top of page
  • Writer's pictureKwincy Smith

Road Trip Planner: Utah

Planning a road trip with kids can get super crazy! There are so many things to keep track of; that it can get messy very quickly. Here is an inside look at how I plan my vacations. We are going on a road trip to Salt Lake City to visit family. I’m using my vacation planner to help me plan and organize my trip.


This post contains affiliate links. They come at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. #AD

Take a look!

The first thing I do is look at the days we will be going. It is easier for me to visualize when I have it laid out on a calendar. I’m able to count easily how many days we will be gone, how many driving days we will have, and if we have too many activities planned.

For this trip, we will be gone for a total of 8 days. 4 of these days will be driving days. Since Salt Lake City is a 10+ hour drive for us I like to split it up into two days and stop halfway in Vegas. That makes it much easier for the kids which means it’s much easier for the whole family. It doesn’t hurt that we love to have all-you-can-eat sushi in Vegas as well!

On my calendar, I also add any things I need to do leading up to the trip as well. Such as cleaning, packing, and ordering snacks with Shipt, and Amazon orders.

I also make sure to take a look at the weather. For Salt Lake City it says it was going to be 20-30F and snowing!!!! Much different than what we get in Southern California. I made sure to pack accordingly and have the car ready for the snow.

Road trip planner: Accommodations

The next thing I do when planning my road trip is looking at the hotels. Hotels are normally the biggest part of the budget so I like to get that out of the way first. I use Travel Transparency (learn more about travel transparency here) which gives me wholesale prices on hotels all over the world. If you want to try it for yourself go ahead and click below.

I like to compare hotels by the reviews, the distance, and the percentage. In general, I like to book with at least 30% off. Some locations have higher discounts such as Las Vegas where I can get at least 60% off of my hotel stay.

Tip: Make sure to check the reviews on multiple locations. Always check the website your booking from as well as Yelp and google to compare the ratings! Some hotels are 3+ stars on Expedia but when you look at Yelp it’s 1 star!! You don’t want to be surprised by a crappy hotel when you get there!! It has happened to me and my Karen came out big time!

Road Trip Planner: Activities

I love to have a rough idea of what we can do at a destination. This is a trip with more family so it’s hard for us to really set a firm itinerary. Instead, I like to have some ideas ready. When there is a free day and we are thinking about what we can do I take a look at my list and notes and see what sounds fun for the day.

I make sure to write down the price, any days that they are closed as well as anything that stands out to me. For example, I know my 4-year-old, Royce would be excited to see anything that involves dinosaurs so I made sure to make note that the Natural History Museum of Utah has dinosaur bones.

Bonus Tip:

Make sure to look up the best playgrounds in the area!! It was snowing when we went so that wasn’t much of an option but it’s always great to have a cool playground to stop at and allow the kids to get out some energy!

Road Trip Planner: Places To Eat

Places to eat are one of the most important parts of a trip for me! To avoid the “what do you want to eat”, or “Idk, what do you want to eat” conversation I make sure to have a list of places to eat while we are there. I also love to eat and try new places so I always search on Yelp must-haves for the location. I want to make sure I try the special restaurants in that area that I can’t have at home!!

Road Trip Planner: Places to Shop

We are not much of mall shoppers, to be honest. But we do love to walk through small shops and see the local items. We have to make sure to buy a souvenir mug during every vacation we go on! It also gives the kids a chance to walk around and stretch their legs which they usually desperately need.

Road Trip Planner: Travel Itinerary

This is going to be a pretty relaxed trip because we will be visiting family for New Year. So there will be a few days of just visiting. But we also want to make sure we explore the city a little and take advantage of what Utah has to offer.

I love to do an itinerary just to have a glance at the activities we will be doing.

Road Trip Planner: Shopping list

It is easy to forget items when going on a trip so I make sure to have a family shopping list. Here I include everything we will need on our trip that we don’t currently have as well as what we will need for the first car ride.

Road Trip Planner: Packing List

I am a list freak if you haven’t noticed so far. I think anytime we become a mom your love for lists just grows!!

But seriously when packing for 5 people we kind of need lists!! I can’t imagine if I forgot one kid's snow boots or gloves!!

I first make a list for the whole family. These are items that are not particular to any one person. Things we all will be using such as shampoo, paper towels, etc.

Then I go through each member of the family and write their own list. That way I can make sure each person has exactly what they need. My kids are 4, 3, and 1 right now so they do not do much packing. The only thing they are in control of is picking 2 toys to take with them. As they get others I can give them the list, have them pack, and just do a check to make sure they have everything!!

Bonus: When doing a halfway stop like we are make sure to pack a small suitcase or bag with everything your whole family will need for just that night. That way when you stop for the night you don’t need to unload 3 plus bags. You grab your overnight bag and go!

Road Trip Planner: To-Do Lists

The last thing I do is a "to do before I leave list and a do not forget list". This list is the last thing I will look at in the morning. These are all the things I need to remember to do or grab before we head out. This helps me make sure I don’t forget anything in the fridge or any other small things that I might forget on the way out.

There is an inside look at how I planned my road trip to Utah!! What are your tips for planning your vacations? Comment below!!

To download my free vacation planner click down below!!

1 view

Related Posts

See All


Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page