A cross-country road trip really is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. The chance to hop in a car, bus, or train to go from coast to coast is really a romantic, idealized concept. But it doesn’t just have to be a fantasy that you daydream about. It can really happen. And it can be an overwhelmingly positive experience, provided you plan accordingly for your big trip. If you’re not sure where to begin, you have come to the right place. Take a look at five things you can do to make the most out of your cross-country road trip.
1. Go the Old-Fashioned Way
And by the old-fashioned way we mean to bring a map. Not Google Maps. Not Waze. A bona fide United States road map that you can hold in your hands. In this day and age, reading a map and finding your way along a certain route is almost a lost art. Nevertheless, it’s a skill that will almost definitely come in handy one day. Why not brush up your map-reading and navigation skills by bringing a physical, paper map on your cross-country trip? And if you ever are in a bind, whip out your GPS on your smartphone and get back on track. Until then, see how long you can last navigating your trip with just a good old-fashioned map.
2. Ditch the Car, Take a Bus
What’s one surefire way to really enjoy a road trip? Make sure you’re not the one driving the vehicle. When you’re on a road trip and you are the one driving, it’s hard to focus on all the amazing sights around you when you are supposed to be focused on the road. But when you opt for bus travel rather than driving a car yourself, you’ll literally be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Being on a bus will allow you to stargaze out the giant windows as you drive across the country at night, watch the sunrise over the morning, and spot amazing natural wonders along the way.
3. Stuff in as Much Sightseeing as You Can
If you are going to Washington D.C., you should go for more than just a selfie in front of the White House. You should definitely go see the White House, the National Mall, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. If you are going to the Grand Canyon, don’t just go see the Grand Canyon, also check out the South Rim and Bright Angel Trail. Wherever you end up stopping on your cross-country trip, try to make two or three visits to famous landmarks and natural wonders. This way, you’re really getting your money’s worth and getting more memorable experiences packed into your trip.
4. Eat Right
It’s definitely very easy to let your healthy eating slide when you’re on vacation, even more so when you are traveling on the road for long hours. But if you do it right, it presents the opportunity to keep your health in order and eat filling meals that aren’t full of sugar or empty calories. Both things will just bog you down and make you tired on your journey. Whenever you aren’t able to stop off at a restaurant for a meal, have food packed for the road trip. Sandwiches, beef jerky, nuts, chocolate, and protein bars all make great options. And whenever you can stop for food, opt for local restaurants with quality entrees rather than cheap, greasy fast food. This is particularly important if you plan to do a lot of long-term travel throughout the country.
5. And Most Importantly, Have Fun!
Let’s face it. A 3,000-mile road trip can be stressful. There will be plenty of traffic, long hours on the road, and the regular pre-trip stress like planning and making travel arrangements. The important thing to remember along the away, particularly in the tiring or stressful moments, is to give yourself a moment, breathe, and remember you are doing this to have fun. If you’re riding a bus on your cross-country trip, pack things to keep yourself entertained, like a few good books. Keeps your eyes peeled along the way for amazing sites on your trip. Get creative with the ways to keep yourself entertained.
Ready to go on your cross-country road trip? Start by buying your bus ticket today!