Ready to hit the road? Whether you’re driving across the state or the country, there are few things as exhilarating as a road trip. Here are some tips to help you plan a road trip that you’ll remember forever.

1. Know Your (Driving) Limits

If you’re traveling a long distance, you need to be realistic about how far you can travel each day. You might think that you can drive 14 hours at a time, but that isn’t realistic for most people. You want to enjoy your road trip, not set a record for how fast you can get to your destination.

Google Maps or a similar app might say you can reach a place within a certain amount of time, but you have to add bathroom breaks, food breaks, and of course, sightseeing stops.

2. Be Flexible

Road trips are all about exploration. Before you take off, look for points of interest along your route. However, if you come across something along the way that catches your attention, don’t be afraid to take a detour. Allow enough wiggle room in your schedule that you’ll be able to stop and take some selfies in front of the World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Casey, Illinois or whatever other oddity that might attract you.

3. Keep Yourself Entertained

Even for people who love to drive, a long time spent on the road can grow a little boring. Put together a playlist of your favorite driving songs. Or, you can compile a themed playlist. If you’re driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in California, for example, you can listen to songs that extol all the wonders of the Golden State, like “California Dreamin” by The Mamas & the Papas, The Eagles’ iconic “Hotel California” or “California Love” by 2Pac.

If you’re traveling with other people, play some games along the way. Get out your phone for a round of Heads Up! or Mad Libs.

4. Prepare for the Unexpected

You may be traveling through an area where your smartphone or GPS doesn’t get a good signal. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a hard copy of a map of the area where you’ll be traveling.

Also, make sure you have some emergency supplies in your car. Food and water will be essential if something goes wrong with your car while you’re in a remote location. Check your spare tire before you hit the road, too; you want it to be in good shape in case you need it. If you encounter a breakdown, a service like HONK can help you get back on the road.

5. Choose the Perfect Destination

Perhaps the most important part of planning a road trip is deciding where you’ll go. Here are a few well-loved routes:

  • The Pacific Coast Highway in California. This offers some of the most stunning scenery in the United States. It passes near San Francisco, so be sure to spend a few days having fun in the City by the Bay.
  • U.S. Route 1 in Florida. The best part of this road is between Miami and Key West; known as the Overseas Highway, this stretch of roadway is absolutely breathtaking. You can even make a stop at the world’s first underwater hotel!
  • The Great River Road consists of several roads that travel alongside the Mississippi River. See beautiful natural scenery, explore local cultures, and learn about history along the way as you travel through 10 different states. Be sure to stop at Fort Snelling in Minnesota and the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in Illinois.

With the above tips, you’re well on your way to becoming an expert road trip planner.