Organizing a cross-country road trip can be stressful, but there is no need to worry, if done properly it can be an experience that will create memories for a lifetime. I have put together a list of five tips based on my own personal experience of things that that are must-have or must-do when getting ready for the trek. They are in no particular order of importance.
I recently made the journey from Los Angeles, California, to Miami, Florida, a trip of just over 2,700 miles. It took us a total of four full days, stopping each night.
From my personal experience, the first recommendation is a co-pilot, a companion. Conversation can work miracles when the sun is starting to set in New Mexico, and you have already been on the road for a good 12 hours. Of course, you can optimize your travel time rotating between drivers, but more importantly, it is the company that a companion offers you that makes the difference.
Next, your car, truck, or RV, whatever automobile it may be, ensure it is ready to go. I made my journey in 2013, but in a 2000 Ford Ranger XLT. Despite my personal affection and skewed view of my truck, it is not a German-made ultra-automobile. Nevertheless, after taking it in to the mechanic, there was not a single hiccup over the four-day journey. She drove like it was 2000 all over again.
Planning your journey is important, day by day, perhaps even breaking it up into two parts can help. In other words, taking a look at the map and by factoring in your estimated time of departure each day, choose a reasonable distance to cover by the midpoint of your daily total, and then choose the final point. One thing my good friend and I did was choose two different resting points each night, depending on how we were feeling upon arrival. One night in particular, we arrived to Houston, having made great time, and were not tired yet, so we decided to continue onto our next stopping point of Beaumont, Texas, about 60 miles further down the I-10. When you are driving across the country, what’s another hour in the car?
Do not forget snacks, waters, hand sanitizers and paper towels. This really does not beg much of an explanation. Similar to your friend, the co-pilot, sunflower seeds help you out along the way. America is a beautiful country, but there are some very long stretches that are not too exciting.
Last, but not least, it’s 2014, take a GPS with you. Even if you are 100 percent aware of where you are going and how to get there, you never know what can happen, and it can come in handy.