The US is well known for its vast terrain and nearly limitless traveling opportunities. Most people have heard of the two-week trip across Route 66 but really, the country is so big, there’s nothing stopping you from hashing out your own route. It’s why around 60% of Americans have never left the beautiful country since there are so many locations to discover inland and on the coast.
We all have our own opinions on what makes the perfect road trip. The people you go with, the journey itself, and the places to stop along the way will probably be different for everyone. Whether it’s your aim to traverse the bible belt, follow a band on a nationwide tour, or create your own route altogether, there are some essentials you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure it goes down without a hitch. Road trips can be dangerous after all, and even more so for those who’re unprepared. Keep reading to learn more about what you’ll need for a road trip across the US.
Car Rental and Insurance
No doubt as the source of transportation for your road trip you’ve already considered a vehicle, but it’s important to make sure it’s actually suitable for your trip. For example, if you plan on sleeping in the vehicle, you’ll need to know it has enough room for supplies too, so you’re not fighting over space with your buddies. A vehicle with fold-down seats would be ideal. Since you’ll probably be carrying a lot of weight, an SUV or even a minivan would be ideal for carrying your supplies, and will also be better for keeping you safe. Larger vehicles have bigger crush zones, so you’re a lot more protected in the event of a collision.
Always be sure to shop around for the best deals when it comes to car rental and road trip insurance. Where you source the car has a huge impact on the price you pay and the overall quality of the vehicles available. No one wants to break down halfway through the trip or put their safety at risk due to a bad car. Pick a rental company you can trust and be sure your car comes with a spare tire and breakdown kit.
Pack the Essentials
We all know what’s meant by essentials, but it’s usually when we forget them that we realize just how essential these items are. That’s necessities like food, water, portable power for electronics, medical supplies, travel documents, ID, rental documents, and much more.
Sometimes, it’s whether we’ve brought enough of these essential items that’s the problem, but a road trip should leave plenty of opportunities for stocking up on the move. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t prepare, however, because it could take some time till you reach that hospital or gas station you’re desperately looking for. When packing your vehicle for the big journey, just doing just a bit of research can ensure you have enough food and supplies for on the move. Even if you plan on making a lot of pit stops, it never hurts to have more than enough water and food with you.
You can’t always predict what will happen, and should your vehicle break down in the middle of nowhere or a friend suddenly fall ill, you’ll need to have supplies in order to see the situation through. Before leaving, let friends and loved ones know you’re going away and check in once in a while, so people at least have a rough idea of your location.
Do Your Research
Learning all there is to know about the places you’ll visit beforehand is key to getting the most out of your trip. For example, if you’re a fan of local theater, you might want to know if there are any shows on in the towns you’re visiting. Or as someone that’s passing through Las Vegas and enjoys playing virtual roulette, you’ll probably want to research the best casinos for your first time experiencing the real deal. Making plans on the move is fun and can actually work out for the best a lot of the time, but it can also harm your budget and see you unprepared for certain locations.
Of course, there’s such a thing as too much preparation, but when it comes to your own safety, it’s always better to know what’s in store. If you’re traveling through bad neighborhoods or set up camp in a rough spot, you could be exposing yourself to some otherwise avoidable situations. While looking up what to do and the attractions you want to see, it helps to also research how to keep your party of explorers safe in these locations. Your vehicle is likely even more of a target, so do your research on the most secure places for parking before arriving or risk having it stolen or paying even more for an expensive space in the city.