How do I begin planning a road trip with my friends this summer!?
Planning a road trip is daunting. There is so much information online to sort through and organize into the perfect trip that I have almost thrown in the towel many times. As someone who loves to travel in the cheapest way possible, I have been unable to avoid the road trip, sleep-in-your-car-sometimes, showers-are-optional lifestyle. With that, I have come to the conclusion that the easiest way to plan a road trip lies in a well thought-out map.
If you hate being constrained to an overly planned schedule but also hate sitting around in a beautiful place twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do then this method is for you.
Last summer I went on some unreal road trips through Alberta and British Columbia. I tried wingin’ one and I tried planning everything myself for another but both strategies stressed me out!
Here is the easiest way to plan a road trip that reduces stress and still ensures there is never a dull moment!
1.Do preliminary research. This is the hardest stage but also the most fun. Keep a list going of things you might be looking for, historical monuments, waterfalls, hikes, restaurants, amusement parks, shopping, etc.
2. Open “Google Maps – Route planner” on your desktop. It should look something like this:
3. Click the menu with the three lines in the top left corner and select create new map. You should be signed into your Google account so this map will save to your Google Drive.
4. Type in each location from your research list and Google maps will drop a pin on where it is. Click add to map. You can colour code each place based on your own criteria or use the layer function on the left sidebar. When you zoom out you’ll be able to see all your pins but no actual route.
5. Once you’re happy with your map, you can always access it on your Google Drive via your phone when you are on the road and share it with your friends. Now you can choose whatever route you want as you go, keeping the spontaneity without the wasted time googling locations.
Now go out and find a buddy that travels the same way as you do!
This method isn’t for everyone. I’ve been criticized about over planning but when everyone is at a loss for what to do next, guess who they ask… me! If you have a friend who is willing to add to the map you design, you are set for one incredible road trip with room to change things up along the way.
What road trips are you interested in going on this summer? Let me know in the comments!
If this worked for you, help me out and give it a share!
Tower of Babel is my favourite hike in the world! If you are physically able then you need to do it.
Taking the back trail away from Moraine lake towards consolation lakes you will hit the path that leads over rock boulders. There is no signage so these instructions are probably the only thing you can base your route off of. With your backs to Moraine Lake, you should be staring at the cliffs ahead. Out to the left, you will see the cliff which is the Tower of Babel. Just to the right of the Tower is the general direction you want to head in, it is a valley in between cliffs. The route begins by maneuvering over large boulders, bring good shoes! I recommend sticking to the cliff on the right as the rocks are bigger and it will be easier when you can hold on to the rock on the right.
After the big rocks you will hit little rocks and then scree. Sideways stepping (if you don’t have poles) is the easiest way to go up and down. STAY TO THE RIGHT. I cannot say this enough. After 1.25 hours you’ll most likely get to do a short free climb up on to the cliffs or you can find your own way (there is no ‘right’ way) which is all the fun. When you are almost at the top you will see a narrow passage to the left, which will be tempting because it is straight. However, the rocks are so loose your effort will be futile. Once you get up the cliff just take your own route off to the left and you will see a huge flat area with lookouts on all sides.
I don’t know if this is still there, but someone set up rocks on top of the cliff that resembles a living room set up (equipped with a TV, a couch, and a fire pit).
*Many people recommend using hiking poles and wearing helmets because this is a moderately dangerous hike if you are not aware of your surroundings.
Location: Start at the Moraine Lake parking lot, then take the beginning of the trail to Consolation Lakes. If you pass through large boulders and enter into a forest again you have gone too far!
Round Trip Time: 3 hours (if you don’t stay for very long at the top) I recommend bringing food and hanging out for a while
For more inspiration and more photos from Banff, follow me on insta! @mariescholz
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So you’re thinking about heading to Banff are you? The first place that should be on your list is Moraine Lake, but it’s crazy. Tour busses roll in by the tens every hour of the day starting at 9am and don’t stop until the early evening. This dilemma has lead me to seek alternatives to your classic 10 peak shot starting with Consolation Lakes Hike. This is a pretty popular hike since it is the most
This is a pretty popular hike since it is the most well-marked trail around Moraine Lake and Moraine Lake is always packed. Arrive early! By early I mean before 8 am to score yourself a nice parking spot. For the duration of this hike, you will be walking over fairly flat terrain in a wooded area blocking your views until the trail opens up to two joining lakes that sparkle even when the sun doesn’t shine. There are MANY rocks and boulders which you can climb over to get a great view of these hidden lakes.
Location: 45 min from Banff. Take a left off the main road towards Lake Louise. The trailhead is at Moraine Lake, hard to miss it.
Roundtrip Time: 1.5 hours, 6 km
I usually judge my hikes based on effort:view but I’ve added photos for you to see for yourself.
If you have any questions let me know!
signed, sealed, delivered,