For me a roadtrip has three parts
Part I: Plan the roadtrip. This part is great fun because it requires hours and hours of looking at the map(s). I calculate distances between stops and estimate the time each stop will take. I look for roads marked scenic and I keep an eye open for the red dots that point out places such as state parks, museums and other roadside “marvels.” [Note: the red dots often result in Internet searches.] Multi-day roadtrips usually have defined destinations and most of the time I make lodging reservations prior to hitting the road. I like knowing that I can arrive at my destination at any time and be guaranteed of having a spot to “hang my head.” I usually plan a roadtrip day to be 8-12 hours in duration and the planning requires paying attention to time-zone changes and sunrise/sunset times. In a nutshell, planning roadtrips is fun.
Part II: Execute the roadtrip. I find that most of the time I rarely consult the roadtrip plan. This is because I’ve taken the roadtrip multiple times in my head. Many roadtrips do not follow the plan exactly, but they usually come close. I actually like having to modify roadtrips while they are in progress.
Part III: Document the roadtrip. I find myself “retaking” the roadtrip over and over while working on its write-up. Documenting the roadtrip allows for the recording of items that were either missed or discovered during the adventure. In addition, documenting a roadtrip is a useful tool for generating ideas for future roadtrips.