Deciding to hit the open road is exciting. Whether you are driving around the corner or across the country, it can be a fun experience if you plan. It is vital to know how to plan for a cross country road trip. Here are some tips that will help you make your cross country road trip a fun and safe experience.
Make Sure Everyone Knows What to Expect
Are you taking children on your journey? Are some of your passengers seasoned travelers and others not? If possible, take a practice run for any inexperienced drivers in your group before setting out on your actual trip. When looking at how to plan for a cross country road trip, it is essential to make sure everyone understands how long you will be away: where you will be sleeping (or what kind of facilities/accommodations there will be along the way), and when you will be stopping to eat. Some of the places could include visiting a private golf course, a kids museum, or even the best waterfront restaurant in the area.
Ensure you involve the participant in planning stops along the way. It is essential to take breaks every few hours while driving long distances. Set up places where everyone can get out of the car and stretch their legs. You might also consider a pit stop for some snacks or caffeine along the way.
Check Your Vehicle
One important tip on how to plan for a cross country road trip is checking your car. Always determine if you need Honda repair services prior to setting off for the trip. The last thing you want is a breakdown on the road, or worse yet, a blowout from poor tire maintenance.
To avoid the fear of your car breaking down during the road trip, be sure that all of your tires are correctly inflated and have enough tread left before starting your trip. Also, check for signs of wear and tear on suspension parts, brakes, steering components, engine belts/hoses, etc., or any other components that may mean getting off the road for an unforeseen repair job. It is always good to get these checked out by a qualified mechanic at least one day before beginning your trip.
Before you embark on a road trip, it is essential to inspect your vehicle and make sure that nothing needs to be repaired. In addition, some people choose to purchase additional insurance before they depart or take some extra cash with them in the event of a breakdown.
Keep Cars Fueled Up
Are you wondering how to plan for a cross country road trip? One important thing that you need to do is figure out how many miles per gallon your vehicle gets on average. Some cards will be much better than others regarding fuel efficiency, so compare models online or with friends before purchasing one. You may even want to rent a car for your road trip at an airport near where you live if you are leaving from a different state.
Filling up your gas tank is essential; always fill it up at least halfway before driving to your destination. Remember that different states charge different amounts of gasoline per gallon. The state you are starting at will prompt you with a welcome sign, and the state you are headed to usually has an image of your destination; these can help you know which side of the highway to drive on.
When looking at how to plan for a cross country road trip, this may seem like a no-brainer. However, it would help if you always remembered to keep your car’s fuel tank as complete as possible at all times. Running out of gas on a busy road can not only leave you stranded, but it may also put other drivers in danger. Always have a list of local gas stations handy and mark them along the way if possible so that you know there will not be any surprises during your trip.
Plan For the Best and Pack for the Worst
A road trip is one of those random things that people do on a whim, but it is often just as fun when you embark on how to plan for a cross country road trip and make sure everything is ready to go before you drive off. First, always make sure your car is dependable and can make it through a long cross country journey. Make sure to check all the fluid levels (including brake pads) and replace anything that has been sitting around unused for too long.
Second, bring essential survival tools such as food, water, a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra clothes, maps, or GPS devices if available, etc. Be prepared for any emergency that may happen, such as running out of gas or overheating issues. Finally, bring a camera! Pictures can be a remarkable memory of your trip, and you will likely want to document the fantastic time you had on the kayaks.
Pack the right clothes for your trip: in the scenario that you need customized items, look for a reputable custom t shirt print shop to do the printing job. Even if it is just in town, packing the right clothes is essential. Ensure you have all the weather essentials in your car: sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, warm clothes for colder regions, etc. Also, keep in mind that hotels usually provide towels, but not washcloths or pillowcases. Bringing an extra set of these items is always a good idea to ensure you are clean and fresh throughout your trip.
Decide On Your Travel Route
There is no right way when it comes to how to plan a cross country road trip. Whether you choose to go by geographical location or by theme (art, architecture, natural wonders, etc.) is entirely up to you and dependent upon how much time you have available for your trip.
Before taking off on that long drive, make sure to figure out where exactly you are going. Somewhere close by or somewhere abroad. You should know your route from start to finish. The best way to do this is to make a list of what cities and areas you would like to visit and what days these plans fall upon. If you need help with this process, plenty of online resources allow people to share their road trips.
Check out all that is available along your route before ending your trip. Is there any place that has paddleboard rentals along your route? There are tons of things to do in each city, town, or region you pass by as well as those close by your route. Even if it is just checking out a new park or a tourist attraction not far from where you live, there may be something interesting to see. Planning for this part of the road trip can also give extra time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Allot enough time to check out all the different places you may want to go and how long it will take. It is best to be aware of this before starting your trip to avoid a short time.
Take note of any road construction or areas where there is a potential hazard on the highway. Going past a new town one day can mean going back through another town in a few days or going around a city, depending on your route. This means if there is possible danger on the roadside, such as rocks falling from an overpass, broken glass from a busted tire, etc., you will know when and where this area is. If it has not been fixed by then, you will have more time to prepare yourself and know what area to avoid.
Find the Best Deals
The best approach to how to plan for a cross country road trip is researching to get the best deals. Avoid wasting money by buying food from gas stations or fast-food chains when it is available. Pack snacks like trail mix, cereal bars, juice boxes, fruit, granola bars, beef jerky (a great source of protein), chewy candies that will not melt in high heat if scorching outside, etc. Or, have a more excellent in your car with items such as milk, cheese, yogurt, sandwiches, juice boxes, canned food, etc., that will not get destroyed if the temperature rises or falls significantly.
In addition to having a small ice chest/cooler for perishables and drinks while on the road trip, make sure to check hotel rooms for an extra fridge and freezer (if available) where you can stock up on eggs and other frozen food items like French fries and burritos. Also, be sure to choose your accommodations carefully. The place where you stay each night heavily impacts the quality of your road trip experience. It would help if you chose lodging that best fits into the budget and desired level of comfort.
Most people wait until they get into their destination city before looking for a hotel room to stay in at night after driving for a few hours. This can be very expensive because you will have to pay for your hotel during peak times and probably find the best deals on rooms. Start looking at least one month in advance and compare prices often until you find something affordable that won’t break the bank every night that you are traveling.
Always Have a Backup Plan
One overlooked tip on how to plan for a cross country road trip is accepting that things can go wrong, especially when traveling with kids or animals, no matter how well you plan. Packing a first aid kit is a great idea, as well as keeping hydrated and aware of the temperature inside and outside your car. Pets should have enough water in their compartment so they aren’t suffering from too much heat or cold, but also shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods.
Kids should not get bored quickly while on the road either, as this can lead to whining and complaining. Bring items that will keep them entertained for longer durations, such as books, coloring books, and new toys. Make sure the radio and CD player (if you have one) are working too; some newer models can be connected to auxiliary cords which play whatever music is on the phone, iPods, etc.
Have a backup plan if there is nobody else available to accompany you. Even though it is meant to be a time for oneself, sometimes things happen unexpectedly: especially when going from city A to B without another person along for the ride. In these cases, try finding out whether or not public transportation or car-sharing services are an option where certain buses may take you between different cities, so that if something goes wrong with your vehicle, you will not lose a lot of valuable time trying to fix it on your own.
Be Aware of Your Destination and Surroundings
If you are going from one city to another and it is too far to drive all at once, try breaking the trip down into multiple days. First, start by getting a hotel room close to where you are. You can then spend some time seeing what attractions the area has. On the next day, continue traveling onwards; this will cut down on road fatigue and make things cheaper instead of paying for gas all the way there and back (the price per gallon can be different depending on which state you’re in).
If you are going on a long journey, it is essential to read up on what things you can expect. You might encounter popular tourist destinations or more minor local spots that only the locals know about. If possible, try to avoid these places at night, especially if you do not know where they are! Generally speaking, big cities with many people come hand in hand with crime and other issues, so do your research before heading out into unknown territory. If you have a GPS unit, consider marking some safe havens along the way for emergencies (an open coffee shop is always a good bet).
Another important thing to note about how to plan for a cross country road trip is that you should be aware of traffic laws. These vary from place to place, so do some research beforehand! Not only will this keep you safe, but it may also make things easier for the police officers who fine motorists for running stop signs or speeding through residential areas (but do not speed excessively, especially when your passengers are kids!) Regardless, having respect for traffic laws is extremely important.
Having a safe trip is always essential. With this in mind, you should check on your health with your family doctor to ensure you will be safe to undertake the road trip. Planning gives that extra edge when deciding where to stay or how long to stop somewhere. Try having fun with it and enjoy yourself along the way! Road trips are a great way to take in all of the scenery around you, see friends and family along the way, and also save money on gas.