The Pacific Coast Highway is considered to be one of the most famous road trip routes in the world, and it’s no surprise if you’ve looked into the endless amounts of possibilities and stops while on the route. From Washington to Oregon to California, you’re bound to find something new and beautiful everywhere you look. Be prepared for coastal views the whole way, little beach towns, and beautiful places to stop and see.
BOOK IN ADVANCE
Have a basic plan and outline of what you want to do and where you want to go so you can book attractions and rent surfing gear or other things ahead of time. Summer is a really popular and busy time for other tourist attractions, and notably, different parts of this trip will be pretty hectic, so you won’t want to miss out on something you wanted to do.
Whether you are staying in luxurious hotels the whole trip, motels, or hitting up campgrounds, you may want to plan your stops and stays. Depending on what time of year you are planning on making your trip, sleeping accommodations may fill up quickly. Try looking for places to stay that may allow a refund if you stayed in one destination longer than planned or drove ahead to reach a new destination earlier than normal, so you’re not out of any money.
Traveling in your trailer would be an excellent option for a vacation like this. Being able to park for the night almost anywhere and sleeping, almost, under the stars. If you don’t have a trailer, you can usually find one to rent for your trip, and it’ll be such a cool experience for you and your family.
PACKING + PLANNING
The time of year you hit the road for your coastal road trip will play a significant role in knowing what to pack. Winter months tend to be pretty wet and rainy, and you’re going to want to make sure that you’ve got the clothes and layers to accommodate for when you want to get out of the car and start exploring the town on foot even if you get a little wet. Though California may be known for its warm weather, other parts of the PCH route are known for its rain and cooler weather, so make sure you’re prepared for both even if it is just bringing a couple of light jackets, just in case.
Planning your trip may seem stressful at first because of all of the different towns to stop in and the overall length of the highway. You could make a full month-long trip of this stretch of road, and you wouldn’t be bored, and you would still miss quite a bit. When planning your trip, make a list of must-sees and dos and then make a list of negotiables. This way, if you’re out exploring and you find a hidden gem, you know what you can pass on and hit on the next road trip.
When planning for any road trip, it is important to make sure that your car is up for the fun too. Take your vehicle into the shop a week or two before your trip so you can make plans or maintenance if necessary without delaying your trip. Making sure your car is ready for the journey is almost as important as packing your sunglasses. Make sure your tires are up for the trip. Rotated, aligned, and aired tires will make or break your trip. You’ll put some wear and tear on your car for this trip, so make sure you’ve taken the precautionary steps to avoid major hiccups on your road trip.
HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
Make sure you have a plan. Did your parents ever teach you to hope for the best but plan for the worst? Some things to think about on your road trip is that there may be some stretches of road that don’t have good cell service. Make sure you have an actual handheld map in case you aren’t sure if your GPS will hang on to some service. Grab a couple of extra phone chargers in case you leave yours in a hotel, you aren’t going to be left with a dead phone on this trip.
Make a paper list of emergency contact information to keep in your car for a worst-case scenario. Also, consider making a backup plan for sleeping accommodations in case the hotel you planned to stay at is overbooked. Thinking these things through can help avoid stressful situations at the moment and make you feel extra ready and at ease over your vacation.
The Pacific Coast Highway is a beautiful scenic drive and route that should truly be on everyone’s bucket list, and if you’re ready to make the trip make sure you’re planning ahead of time for places you want to see and things you want to do along the road trip. There are so many destinations along the coast you won’t be bored, and you really can’t make the wrong choice.
Make sure you pack and plan accordingly. Planning for the trip ahead of time so you can get all the necessities and make sure your car is up for the long journey and miles it’s going to travel. Having a backup plan will help when you’re in a bind and will help keep everyone calm, knowing that you have plans. Finally, get ready for beautiful, scenic views your whole trip and fun memories for everyone!