Six Tips For Your Upcoming Cross-Country Drive

September 18, 2017

If you are planning a road trip, there are some things you need to do to prepare before you drive across the country. Everyone has their own pre-trip rituals to make the trip as uneventful and memorable as possible, but these tips will ensure you do not miss a thing. Look at these six helpful tips as you prepare for your upcoming vacation:

Research Welcome Centers

All too often, people underutilize welcome centers on road trips considering them no more than a place to use the restroom. However, welcome centers are good for much more than that; you receive priceless information relevant to your travels and are often given free gifts and coupons. The Florida welcome center gives its visitors a free sample of Florida orange juice! As you enter every state on your road trip, make sure you stop and visit the welcome center.

Prepare Your Car

It is not ideal to take an older car with a lot of miles on a long road trip. But whatever you have is what you have to work with. Some choose to sell their car to an auto salvage yard and use the money to rent a car. However, be wary of shady salvage yards.

Even if your car is in pretty good shape, you need to get it road trip ready. Get a tune up and change the oil before you go and as needed along the way. Check your coolant, brake fluid, and motor oil before you back out of your driveway. You are putting a lot of miles on your car, so you need it to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Consider Local Eateries

Do not fill yourself with the same ole fast food joints that people tend to eat at on road trips. Instead, seize the opportunity to try foods unique to each state and hit up the local hot spots. Why travel to Louisiana and not have some gumbo? Why head to Chicago and not sample some deep-dish pizza? Eat local — not only with you support small businesses, your stomach will thank you!

Consider The Weather

Before your journey, make sure you are aware of the weather. Dips in temperature can affect your drive; things like hail or snowstorms will greatly impact your day. Check the weather reports before you leave, so you can keep your family as safe as possible.

Another reason you need to check the weather to ensure you pack correctly. You don’t want to find yourself on a chilly, rainy day without a rain jacket or a stifling hot day without a sleeveless top.

Visit National Parks

You must make it a point to see as many National Parks as possible on your road trip across the beautify country. National Parks offer lots of learning opportunities as you view a plethora of wildlife. Not to mention, they’re typically quite affordable to visit – many even offer inexpensive campsites.

When seated for hours at a time, the best feeling is to hop out of your car and not only sight-see, but stretch your legs on a walk or hike through a National Park.

Take Your Time

One thing about a cross-country drive that you need to make sure you do is take your time. Stop when you feel like it, see all the sights and take them in. Have fun! Even if you must drive a few miles out of the way to view a cool park or waterfall, you can see things you will remember forever. You probably will only drive cross-country once, so make your drive count.

While many people prefer to hop on a plane and reach their destination in a few hours’ time, there is something amazing about stepping out of your comfort zone and opting for the simplicity of travel via car. Prepare before you head cross-country and get ready to experience countless new experiences, quaint towns, good food, and old-fashioned fun.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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