The dark and dreary winter days are enough to make anyone long for warmer weather and sunshine. It’s about that time of year when people start to get antsy and are anxious to start making their summer plans. For some, that could be more low-key barbeque-and-pool-party kind of plans, but for others, it might mean a big trip is in store.
Looking for your next big summer adventure? A road trip is a quintessential summer experience and a classic vacation that everyone should experience at least once. Why not make this summer the one you embark on a wild adventure across the country? Embrace the open road and stop at a hundred detours along the way so you can explore as much as possible.
America is a huge country with so much diversity from coast to coast; you could travel through major cities and discover untouched nature, all in the same trip.
So, if you have decided it’s time to embark on an epic road trip across the country, it’s time to start planning. There are a lot of factors to consider, from the logistics to the destinations, so it’s better to get a jump on your trip planning to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Here is a guide on how to plan your summer cross-country travels.
Rent an RV
You won’t be able to drive cross-country without a vehicle, so why not take your trip up a notch and rent an RV? Sure, you could just take your own car (or rent a car if you don’t want to put the miles on your own), but cross-country in a small car will get cramped really quickly, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
An RV has a list of benefits other than just traveling in style. Instead of paying for your accommodation, you can take your accommodation with you. Renting an RV is more affordable than booking hotel rooms or Airbnb’s along the way, especially if you’ve got the whole family with you. Plus, with an RV, you can explore the great outdoors more and stay in breathtaking scenic places like national and state parks. You might even have a small kitchen where you can prepare some meals to help you save some money, rather than dining out for every meal of the day. It’s generally a more comfortable experience to drive long distances for long stretches at a time in an RV than in a car.
If you’re working with a budget and want to find an affordable option, there are ways to find the right RV for you. RV owners who aren’t currently using their RVs can list them for rent, much like Airbnb’s model. You can choose between towable trailers like folding trailers or fifth-wheels, or drivable camper vans, trailers and motorhomes. Whatever your needs are, you can find a trailer to suit, and you can search by location. Whether you’re looking to rent RV in Fargo ND or in Texas City TX, you’ll be able to find something. Of course, during peak season there might not be as much availability, so it’s best to get your planning done early to avoid disappointment.
Decide how long you will be traveling
Mapping out your route across the country will depend on how much time you have to dedicate to your trip. If you don’t have too long, you may want to skip some stops along the way or not spend as much time in each place you visit; your route may generally be more direct if this is the case.
On the flip side, if you have a good chunk of time available, you could take your time in different locations along the way, take plenty of detours, and maybe even stay longer in some places than you originally planned for.
Map out your route
Maybe you already have an idea of where you want to start, but everything else along the way is a mystery. Perhaps you need to decide if you want to do a one-way road trip, end in a different location and fly home. Regardless, the next stage in planning your epic road trip is to pick a starting point, all your key stops along the way, and if applicable, an end point.
The easiest way to visualize your trip is to actually plan your route on an actual map (Google Maps is fine too, but having the real thing laid out in front of you is part of the fun!), but if you prefer to go digital, there are tons of road trip planner apps and tools you can use.
Even though you’re planning to travel during the summer, going cross country may still offer up some weather variations. You could encounter heavy rains, dry heat, humidity, cool nights, or even snow, depending on where you visit. Because of this, it’s important to carefully think about what you are going to pack on your trip. You don’t want to bring too much and waste space, but you don’t want to be underprepared and uncomfortable.
It may help to create a packing list ahead of time and create different sections as per your trip. For example, if you plan on camping in the mountains and visiting a major city, you could create a section for camping clothes and equipment and a section for casual or trendy wear that is appropriate for city nightlife.
Book some lodging
Traveling during summer, also known as peak season, means you probably will need to make some reservations. This is particularly true if you plan on camping or parking an RV at a campsite in a national or state park because these spots are limited and get booked well in advance.
Make sure to do your research ahead of time and check if you have to reserve a spot and if you need any permits. Doing this now rather than at the last minute will help avoid disappointment and a last-minute panic to try and salvage some of your plans if it goes south.
Have a back-up plan
What’s a good vacation without a little hiccup every now and again? Avoid some stress by having a back-up plan of some kind. That may include alternative routes in case of roadwork or traffic, a back-up place to stay in case your first choice is unavailable, or other options for attractions to see in a specific city in case something is closed.
It’s generally a good idea to remain relatively flexible on your road trip because even the most meticulously planned itineraries can get a wrench thrown in them. If something in your plan changes, try to stay calm, don’t stress, and look for an alternative—there always is one.
The post How to Plan an Epic Summer Road Trip Across the Country appeared first on Pommie Travels.