If you’re looking for the best way to see the world, you can’t do better than a road trip. Apart from actually wanting to live there for a while, when you pass through a location in a car or in a campervan, you’re able to see everything up close and personal. The great thing about a road trip is that it has a very positive impact on your bank balance. By giving yourself that time to go from location to location, and stay overnight in places, you are really getting an appreciation of what it’s like there. The big mistake we can make as tourists is that we just do the things that pop up on tourist forums. But instead, if you’re about to do a road trip, it really gives you the opportunity to see everything as it’s meant to be. So, with that in mind, what’s the best way to pull off an amazing road trip?
Picking Your Route
When you are road tripping across America, it’s not necessarily about the destinations you take in, but about seeing as much as you can within a specific time frame. That means you got to pick an appropriate route. Of course, the obvious one would be Route 66, but it depends on what you need to do. Do you need to visit friends or family, or do you have a specific list of sights to tick off? If you’re going north, you can go through the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rushmore, and big cities like Chicago. This route is certainly worth trying, but you have to think about the time of year you’re going as well. Winter weather on the northern route can make driving difficult. In addition to this, places may close, like national parks.
On the other hand, if you want to go south, you can go through places like Atlanta or Dallas, or if you decide to go more central, you will be able to stop off in Kansas City or St. Louis and see a more rustic image of the heartland. Choose your route carefully. Give consideration to the weather, depending on the time of year that you go, but also the more adverse weather conditions where it doesn’t really matter what time of year to go, such as tornadoes.
Planning An Itinerary
These days, there are so many apps that can plan an itinerary for us, that it takes all the excitement out of hitting the open road. And that’s not to say that the companies like Rand McNally aren’t doing the best to make your road trip as great as possible. After all, a lot of these websites have planning tools and apps for you to use. But, if you want to plan a very modest and eventful journey, where you are learning a lot about the places as you go, you may just want to go for the old-fashioned map. In some ways, using a smartphone makes life easier, but if you want to embrace that sense of adventure, perhaps do it the old-fashioned way?
Planning an itinerary of places that are on your bucket list can give you a thread to follow, but at the same time, if you give yourself the opportunity to seek out new places as well this gives you the perfect balance between structure and freedom. It all depends on your attitude. Some people love the spirit of adventure, and not knowing where to go next, but others prefer to have everything nailed down. Whatever your option, planning an itinerary can give you that anchor so you don’t feel way out of your depth.
There are so many things to think about depending on the route that you choose, especially if you are looking to take in as much as humanly possible. Time is always a factor, but so is money. Think about what you can physically afford, especially in terms of the vehicle. Because it’s tempting as it is to get your own vehicle and use this as a way to road trip across America, does it have what it takes? You may find yourselves with an abundance of problems if you haven’t got the best car. So if you plan a route, you may want to think about renting a car, especially if it’s got in the functions to keep you going, or something like a campervan that you can actually live in. That doesn’t mean that your car is completely redundant in the whole process, and in fact, you may want to fly to your first destination, and take advantage of cheap airport parking, so when you do decide to come home, your car is ready and waiting for you. There is a cheap airport parking guide online to have a look at if you want to head down this avenue.
But in addition to this, you have got to think about the accommodation, the meals, and general day-to-day living. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. So many people take a modest approach to road tripping and view it as an experience where it’s them and the elements. From this point of view, money isn’t necessarily needed in abundance. But for all of the ways you can keep your costs low, such as by packing lunches or staying in motels or hotels that offer a hot breakfast, you can be savvy with your spending, by installing a few apps on your phone. GasBuddy is a very good one when it comes to finding the lowest gas prices, and DexKnows gives you information on local restaurants, as well as mechanics.
Enjoying The Ride
It’s easier if you’ve got a campervan because you can go around the country in luxury, but for those people who have extreme budgetary constraints, it’s better to take a few home comforts with you. For all the excitement of the open road, there can be huge chunks of time where you are just staring at the road. And if it’s just you by yourself, it’s certainly enlightening to spend quality time with yourself and to be alone with your thoughts, but at the same time, a few little home comforts will make those lengthy journeys more bearable. After all, a road trip is a lot of time on the road, going from place to place. It’s important to get a good quality cooler, and keep it stocked with food and drinks, so you remain hydrated. But also, it’s important to break up these journeys with adequate rest stops. An itinerary can help you to plan the best locations to stop so you can get the most out of these places, or at the very least, get a good quality meal!
And beware, every state has its own laws when it comes to the rules of the road, and it’s far better for you to plan in advance if you think you need to pull into a lay-by and have a quick nap. It is legal in the majority of states to sleep in your car, but it’s important for you to ensure you’ve found a safe place. If you need to rest overnight, it’s far better for you to book a motel, so if the police decide to wake you up it won’t be a rude awakening with their baton bashing on your window!
What Do You Want To Get Out Of It?
A road trip is something that can be a great antidote to the normal vacation. And a road trip gives you the opportunity to explore new places, pass through cities and towns quickly and without fuss. If you don’t like somewhere, you can just get in the car and drive off. But at the same time, you need to think about what you want to get out of the experience. One of the great benefits of hitting the road is that it gives you that opportunity to contemplate things, to give you a different focus, and to escape the rat race of normal life. And travelling is one of those things that can be seen as a way to escape normal life. But a road trip is a very good combination of the real-world, and vacation. After all, you’re seeing places like a tourist, but you can take the opportunity to stop and, in effect, live there. And this is a perfect way for you to try out new cultures in the same country. But when you are looking to get the most out of a road trip, you have got to ask yourself what you really want. Do you want to learn something new? Or is it about getting this travel bug out of your system?
As a way to see new places, a road trip is perfect. But there are so many different things to consider, especially if you’re looking to recreate those famous road trips that you see in the movies and in literature. These days, there’s a lot more to be careful of, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the freedom that comes with the open road.