John Denver might’ve wanted the country roads to take him home, but it’s way more fun to go on a cross-country road trip somewhere exciting and new!
Road trips give you the freedom and flexibility that you cannot get if you travel overseas or on public transport.
But if you are embarking on a cross-country trip, there is a lot to consider to make sure you have the best time ever. Here is your simple guide to planning a road trip whether you are gone for three weeks or three months.
Figure Out Time and Itinerary
Unless you are rich or retired, you likely have work or budget constraints on your road trip. This could be a blessing in disguise as it will help you decide the length of your trip and where you can go.
Look at a map of your country. If you are returning home afterward, concentrate on finding a circular route that fits your timeframe. Research cities, National Parks, and other things that interest you in particular.
There is no reason why you cannot plan a road trip around amazing ice cream parlors.
Choose Your Vehicle
You will likely be doing your cross-country trip in either a car or an RV. But there’s no reason why you can’t do it on a motorbike or even a bicycle if that’s your thing.
If you are driving on highways, any car will do. But if you are going off-road, you will need a 4X4.
For those who need to hire a rental car, book it early for the best deals.
Next, think about where you will stay on your road trip. Will you stay in hotels, motels, campgrounds, or a mixture of all three?
Campgrounds are the most cost-effective option and you will be able to meet more travelers that way, too. Many campgrounds have tons of amenities and you can check out this campground and RV park as an example.
Plus, you can pack your tent and keep everything you need in your car. Book your first few nights of accommodation before your trip but leave it open after that in case you want to detour.
Pack for Your Cross-Country Trip
The last thing you need to do before your cross-country trip is to pack the road trip essentials. No matter how long you are away, you only need to pack for a week (at most). Doing laundry once a week will help you pack light.
Here is an example packing list:
- Food and water (plus a cooler)
- Car maintenance and emergency kit
- First aid kit
One of the most important things you need to remember to bring on any road trip is a good driving playlist. Country music and 1980s rock classics are the best songs to listen to when heading out on the open road.
Ready To Hit the Highway?
The key to planning a cross-country trip is to have a plan but keep it lose. This will allow you to be spontaneous and stop when you find cool things to see and do along the way. And that’s what road tripping is all about!
If you need more ideas of fun things to do both at home and away, check out our website for tons more articles on hobbies and travel!