While the romantic musings of travel writers may suggest that touring the countryside with little or no plan is a fun and stress-free time, in reality, it seldom works out that way. Hotels can be booked, campgrounds full, and traffic thick, making your happy-go-lucky jaunt a little more burdensome that you had hoped. Every decision you make doesn't have to be scripted, but it's a good idea to have a general plan about where you're going and where you'll be staying. If you make reservations, ask about the accommodation's cancellation policy, so you'll know when it's too late to change your plans. If you want a little more freedom, call the hotel or campground where you plan to stay a couple of days ahead of time and ask if they expect to be full on the night you arrive.
You should also consider your timing when driving through big cities or visiting popular places. Try to avoid morning and evening rush hours in heavily populated areas; not doing so could cost you hours of valuable travel time. If you plan to visit major attractions, like a national park, remember that Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends are often the busiest times of the year. So, if crowds stress you out, you might think about planning around these dates.