4 Keys to Cross-Country Road Trips

4 Keys to Cross-Country Road Trips

Have you ever wanted to take a road trip across the country but were too nervous to do it?  Don’t be.  I’ve driven cross-country 5 times and am here to tell you the 4 necessities that will make this trip stress-free and fun.  After reading this article, you’ll be ready to hop in your car and take off on your next great adventure!


Grab a Friend (or Three!)

I’ve driven cross-country by myself and with friends.  While driving alone can have its advantages (can anyone say full control of the radio?), I highly recommend grabbing a few friends to join you on your adventure.  This will turn your trip into a fun bonding experience – and it’ll give you extra drivers so you can enjoy yourself even more!


Choose a Few Fun Places to See

Have you been dying to visit Chicago?  See the Grand Canyon?  Maybe experience a less known attraction like Slide Rock State Park?  Or even just visit an old friend for a night?  This is your chance!  First, write down a few places you’re itching to cross off your bucket list.  This will help you map out the general course and end-point for your trip.  But remember that this is your trip – there’s no need to stick to a script.  Also, don’t worry about picking hotels ahead of time – waiting until your drive will give you flexibility to spend as much time as you want at each stop.  Then, once you’re ready to call it a night, you can pull up an app like Expedia or Hotels.com to quickly find a cheap place to crash!


Pack the Necessities

There are a few items you can’t go without on your trip: 

  • Bottled water – you don’t want to break down in the middle of the desert without it;
  • Snacks
  • Fully-loaded music player (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc.); and
  • Entertainment (tablet, books, laptop, etc.) – you may be driving for upward of 10 hours some days.  Even with friends, you’ll still want something to pass the time.
  • Emergency kit with a first aid kit, jumper cables, motor oil, tool kit, fire extinguisher, extra bottled water and non-perishable food.

Extra pro-tip:  don’t let your gas get below ¼ of a tank.  You don’t want your gas light to come on and find there isn’t an exit for 50 miles.


Get Ready to Have a Blast!

Remember, this trip is supposed to be fun!  It’s easy to get cranky when you’re stuck in a car for hours on end, but cherish every moment of your trip.  If you do, you’re sure to make amazing memories and see unforgettable things – like stumbling across a creepy, packed 50’s diner at 11:00 p.m. in the middle of a seemingly deserted town, or seeing a random pick-up truck driving down a mountain with the bed fully on fire. Bring your camera and write down the wonderful memories as they happen!


If you end up taking a road-trip, feel free to share your own adventures in the comments section!

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