3 Steps for Planning the Best Cross-Country Road Trip

The Greatest Escape: 3 Steps for Planning the Best Cross-Country Road Trip

Know all these things before hitting the road!

Everyone needs to take a road trip at least once in their life. There are several benefits to travelling, wonders all over the country ready to be explored. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or planning a fun-filled family trip, a cross-country adventure is a perfect way to check a few landmarks off of your list.

Before you get on the road, there are essential steps to ensure a safe and stress-free trip.

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle


Image credit: Sonyuser

Whether you’re travelling in an RV, SUV, or sedan, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is properly prepped for your cross-country road trip journey.

Drop it off at an auto care facility a few days before your trip. They will check things like the tire pressure, condition, and whether or not they need to be rotated. They’ll give your car an oil change, and check your brake, transmission, and steering wheel fluids.

Your car should be covered for the kind of mileage you will incur on your cross-country road trip. Sites like Compare.com can help you select insurance that covers your vehicle’s usage.

When researching rates, select whatever plan fits your budget and duration of travel. Ask questions; let your broker know about your road trip plans and see if they provide coverage that works for your vehicle.

You want the proper insurance in case of an emergency.

Step 2: Choose your path

road trip map

Image credit: ErikaWittlieb

Make a list of places you’d like to visit and decide how many days your journey will be. This is a cross-country road trip, so you’ll want to consider scenic routes instead of popular interstates and highways. Choosing your final destination first will help you map out the best route. When you know where you’re going, you can map out the best way to get there.

If this is your first cross-country adventure, start small. Don’t put too many destinations on your list, and be mindful of how many miles you’ll be travelling. Road trips are energy and time-consuming. You don’t want to experience exhaustion or burnout during your trip.

Take into account who you’re travelling with. Some people don’t do well in tight spaces over long periods of time. If this is the case, plan frequent stops for a quick leg stretch. This also applies to travelling with pets.

Also read: How to Prepare Your Pet for an RV Trip

If there are multiple adults in your group, divide the driving time. This gives everyone the opportunity to rest and alleviates the burden of a single driver.

Reserve your lodging ahead of time. Getting to your destination is only half the battle, and when you arrive, it’s better to already have a place to sleep rather than anxiously searching for one when you get there. If you’re travelling during a popular vacation season, you run the risk of most places being booked up. Making your reservation beforehand avoids this issue.

Check for any COVID-19 restrictions at your stops. Make sure you abide by their guidelines to ensure a safe trip.

Step 3: Pack your bags

travel bag for cross-country road trip

Image credit: cytis

The final step in your perfect prep plan is packing your essentials. You’ll need your license and registration, proof of insurance, first aid kit, emergency kit, and a physical map in case you’re out of range for a GPS.

The unexpected is always guaranteed. Make sure your clothing is comfortable, durable, and optimal for all weather conditions. Bring a rain jacket, a few hats, and your favourite pullover. The best destinations always have a place to swim, so pack a suit, and a pair of shades for the sunny days.

Depending on where you intend to travel, your necessities may include layered clothing. Pack fleece shirts, a good winter coat, and thick socks and gloves. If you’re going where it snows, back a warm pair of boots.

Pack extra undergarments, and enough toiletries to last between each destination.

If you travel to the mountains, bring your hiking boots, a backpack, and a water bottle.

Remember to pack battery chargers and cables for your phone, tablet, or laptop. If you have a camera, bring an extra battery, along with a carrying case and lens cap. Pack headphones and a portable speaker for picnics or exploring.

Also read: A Guide to The Best Luggage and Backpack Brands for Every Traveller

cross-country road trip

Image credit: artparta

Travelling is one of the most rewarding life experiences that you can have. Indulge in the greatest escape and make memories that will last a lifetime.

About Author

Bilal Sajjad
Bilal Sajjad

Bilal Sajjad is a full-time traveller who loves to travel. He visited luxurious hotels and destinations around the world and aims to inspire fellow Travelistas to pursue their dream career in travel.