Driving across the country is a method of travel that too few people choose to use. It’s an exciting and beautiful thing to travel along the country’s major highways and take in the natural beauty they have to offer.
We’re going to talk about some tips for driving cross country today, giving you a. few ideas on how to make the most of your trip. Additionally, we’ll discuss some of the methods for staying comfortable and avoiding difficult situations.
Let’s get started.
1. Get Your Vehicle Checked Out
This is one of the more boring practical things to do when you’re about to drive cross country. It’s extremely important to do, though.
Ensuring that your car isn’t about to break down and that it can reliably travel a long distance is crucial. Make sure to tell your mechanic that you plan to take the car however many miles your trip will be and see what they have to say.
The small fee you pay to get the car looked at shouldn’t dig into your budget too much, and it’s objectively less than the potential cost of having an issue on the road.
It might also be a good idea to add a couple of safety features to your car. For example, adding a CB antenna mount might add to your safety if you’re driving through remote areas.
2. Plot Your Destinations
Next, ensure that you have a general plan of where you’re going to sleep each night. The way you do this should depend on what your goals for the trip are.
If you’re backpacking or camping throughout the country, you can plot these destinations in a more exploratory way.
If you’re just driving across the country to get to a destination, though, you might want to book hotel rooms at various points. Driving through the country shouldn’t take more than 5 or 6 days if you’re driving 5 to 10 hours per day.
Driving 5 hours every day isn’t always the most enjoyable thing to do, though, so it’s wise to allow a few extra days.
3. Don’t Just Drive Through
Make sure you have enough time to stop off and explore what the country has to offer. If you can, you should also allow time for camping and hiking through national parks and other natural offerings.
This is partially because it’s fun to get out and engage with the various natural features that The United States has to offer, but it’s also so that you don’t have an unenjoyable time.
Driving for extended periods of time over a period of days can be extremely unpleasant. It might hurt your back, your energy and focus may wane and cause you to lose a little safety on the road.
4. Bring More Warmth Than You Need
Be sure to stock your vehicle with a good deal of clothing layers and blankets. Do this even if you don’t think there would be a reason to do so.
Various parts of the country, while warm most of the year and during the day, are always liable to get cold. If your car gets stranded somewhere that gets cold at night, you run the risk of hypothermia or extreme discomfort.
While you could keep your car running to stay warm, extreme situations require that you conserve as much fuel as you can. So, be sure to have a number of layers and blankets to keep yourself warm if you need to.
5. Bring Basic Camping Gear
Having a store of essential camping gear is useful for a number of reasons, even if you’re not planning to camp during your trip.
First, it gives you the opportunity to stop off and sleep at a beautiful park or a stop along the way. Second, it keeps you prepared on the off chance that you get stranded along the way.
6. Pack Your Own Food
It’s always nice to pull off of the highway and pay for a hefty meal. That said, anyone traveling on a budget will quickly realize that doing this is extremely expensive.
Plus, eating only restaurant and gas station food will leave you feeling less energized and potentially sick if that’s not the kind of food that you’re used to.
Eating healthy foods that you’ve packed will eliminate those factors.
7. Let Someone Know
If you’re going to be going out into the backcountry or even driving through significant stretches of the country and stopping along the way, it’s important that someone knows where you are.
Those who come from the city might not be aware that there are stretches of hundreds of miles through various parts of the country where highways don’t have cell phone service.
This is especially true if you’re in a national park or wooded area. So, if someone knows where you are and is checking in with you, you’ll be a lot more situated in the case that you get lost and can’t make contact.
8. Save More Than You Need
You might operate on a pretty tight budget most of the time. When it comes to your trip, it’s important to have a pretty clear idea of the money you’re willing to spend so that you don’t go overboard without thinking.
It gets pretty easy to blow through cash when you’re on the road.
Make sure that you have a credit card or a store of extra emergency cash. Things can go wrong on the road, and the last thing you want is to be stranded in a random state without any extra money.
9. Call Ahead
If you’re going to stop at various destinations throughout the way, even if they’re national parks or campsites, it’s important to call or check ahead.
This is true all of the time, but especially now that the pandemic has limited the ability for some places to stay open. Even national parks might be closed down as the result of covid.
Just give a quick call ahead when you have service and check availability before you leave for your trip.
10. Treat It as Part of The Vacation
If you’re thinking of driving as the hard part, it’s going to be.
Road trips have the opportunity to be some of the most memorable parts of any trip, regardless of the destination. Plus, having the idea that the road trip is open-ended will give you a lot more license to stop off and enjoy what the country has to offer.
Need More Tips for Driving Cross Country?
Taking a significant amount of time on the road can be a little stressful. We’re here to help you out with more tips for driving cross country. Hopefully, the information above was useful but it never hurts to be overprepared.
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