Such a huge and diverse land America is, no doubt. If you intend to hit the road and go see the whole of it, then better make sure that it’s not just a spur-of-the-moment decision — do plan ahead. Remember, every major trip starts with a plan. Here are six tips to guide you when planning a trip by car across America.
1. Choose who to ride with
Seeing the rest of the United States is no one-day tour. It will certainly take time, and you will be in the confines of a car for the majority of the day, hence picking the right travel companion/s is a sensible decision. There are different kinds of travelers with their own set of preferences so if you can’t imagine being with a certain kind of traveler for a long time, don’t invite them along. More importantly, be absolutely certain that the people you go on a road trip with are those whose company you will enjoy best. Most likely, you will create unforgettable memories during this journey. Whether it be your family or friends, you’d want special people in your life to share these with.
2. Pump up your Vehicle
Planning a trip by car across America means readying your car to be taken on an awful lot of driving for more than a week’s time. Such exhaustive drive will certainly take a toll on your car and could result to it breaking down right in the middle of the road. To avoid such catastrophe, have your vehicle checked thoroughly before your road trip. A critical step not to be missed is an oil change. Additionally, make safety checks on the important parts of your car, such as the brakes, battery, tires and spare tires, belts and hoses, windshield wipers, headlights, brake lights and fluid levels.
3. Take care of the itinerary blues
The outcome of any road trip depends on how epic an itinerary is. With so many sites to see, crossing an entire continent would require at least three weeks, so set aside this time and make sure all your companions are ready and available for the date. The next step is figuring out what places you would like to see and what route you should take to get there. Mix your destinations by exploring both cities and historical sites, as well as breathtaking landscapes. Figure out how to reduce driving time to six hours at most, and maximize sightseeing. Inject some zest in your itinerary by occasionally taking scenic byways and county roads instead of major highways.
Making an itinerary for traveling the entirety of America can be exhausting, and you have to do quite an extensive research beforehand. Get a good overview of the continent first and from then you can focus on specific places you want to include in your voyage. Use Google Maps to find the shortest routes between each landmark you want to see. You can also navigate the United States better by checking online reference sites and reading stories and reviews from people who have already done it.
4. Know where to hit the sack
Even if you will be taking turns behind the wheel, a whole day of driving and sightseeing is grueling, thus the need for maximum recovery time at night. Target places you will be stopping at each night – whether they are motels, hotels or campgrounds – and make reservations before your actual trip. Also, determine your rest stops and dining options once en route. Trying out the local cuisine is a wonderful way to enjoy truly your travels.
5. Budget, budget, budget
Don’t forego budgeting when planning a trip by car across America. A road trip need not be costly but it is vital that you carry money with you for lodging, food, gas bill, toll fees and admission fees for attractions you want to visit. Estimating the total budget for your travels will minimize the risk of running out of funds later. Also, set aside a small portion of your budget for souvenirs and emergencies. You’ll never know when you’re going to need it.
6. Bring just the right road trip necessities
Stocking up on your essentials during your travel might save you from a whole lot of hassle. For starters, pack clothing that cannot only be mixed and matched easily but can also be quickly washed and dried. You’ll want to bring some detergent as well for your laundry. Of course, do not forget the snacks and water, preferably stuffed in a cooler, as well as toiletries and other travel gears. If needed, stash some cooking tools like matches, charcoal, tongs and spatula. Pack light as much as possible to maximize leg and elbow room in your car, but make sure that you still have everything you need. Lastly, before heading out make sure to bring your favorite tunes, some pillows, and blankets for your comfort while traveling. For extra safety, make it a point to bring an emergency kit containing a first aid kit, flares, jumper cables, flashlight and batteries.