While affordable flights have diminished the number of cross-country road trips to some extent, it seems the road trips are making a comeback. According to a recent AAA survey, more than a third of all American families are planning a cross-country road trip within the next twelve months.
About two-thirds of surveyed people say spending quality time with their family is the primary benefit of a cross-country road trip. How long a road trip takes, depends on your route and how many stops you make. The distance of the average cross-country road-trip is 2,500 to 3,500 miles – a journey which will take at least 4 days if you just driving and getting some decent sleep.
There are 11 classic USA cross country road trip routes. As most popular one is considered famous Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. In second place is the Pacific Coast road trip which offers some of the amazing views of California.
If you are a beach bum, the Atlantic Coast cross country is your best bet, with the beautiful white sandy beaches of Florida!
To make the most of your trip, here are a few things to consider:
Nothing can spoil your cross-country road trip faster than being stuck somewhere you would rather not be stuck, waiting for your car to be repaired.
Check your vehicle. Make sure it is in good condition (fluid levels, lights, windscreen wipers, brakes and wheels and tyres) and roadworthy. Make sure your spare tire is fully inflated and that you have a jack, jumper cables and an emergency kit.
Have a plan, but don’t stick to it if you don’t have to. It is usually a good idea to have a list of things you really want to see or do and a plan for where you want to stay each night.
Keep small bills handy for toll booths.
Make sure you have all the necessary documentation handy, for example an up-to-date insurance card, valid driver’s licence and your vehicle registration.
Consider camping as a pennywise type of accommodation. It also allows you to see a different part of the country.
Most modern campgrounds include amenities to help make your stay comfortable. Some even have small cabins that can save money over staying in a hotel. It is also a great opportunity for adventure as most camp sites have outdoor amenities and fun things to do on-site, while still providing you with the comforts of restrooms, running water, and internet connectivity.
Make sure you pack a reliable flashlight or lantern and don’t just rely on your phone’s light.
Sometimes you may want to venture off the beaten path to discover the unexpected. Using a navigation app on your phone can be one of the easiest ways to get around since you likely keep your phone close all the time.
If you can, pack a power bank just in case.
When visiting national parks, it’s essential to check the opening hours during your planning process. The hours of most national parks will vary based on the season and the day of the week.
Be sure to check this information ahead of time before your visit so you can plan accordingly. Finally, the most important thing you should know about taking a cross-country road trip is to have fun! Don’t get caught up in your phone on your trip, rather put it away and take the time to really look at the scenery passing you by.