Most high school and college age students travelers have probably dreamt about heading off on an epic Great American Road Trip, as the United States offers such a diverse landscape and culture. Yet few people actually jump into a car and make their dream a reality.
If you have decided you want to drive across the open road with your travel buddies, you have arrived at the perfect place. Here are six things to consider for your U.S. road trip.
1. Create an Itinerary
While you shouldn’t be too rigid when it comes to stops and attractions, you should create some form of rough itinerary, so you’ll have an idea of the things you’d like to both see and do as you drive across America. Not only will this prevent you from missing an important landmark or attraction, but it can also help you to determine how much money and time you will need and keep everyone in your group on the same page.
2. Book Some Attractions and Activities in Advance
Don’t expect to turn up to an attraction and pay at the gate, because you might be sorely disappointed. Many popular National Parks, attractions and landmarks become crowded and busy, especially during the summer, so you might need to secure certain things in advance. Plus, securing tickets online could cost you less than buying them at the gate, so it makes financial sense to book ahead!
Additional tip: Turn to comparison sites so that you can compare tours and tour prices. Sometimes contacting your hotel or hostel can help save you money (and the hassle) by booking tickets for you
3. Find Affordable Accommodation
Driving for hours on end can be tiring, so you’ll need to find accommodation each night to rest your weary heads. Expensive hotels will quickly add up, which is why you should look for more affordable accommodation. Visit VacationRenter to find the best rentals from top sites in one handy place. They have accommodations located across the US.
4. Take a Map
Many road trippers make the mistake of not taking a map with them, as they will rely on Google Maps on their smartphone. However, don’t be surprised to lose signal strength or battery when driving in the country. When this happens, you’ll be glad you have a real map with you, so you can easily find your way to your next destination.
Additional tip: With your map, mark all the attractions that are of interest to you so that you do not forget. This means if your phone is to run out of battery, you can still find the landmarks you are hoping to see.
5. Stop at Roadside Attractions
There is no shortage of fun roadside attractions when driving along a popular road tripping route, such as Route 66, so you should make sure you stop to take a photograph with them. Some of the quirkiest roadside attractions include the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, The Oregon Vortex in Goldhill, Oregon, and Flintstones Bedrock City in Arizona.
6. Avoid Rush Hour Traffic
If possible, try to avoid driving in rush hour traffic when arriving or leaving a major U.S. city. While it is sometimes unavoidable, doing so will help to decrease your driving time, and it will also minimize stress and frustration. It could be the difference between a smooth experience and adding an extra two or three hours onto your driving time. So, it might be beneficial to leave a little earlier or stop at an attraction to avoid rush hour traffic.