Thinking of heading out on your first cross-country road trip?
That’s great, but before you go, it’s important to know there’s a lot that goes into any road trip. It’s not quite as simple as getting in the car and heading off.
To make the most of your road trip, there are a few tips we want to share to help you get started.
Consider this your beginner’s guide to a cross-country road trip.
Answer the basic questions
Tell anyone you’re headed on a cross-country road trip and the first question they’ll ask is where are you headed? Regardless of where you live in the country, there are dozens of different ways to get to the places you want to go.
So, even if you don’t want to fully stick to an itinerary, it’s a good idea to have a general road map in your mind of where you are headed and how you’re going to get there.
This also matters for other planning too. If you live in Texas and want to drive to Alaska, then the time of year, weather, and clothing are all going to be factors you want to consider before you go. Planning ahead can save you a lot of time and money along the way.
Another big factor when it comes to any cross-country road trip is what happens when you aren’t driving. Sure, you probably have some attractions you want to see or stops along the way, but you’ll also need to plan out when you’re going to rest too.
That means figuring out your accommodations. The good news is you have plenty of options. Across the country, in virtually every region, you can find hotels to fit your budget. In many of the state and National Parks, camping is also an option too. If you’re living the van or RV lifestyle, then you’ll want to find places where you can park.
Use your technology
The days of relying on those big books of maps are pretty much long gone. Though it doesn’t hurt to toss one in your trunk, with some other safety supplies, just in case.
Today, you can use all sorts of apps and tech to help your road trip. Make sure you download all the maps you need for offline mode first. Also, consider apps that can help you find good gas prices and places to stay too. You can get a few audiobooks or podcasts loaded too to help break up the ride along the way.
Pack the essentials
Finally, don’t forget to pack the right stuff for your trip. If you’ll be doing some camping, make sure you bring some of that gear so you don’t have to buy or rent it later.
Also, get your car checked out before you go and bring a safety pack with you that has a jack, jumper cables, extra fluids, and flares so you have them just in case.
It also never hurts to bring a cooler too. You can save quite a bit of money along the way if you have a place to store some cold cuts or sandwiches so you don’t have to eat out most of the meals.
Finally, don’t forget to ask your friends and family. Some of them might be old road trip pros and can offer some invaluable advice for you before you head out.
Just remember, the more you have planned at the start, the better off you’ll be over the long run. Enjoy your trip!