If you’ve ever considered taking a road trip then the USA has to be one of the countries that immediately springs to mind and with all those superb cities spread out across 50 states, there are plenty of chances to load up and hit the highways.
However, as with all great trips, planning and preparation is the key to success and if you’re thinking of embarking on one of the all-time great destinations then read on to discover just what you need to know to make it happen.
First things first and you’re going to need to know who you’re going to have as your wing-man and back seat drivers. Family members are great but, for a road trip, taking your best pals is always going to be an awesome option. Just make sure that you’re all fully prepared for life in cramped conditions as there really can’t be any room for whiners and moaners while you’re on tour.
Getting stocked up with snacks and drinks is exactly what you need for time on the road and remember that although there will be service stations, they can often be expensive and bereft of choice. Start a kitty and all chip in for a big shop prior to setting off or, alternatively, make an itinerary and all bring something along so you all get to share your personal favourites.
Hopefully, if you’re renting a car or utility vehicle, maintenance will already have been taken care off but it still doesn’t hurt to check the water and oil and make sure you don’t run down the gas until you’re engine’s empty. If you’re using one of your own vehicles then it’s best to take it to the garage before you head off as you don’t want to be stuck after only a couple of days on the road.
America is filled with guaranteed gorgeous scenery and from USA national parks to coastal routes, such as Highway One, there aren’t many better places in the world to enjoy the sights as you drive. If you can plan your trip to combine great views with plenty of rest-stops then you’ll all get to benefit from your time away, even the designated drivers.
Life on the open road maybe fun as you all get to know each other and watch the scenery whiz by but stopping off overnight is exactly what you should be aiming for rather than simply driving as far as possible. America is full of sleepy towns and exciting cities with plenty of camp sites and weird motels in between and if you’re looking to truly discover America then plan every stop-over with precision to avoid having to pull over and sleep by the side of the road.
Songs for the Road
Having the right tunes on-board is incredibly important and from keeping the driver awake to suiting the mood on a long stretch of desert highway, matching music to the road is essential for creating the right atmosphere. Just remember that when you hear a certain song in the future all those happy road trip memories will come flooding back so choose well and pick something for every occasion.
Making a journal is an excellent means of ensuring your American road trip dreams are kept safe for all times and by keeping hold of every little diner memento and printing out photos when you get home, this is a great way to document what is bound to be one of your best experiences ever. Cameras, video recorder and scrap book are all excellent methods of documenting your trip and make for great souvenirs for you and your car buddies.
Plan and Map
America is vast so making sure you plan your route prior to leaving home is definitely key to success. Plot out the road on a map as well as carrying a GPS tracking device and then you’ll be able to rely on your co-driver just in case technology lets you down. Ensuring you’re not covering too much distance and also not missing any key landmarks is exactly what you should be thinking about before you leave home.
Tried and Tested
Road trips and America go hand in hand and some of the tried and tested routes, such as: the Pacific Coast, the Oregon Trail and Route 66, ensure you’ll get to see some classic sights on routes that have been carved out over the years. Just because you’re following in someone else’s tyre tracks doesn’t mean you’re not road tripping for real, in fact, as these routes are regarded as up there with the best of them you can rest easy that you’re heading in the right direction.
The End of the Road
As with every long journey, having something to look forward to is exactly what keeps you going. Diving into the Pacific, grabbing a beer in Boston or hugging a giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park, whatever floats your boat, getting that all-important experience at the end of your trip will no doubt stay with you for years to come.