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;
- 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!