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8 Tips for Planning A Road Trip Across America

I am a bit of a road trip expert and know the do’s and don’ts of the road. In the last six years, I have driven across America 5 times, once all the way to Alaska where I came face to face with a grizzly bear. 

I’ve also driven a 1/3 the planet on the Mongol Rally.  A journey the lead through the Turkish mountains, a car crash in Russia, and spent hours in the backseat playing free travel games while we made our way through the vast plains of Mongolia. Basically, throughout all my travels I have spent a lot of time on Road Trip.

America is known as the land of great road trips, and many Americans spend days, or even weeks, drifting down the scenic state highways, traveling to weekend getaways in New England, and  enjoying the country roads of this beautiful country. The great American Road has become something of a rite of passage for Americans.

This list of tips for planning a road trip will help as you get ready to embark on this epic journey.

planning a road trip

Tip -1:When Planning a Road Trip, Don’t Over Plan

The first thing we need to do when planning a road trip is not to overplan. While, I believe you should never plan too much and always leave room to be spontaneous it is important to have some idea of what you want to do and see on your road trip.

Planning helps you know which roads to take, what type of clothes to bring, and some stopping points along the way.

However, as I mentioned above, don’t over plan. One of the best things about an American Road Trip is the feeling of heading into the unknown.

Tip -2: Mange Your Time

One of the worst things that can happen is that you get stuck for hours in unwanted traffic or get lost. The time wasted could mean that you might have to sacrifice a site you really wanted to see. Listen to traffic reports, or use one of the best travel apps  to help you save time and stay on the right track.

Tip -3: Choose your car and prepare it

What type of car you want when deciding a road trip is based on personal preference. Do you a car with all the modern luxuries, or do you want to rough it? Personally, I prefer to rough it.  I once drove 7,000 miles without a clutch in the car. Was it convenient? No! Was it awesome? Yes!

So you need a car to fit your style and budget. However, whatever car you choose make sure you at least get it checked out by a mechanic or mechanically inclined friend before you head out on the open road.

Tip -4: Know the Rules of the Road

Tourists from all over the world take road trips in America. If this is you make sure you know the rules of the road. Where to stop and which side of the road to drive at particular routes in several States. To avoid facing such unwanted hazards, you should study the road rules.

Tip -5: Don’t be Afraid to Sleep in the Car

Most people are worried about sleeping in the car, and you might not want to if you are by yourself. I have spent months sleeping in my car or a tent beside the car and have not once had a problem.

Of course, you need to be smart were you choosing to sleep. Pick a place that has lighting around it if possible. I never truly feel like I am on a road trip if I am not sleeping in the car.

Tip -6: Buy Travel Insurance

It is always important to travel with insurance. It is vital to protecting your belongings as well as your health. Personally I use World Nomads Travel Insurance. Their coverage is great, and they protect adventurers, like me, all the time.

Tip -7: Carry Car Chargers

One major tip for an American Road trip is to make sure you have a device that can help you in case you get lost; your car breaks down, or in trouble. Make sure you have ways to charge your phone, or GPS in the car.

Tip -8: Carry Backup Cash

I am always trying to get airline miles, and because of that I am always using my travel credit cards. However, I always keep some cash on hand as a backup in case my cards are stolen or lost. I recommend carrying two stashes of safety cash and keep them in separate places.

One of the things that make America perfect for road trips is the amount of diverse landscape. You can wake up in the rolling hills and endless forest of Ohio and within a couple days you are crossing the snowcapped mountains of the Rockies, or driving through the flat lands of Colorado.  The tips mentioned above will help guide you through every highway and backroad on your great American road trip.

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