7 Reasons to Plan A Cross-Country Road Trip (Plus What You’ll Need)

7 Reasons to Plan A Cross-Country Road Trip (Plus What You'll Need)

sponsored contentAre you looking for a new adventure? Here are a few reasons to add a cross-country road trip to your to-do list along with a few things you’ll want on the road.

Despite the popularity of flying, the good old American road trip still stands strong. In fact, over half of all families traveling choose to take a road trip.

If you want to visit the other side of the country, you may not know if driving or flying is better. But there’s a good reason why road trips are so popular.

Do you want to know all the amazing benefits of taking a cross-country road trip? Then keep reading to discover why you should take a road trip as well as a checklist to ensure you pack everything you need before hitting the open road.

Why Plan a Road Trip?

If you’ve never taken a road trip before, you may be wondering what the draw is. While it’s not for everyone, it is an amazing experience that everyone should try at least once. Below are some of the amazing reasons you should consider taking a cross-country road trip.

  1. It’s Affordable

Let’s face it—flying is expensive! Not only are the tickets themselves costly, but you also have to shell out for parking (or transportation to and from the airport) and pay extra fees if you pack too much. Plus, you’ll also have to rent a car or pay for taxis once you’re at your destination.

Road trips, however, are much more affordable. And having your own car makes it easier to book hotels outside major cities and tourist hubs, so you can still see these places while saving a ton on your lodging.

  1. You’ll Uncover Hidden Gems

You’ve likely heard the expression, “getting there is half the fun.” Well, it’s true!

When you take a road trip, you’re not just driving to your destination. Instead, driving is part of your vacation.

You’d be surprised just how many hidden gems you’ll find along the way. Quaint small towns, beautiful views, and random roadside attractions are all things that make road trips amazing.

  1. You Can Try Regional Food

Road trips are a gold mine for foodies. Instead of flying over the country and missing all that regional cuisine, you get a chance to drive through different areas and try their food.

While eating at fancy restaurants is possible, sometimes the best food comes from food trucks or small eateries. Consider asking locals for recommendations to get the most authentic experience.

  1. It’s Flexible

Have you ever been on vacation and found a really cool activity, just to realize that your itinerary was already filled with pre-booked tours? Well, you won’t have that problem when you take a cross-country road trip.

While you can book your hotels in advance, part of the allure is that you don’t have to book anything at all. This means you have the flexibility to stay in one place longer than expected or stop when you see a roadside attraction you want to check out.

When you’re driving, you also have the chance to find food or lodging whenever you want. You can basically make up you’re entire itinerary as you go and have the flexibility to change things at a moment’s notice.

  1. You’ll Get to Admire the Scenery

America sure is beautiful. And you’ll get the chance to witness all the diverse scenery on a cross-country road trip. You can even plan your route around this by taking winding back roads instead of staying on the highway the entire time.

  1. You’ll Grow as a Person

Every type of travel challenges you to get out of your comfort zone, which can help you grow as a person. But road trips do more than this.

Since you’ll have a very loose itinerary (or none at all), road tripping helps you be more spontaneous and flexible, which you can carry over to your regular life after vacation.

You may also drive through places with weak or no cell signal, giving you the perfect chance to disconnect from technology and live in the moment. Of course, certain parts of your road trip may get boring if you’re on a long, straight highway. But road tripping also helps you entertain yourself without technology by playing car games or dancing to whatever song comes on the radio.

While road trips seem easy, you are bound to hit a few snags along the way. Maybe you ran out of gas before you could make it to a gas station. Or maybe you forgot to pack something important.

You’ll have to solve whatever challenge comes your way. Although this may not seem ideal, it turns you into a better problem solver and someone who can remain calm while handling stressful situations.

  1. Plenty of Time to Bond

When you take a traditional vacation, you may be so busy with tours and sightseeing that you don’t really have time to bond with your friends or family.

But road trips consist of hours on the open road, giving you plenty of time to talk and bond with your loved ones.

Your Ultimate Road Trip Checklist

So, have you decided to take a road trip? Great! Now let’s talk about what you’ll need to bring in order to ensure your trip is a success.

  • Emergency Car Kit

As we mentioned earlier, you’re bound to hit a few snags on your trip. But things will go a lot smoother if you’re prepared. So, make sure you have the following in your emergency car kit:

  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire
  • Gloves
  • Rope or bungee cord
  • Flares
  • Fuel transfer tank or gas can
  • Snow scraper and collapsible shovel (if traveling during the winter)

You’ll also want to make sure you know how to do things like change a flat tire or jump your car in case you’re stuck somewhere and can’t connect to the internet.

Of course, even the most well-prepared traveler needs help sometimes. So, make sure you sign up for a roadside assistance membership, like AAA, before you go.

  • Car Entertainment

You’ll spend long hours driving in the car. In order to make the most of it, be prepared with the following items to stay entertained:

  • Car games
  • Car phone charger
  • Car phone mount
  • Working radio
  • Books

It’s also a good idea to make an entertainment plan. Write a list of everything you can do, so you don’t spend hours staring blankly out the window.

  • Toiletries

Nothing is better than a hot shower after a day of driving. Make sure you have all the following toiletries to stay squeaky clean during your cross-country road trip:

  • Body wash or soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Hairbrush
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Laundry bag, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets
  • Toilet paper

Right now, you may be wondering why you’d need to bring toilet paper on vacation when it’s already stocked in every hotel and public restroom.

However, that roll of toilet paper can come in handy if you have to go on the side of the road or end up at a gas station bathroom that ran out of toilet paper. While you may not need to use it, it’s well worth it to pack a roll just in case.

  • Clothing

It can be hard to decide what clothes you’ll need when you travel across the country. But below is a shortlist to help you get started:

  • Weather-appropriate clothes
  • Extra clothes, including socks and underwear
  • Raincoat
  • Sneakers
  • Flip-flops or sandals

Be sure to check the weather forecast a few days before your trip. While you don’t have to know the weather for every city you plan to drive through, get an idea of what kind of weather you’re to expect in each region to help you decide what to pack.

  • Miscellaneous

You’re almost ready to hit the road! Just make sure you pack the following miscellaneous items before you head out the door:

  • First aid kit
  • Pain killer
  • Flashlight
  • Paper map
  • Snacks and water

You may also want to bring a reusable water bottle with you, especially if you plan to do a lot of physical activities on your trip. You can fill it up at public water fountains or with a larger water jug, which is cheaper than buying tons of small water bottles (and better for the environment).

Your Guide to Taking a Cross-Country Road Trip

If you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation to take this year, you can’t go wrong with a cross-country road trip. From the affordability to the amazing scenery you’ll see along the way, there are many benefits of taking a road trip that can’t be overlooked. Just make sure you follow our checklist above so you’re fully prepared.

Do you want more tips and tricks to help you plan the ultimate vacation? Then check out the rest of our travel blog page today!


South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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