generates a lot of anticipation for your upcoming adventure!  It can also be frustrating, annoying, and can generate a lot of questions and concerns about where to go, how to get there, what to see and do along the way, where to stay, what to eat …. the list goes on and on!

TL/DR:  Complete the form below to begin the process of planning your back road trip!  Please be sure to include some basic information – when you’re leaving, duration, what you’re interested in seeing and doing – about the trip you’re interested in planning.  Or you can also Email me today!

Note:  This service is completely free!   My only request is for you to follow our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) and subscribe to receive an email when a new post is published (approx 1-2 per month).

Want Help with Planning a Road Trip?

If you fall into the second category of folks described above – fear not!! You’re not alone!  It can be quite challenging to find and organize all of the various components that combine to create a successful road trip.  There’s absolutely no shame in reaching out and asking for help, not when you can work with a highly experienced back road adventurer who loves assisting readers find their way off the highway and into the heart of America…..  and best of all, is willing to help you FOR FREE!

You read that right – I will work with you and help you to design, craft, fine tune, and plan out your road trip completely free (more on that below).

But what exactly does that mean?

Plan Your Road Trip

There are a number of steps that go into planning a road trip, regardless of length, goal, or other criteria.  I’ve put these steps in order based upon what has worked best in my own travel experiences.  However, if there is an alternate thought process you would like to consider, I’m flexible and am happy to work with you!

  1. Determine your various travel goals – where do you want to go, and what do you want to see and do?

    This the first, and most crucial, step of planning your road trip.  Not only are you deciding where you ultimately want to end up, but you should have an idea of the kinds of experiences you want to have along the way.  Do you want to explore museums?  Camp in the wilderness?  Experience various regional cuisines?  A winery or brewery or distillery tour?  These characteristics will help me to begin crafting an excellent experience for you.

  2. Determine your road trip budget.

    This is a no-brainer, of course, but it’s an important thing to figure out early on.  Without a good sense of your budget, you won’t be able to figure out what you can … or can’t … afford to do on your vacation.  It also provides guidance about where you’ll be eating, where you’ll be sleeping, and ways that you can trim the proverbial fat in certain areas to allow additional spending in other areas.  You must also be prepared for how much money you’ll spend on gas.  This crucial element will help me to work with you to maximize your travel budget.

  3. Determine how long you have to travel.

    Again, this one seems fairly obvious, but the amount of time you can take for your vacation is a huge factor in planning your road trip.  This will help me to figure out the best way to spend your time in getting to your destination.

  4. Pick your mode of transportation.  Also, determine where you want to stay while you’re traveling.

    This one might give you pause.  “What do you mean, mode of transportation?”  you might ask me.  “Aren’t we going to drive on the back roads?”  Well, yes, yes you most assuredly are going to drive on the back roads.  But WHAT VEHICLE will you be driving on the back roads?  Will you be taking your family’s minivan, or perhaps a sports car (like the Porsche in the first picture)?  Maybe you’re considering renting or buying an RV… or maybe you’re even willing to brave this road trip on a motorcycle!  I know I would consider it!

    Where you want to stay is one of the easiest decisions in this process.  Will you be camping, staying in hotels or motels, or renting homes through AirBNB?  Are you crashing at a friend’s place or family member’s house, or will it be a combination of several of these?

    The vehicle that you will take on your trip will help me to pick out the types of roads you’ll be travelling.  The kind of accommodations you’re looking for will help me find places for you to stay along the way.

  5. Start to map your road trip.

    This is the meat and potatoes of the road trip plan.  This is what will take up the majority of my time helping you plan your vacation.  I will use your starting point (Important note – I do NOT want your home address.  A nearby city is good enough.) and ending point, in combination with the other factors listed above, to put together several route options for you to consider.  In most cases, I’ll provide you with three to four map options to choose from.

    A Rand McNally Road Map for planning routes

  6. Find and select places along your route options, and at your end point, that interest you most.

    We will work together on this.  During the process of creating the maps for your options, I will come across a variety of things that may be interesting for you.  You almost certainly will find others I didn’t notice.  We can correspond via email to figure out which options are the best fit.

  7. Fine tune the details of your trip.

    This is the question and answer portion of the process.  We’ll work together to fine tune the map(s) to your liking, and make changes along the way to perfect the plan.  A crucial factor to the success of your trips is the ability to be spontaneous and flexible.  Things might change, there might be detours or closures or bad weather.  Any of a number of unforeseen possibilities could crop up at any time on a road trip.   As much as is possible, I will remain in touch with you while you are on the road.  If you have questions, concerns, or issues that crop up, simply email me.  I will respond to you as soon as I can. 

  8. And … GO!

    Self-explanatory to the max.  Enjoy your trip!

Bixby Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur California
Where will your road trip take you?

How much does our road trip planning cost?

As I said before:  FREE …. sort of.  I will do all of this work with you and for you for free, with two small exceptions.

  1.  I ask that you please send some images of your journey to me that I can share online.  Most images would be shared on social media.  If they’re special enough, I might share them on the website as well.  I will only tag or link to you in posts if you want me to.
  2. More importantly, please tell your friends and family about Take Back Roads, and this page in particular, as frequently as you can!  Share the page on social media.  Share posts with your friends.  Tell your neighbors.  Whatever you can do to help spread the word is incredibly valuable to me.  And if you have your own blog – please link back to me as well!

If you are willing to write, I would also LOVE it if you would be willing to contribute a story about your experience!  For more information, please read up on how to contribute to Take Back Roads.

Why does Take Back Roads offer free road trip planning?

It’s simple – I find a great deal of inspiration and satisfaction in the process.  In particular, I love watching your pictures coming in, either on social media or via email.  I love hearing about the amazing things you’ve experienced!  There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that the work I did helped you to have an amazing vacation.  If I can help you experience our country in a more in-depth and involved manner, that’s an incredible feeling.

And, of course, I cannot go and do and see everything.  I am but one not-very-humble man.  I need your help, too.  Your road trip images and stories help me to build this site.  Your social media shares help me to grow a larger following and reach more travelers.  And I get to travel along vicariously!

Our First Road Trip Plan

But more than anything, it truly gives me an incredible sense of satisfaction watching you experience our beautiful country from its thousands of back roads.  This entire page and process was inspired from working with a follower who reached out to me for help.  We worked together, corresponding via email for a couple weeks.  We crafted what became an epic cross country back road adventure for her:  a five week 7,000+ mile mega-journey that took her south, west, north, and back east across some of the most beautiful landscapes America has to offer.

Watching Melinda’s cross country experience remotely was surprisingly fulfilling for me.  Receiving her emailed images and seeing her social media posts gave me an unexpected boost.  My inspiration and energy for blogging was way up, and I found myself anxiously looking forward to receiving the next update.

I realized one evening that I needed to do this again.  I HAVE to help others travel.  More than just inspiring people through my images and stories, I WANT to actually HELP you plan your trip.  To have a hands-on role in helping you to get out there and see the country like I see it.  To experience America like I’ve been experiencing it since 2013, when I first started Take Back Roads.

This is a way for me to take a more active role in ensuring that you explore and experience everything America has to offer.  I have a serious travel bug – help me to scratch the itch while simultaneously helping you to plan your next great road trip!


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