The idea of a cross country road trip can be exciting. However, with a country as large as the United States, it’s important to plan your cross country trip before you climb behind the wheel, if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
What Do You Want to See?
When planning your itinerary for a cross country road trip, take every person into consideration. Some people like to stop often to visit small boutiques, while others may want to visit every diner they pass by.
Those who enjoy scenic views will expect to stop and take pictures, while kids may want to plan a visit to an amusement park.
Think about the interests of everyone involved to create an itinerary that will make everyone happy. Along with this, leave room to be spontaneous. An overly ambitious itinerary can drain the fun right out of your trip.
How to Plan Your Cross Country Road Trip
There are a few specifics to plug into the equation as you plan your cross country road trip:
- How many days will you be traveling?
- What route do you plan to follow? (country roads and less traveled routes offer some of the best sights and unexpected attractions) If you plan to drive the tollway, figure tolls into your travel budget.
- How long do you plan to drive each day? Take this into consideration and plan your lodging accordingly. Planning ahead can help you find the best deals for quality accommodations.
Budget Your Costs
You don’t want to head out on your road trip without having an idea of how much you plan to spend. Build in a little flexibility, because you don’t want to ruin the trip by stressing about money. Here are the things to take into consideration:
- Admission fees
- Approximate gas costs: This one can be a little tricky. Add a couple of extra tanks to your estimate to help cover unexpected costs.
- Food costs: This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Set price limits for meals based on a daily food budget.
- Lodging costs
- Money for souvenirs
Packing for a Road Trip
To avoid traveling in cramped quarters, pack light. Choose clothing that can be easily mixed and matched to create a number of outfits. Pack some laundry soap for long trips and plan to visit a Laundromat to refresh your wardrobe.