Free Road Trip Planner

Free Road Trip Planner

I love a good road trip, and part of the fun (in my opinion) is in the planning. You might say I am an over planner, and half the time we don’t do everything I have planned, but at least all the information is there “just in case”.

To plan our road trips, I use an Excel spreadsheet to plan our road trips. We have done long ones lasting 6 – 12 weeks, and shorter ones for a week’s break and to just getaway even for a weekend.

The best bit is that I am sharing my Excel spreadsheet with you. You can download it for free. Yep. Free! Who doesn’t love a freebie (me putting my hand up!!). I love sharing my obsessive planning tips, to make life quicker and easier. And I have a road trip planner for you to make planning your getaway easier.

Free Road Trip Planner

Once you have downloaded your 7 Day Road Trip Planner, you can easily enter values into the cells. The spreadsheet will automatically calculate everything for you. Feel free to print it out if you don’t feel comfortable using Excel. It will work just as well and you will have a page per day.

How to Use The 7 Day Road Trip Planner

Step 1

Decide where you want to go!! Dream big, or dream local. Planning your destination is the first step in making that road trip a reality.

Step 2

Enter the average cost of fuel per litre on the 7 Day Road Trip Planner. I normally just have a guess, based on the current fuel prices, and then round it up a bit. Fuel can definitely cost more when you are in the outback of Australia. And in my opinion, its better to over budget than under budget!

Calculate the fuel consumption of your car. This will end up calculating an estimated cost of petrol for the day on your trip planner spreadsheet. Keep in the mind that it is an estimate, and there are many variables beyond the cost of petrol, including how you drive, the amount of traffic, whether you are using the air conditioning, unexpected road works, and so on.

I find a great spot to get an estimate of your cars fuel consumption. Just type in your cars make and model in the search bar – choose guide, and then scroll down to the bottom to find your cars fuel consumption. Again, this is really just an estimate as many things can affect your cars fuel consumption. Watch the example below of me looking up the fuel consumption for my Hyundai IX35.

Using to find your car’s fuel consumption.

Step 3

Open Google Maps and add a destination for your first day – and then click on the “directions” button. Enter your starting point. Depending on where you live and whether the traffic might impact on your travel time, choose the drop down next to “leave now” and choose what time you intend on leaving. You can also click on “options” and choose to avoid freeways or tolls.

Using Google Maps to Calculate the Time & Distance to your Destination
Step 4

Choose your route on the map. Google maps often gives you a choice of routes to take to your final destination – I always pick the shortest route – but that might not always be the most scenic!! Or most exciting. It’s completely up to you.

Step 5

Break the trip down into smaller steps. If it will take 8 hours to reach your destination driving non stop, you need to decide whether that is okay for what you want to do. Personally, I choose destinations a 5 – 6 hours drive at the most. This allows us to stop along the way and explore. Because that’s part of the fun of a road trip right?

On Google Maps zoom into the map using the + button in the bottom right hand corner. Zoom close enough to see the towns that are dotted along your route. Pick a town as a place to have a break, mid way through your trip. Then change the destination on Google Maps to that town and see how long it will take you to get there and the distance. If that feels like a doable driving time and distance then enter the details into the Road Trip Planner spreadsheet.

Step 6

Google things to see or do and any places you want to eat for each destination on your trip. Research or estimate how much each of these activities might cost. Enter these details into the Road Trip Planner.

Step 7

Research and book your accomodation for the night at your final destination. Enter the details and cost into your Road Trip Planner.

Step 8

Once completed, you should have a good estimate of how much it will cost for the day. This allows you to adjust things if you have a travel budget you need to firmly stick too.

Step 9

Repeat steps 1 – 8 for each of the days of your road trip, making sure your final destination is back home. You can watch the video below giving you an example of how I complete the road trip planner.

Step 10

Save to the cloud so you can access it from everywhere, or print out a hard copy to take with you, just in case. I have been to plenty of places that didn’t have a mobile phone signal in the outback of Australia and having a hard copy on hand has been a saviour at times.

Road Trip Planner Free Download

Watch How to Use Your 7 Day Road Trip Planner

You can watch the video below that shows you and example of how to use the 7 Day Road Trip Planner.

How to Use the 7 Day Road Trip Planner

If you want to learn more about Bussells Bushland Cottages that I mentioned in the video you can go here:

You might also like to grab a mobile preset pack to make creating amazing memories of your road trip.

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