If you’ve ever thought about taking a cross-country road trip, it’s time to stop thinking and start planning. It may be the ultimate American experience: hitting the open road with family or friends, exploring new places, and making memories that will last forever.
But before you pack up the car, make sure you’re prepared. And that means planning. Here are some tips to help you create a trip itinerary and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
1. Prep your car
Get your car ready by cleaning out the trunk and checking fluids. If you have an old car that doesn’t run well, it might be worth investing in some repairs before heading out on your trip. Make sure all tires are at least 50 percent full, and check the pressure of each tire with a gauge. Also, make sure any lights are working properly so other drivers can see you clearly when driving at night or during inclement weather.
If you’re planning to hit the road for a few months, investing in a 5-wheel RV might be a good idea. Not only will it save you from having to find parking and pay for it, but it will also give you more room to stretch out while traveling. If you decide to go the RV route, ensure your vehicle is in good shape before hitting the road. If you have any leaks or other problems, fix them as soon as possible. Also, make sure your RV has enough fuel for your trip and can hold whatever items you plan on bringing along with you.
2. GPS and itinerary
Another crucial thing to consider before hitting the road for a few months is having a GPS device and an itinerary. These will help you track where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. If you plan on driving through more than one state, check out their laws regarding RV travel. Some states require that RVs have permits to use certain roads or campgrounds, while others don’t (this is especially true during the summer when many people head out of town).
Having a detailed itinerary of the spots you want to see and where you want to camp will help you stay on track. Consider writing down the locations of nearby towns so that if something happens during your trip, like getting a flat tire or running out of gas, you can find help easily. While many apps on your phone can keep track of where you are, having a separate GPS device or even a physical map can help you stay on track in case your phone dies or gets lost.
3. Pack the essentials
Whether you’ll be gone for a few days or a few months, it’s important to pack the essentials. You should bring enough food and water for all members of your group and any pets along for the ride. This includes snacks and drinks for when you’re on the road, too.
Safety essentials such as medication, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher are also essential to bring along. You may also want to invest in a good quality tent, as well as sleeping bags and pillows for everyone staying overnight at your campsite.
Packing some form of entertainment is also a good idea, whether it’s a deck of cards or some books to read by the campfire. If you’re worried about getting bored in the wilderness, bring along some electronics as well (just remember to pack extra batteries).
4. Maximize your stops
Traveling cross-country can be extremely grueling, whether by car or RV. That’s why you want to maximize your stops along the way. If you’re driving, plan to stop at least once every three hours to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
This will help prevent fatigue and keep everyone in good spirits. Visiting different cultural and tourist spots is a great way to get out of a routine and learn more about other places. If you’re traveling with children, consider stopping at a zoo or theme park, so they can have fun while learning something new.
Stopping at shopping centers and malls is another excellent way to make the most of your pit stop. This is especially important if you’re planning to be on the road for an extended time; it’s nice to have a chance to buy some new clothes or pick up forgotten items.
A cross-country road trip is an iconic way to explore new places and can provide countless memories. The key to success in your journey is being prepared. Make sure your vehicle, whether it be a car or an RV, is in good shape before heading out.
Have a GPS device and itinerary on hand so that you know where you are going, and remember to pack all the essentials. Finally, maximize your stops by visiting cultural sites, shopping centers, and parks for a well-rounded trip. With these tips in mind, you can have the road trip of your dreams that is both safe and enjoyable!