When planning a vacation, one must choose from an infinite amount of options: where to go, how to get there, what to do, etc. You, on the other hand, want to see it all. We’re talking sea to shining sea and everything in between.
Don’t hop in your car just yet, though. Here are some tips you should take into consideration first.
Budget for Your Road Trip Wisely
When it comes to cross-country trips, which can take anywhere from 7 days to a few weeks, fiscal responsibility is key. Start saving a few months in advance and make a detailed plan of how much you’re going to spend. You don’t want to stress about money your whole trip or even worse, run out of it.
Always plan to keep a little extra spending cash in case you get lost, stumble across something you just can’t miss, or an emergency pops up.
Determine the Best Time of Year For Travel
Between scorching heat and torrential rain, weather will no doubt throw a loop into your road trip plans. Depending on where you start will help decide what time of year is best.
If going east to west, it’s best to start in April or May as the summer months can reach sweltering temperatures up to 115 degrees out west. Travelling west to east means heading into flatter, cooler land. You could start in August and see the colours change as you head across the country into autumn.
Decide Whether it’s Round Trip or One Way
Probably the most substantial part of a cross-country road trip is the car. Should you take your own or rent? If you’re willing to spend the money, renting a car could run you in the ballpark of about $3500 between renting, insurance, gas, incidentals, and a ticket home.
If you take your own car, you’re also adding in another 4-5 days, gas, food, and lodging costs (not to mention putting some miles on that odometer). If done correctly though, you could end up saving yourself a hefty amount.
Choose Where to Stay Carefully
Whether you prefer a Motel 6 or the Grand Hyatt, this one is totally a matter of choice. If staying in hotels, be sure to make reservations in advance. Another option is to stay with family and friends; not only do you get in some quality visiting time, but it’s free.
Really want to save on costs? As long as you don’t mind the bugs, you could camp out under the stars for a more rugged experience.
Document Your Travels
In today’s world, we know you just have to post every single thing you do on social media. Don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere with zero service and find yourself in a scene out of a horror movie. There would also be no way to upload your adorable vacation pics.
Whether you choose to up your data plan or purchase a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, most carriers offer a few options to keep yourself connected during your trip.
Pack Like You Mean It
While it’s true there are no size or weight regulations, and you probably won’t have to worry about losing your luggage, you should still pack conservatively.
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Plan your outfits ahead of time and bring light or moisture wicking clothes you could wash and hang up in a hotel room if need be. Why take away precious leg room with unnecessary bags or oversized suitcases?
See Everything; Big and Small
Why rush through a vacation and only visit the main attractions? The Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls are trademark tourist spots, but make sure you take yourself off the beaten path and visit spots that will make your trip unique. Even if you’re the type of traveller with a detailed itinerary, allow for a few spontaneous detours.
Make the most of your trip by planning ahead and of course, having fun along the way. A cross-country road trip is a great way to vacation and for some, can be the trip of a lifetime.