Going on a cross-country road trip can be fun and adventurous. There are some things you should do to ensure you have the best experience. Here are 5 tips for your next cross-country road trip.
1. Plan out your trip before you leave.
It can be fun setting out not knowing exactly where you are going but sometimes this can backfire. You should do some research about road conditions and places to stay along the way. You don’t want to go on one road and find it closed due to weather or construction. That might make the trip longer which in turn will make it cost more. Research ahead if there are any road closures. This especially rings true if you are planning your trip during colder months because severe weather, such as snow or ice, will sometimes be a reason for a road to close.
Knowing where you are staying or having different options is a good idea. If you don’t look ahead you may find yourself staying at a 1-star hotel that is ridiculously expensive. You might even want to scout out a certain chain of hotels that you know has typically good ratings such as a Holiday Inn or Best Western. If you end up staying at the same chain you might even rack up rewards points and end up getting one of your nights free on the trip.
2. Bring lots of foods and snacks.
The greatest part about driving cross-country is that you can keep things in your car. Bring snacks and food so you don’t have to worry about buying much food on your trip. Put an ice chest in the back of your car and fill it with drinks. When you go to hotels bring the ice chest in and fill it up with the ice from the ice maker if the hotel has one. If you do go out to eat don’t feel like you have to eat all the food there. Take any food you don’t finish and put it in the ice chest to keep it fresh. Doing this can make one meal split into two.
3. Take breaks when you need to.
Don’t keep driving if you are tired. It’s better to get another hotel for another night than try to squeeze as much driving as possible in one day. If you have someone else that can drive with you on your trip take turns driving. When one person is driving take a nap and rest so you are well rested when it’s your turn to drive. Do not under any circumstances drink a ton of energy drinks or take energy pills to make yourself stay awake while driving. You will have a risk of crashing, both your body and possibly the actual car as well.
4. Bring things to do but don’t get distracted by them.
Bring some music to listen along to while you are driving but make sure it’s not too loud. Most likely you’ll find yourself on long stretches of roads that will become boring to you. Music can help you get through these boring areas. When you get in well populated areas make sure you are more alert and turn the music down a little. Also most importantly know the speed limit. Some freeways and long stretches of roads will not have the speed limit posted a lot. When you do see a sign make sure you stick to that speed. Cops do travel these roads often. It can be easy to want to speed through long roads but going over the speed limit is still breaking the law which can result in a speeding ticket.
5. Bring a camera and stop once in awhile.
The greatest part about road trips is that you go through places you wouldn’t normally go through. You get to see things up close and personal. Make sure you bring a camera to document the experience. Also make sure you stop at important landmarks. You might not get to see these places again and if you’re going right through them anyway just take some time to enjoy it all. Some great pictures to take are state signs when you enter a new state. A great idea is to make a scrapbook with a couple pages for each state. Start with the state you left from and end with your destination.