The road trip across the United States is such an old and romantic idea that it’s just about become a cliché. The idea of jumping in a car with a few friends and without many belongings and just taking off for the other coast is almost like a dream. You’ll meet people, you’ll get in adventures, you’ll see the land.
However, those ideal scenarios do not always translate into safe and sensible vacations. There should always be a good, healthy balance between adventure and staying safe while on the road.
Having said that, if you want to plan a trip to go out and see some of the most unique places to visit in the U.S., then you are in luck. We want the same thing for you, and here in this post, we’ll provide you with some advice on how to plan a one-of-a-kind road trip for yourself and your traveling companions.
Know Your Destinations, but Don’t Stick to the Map
So, we want you to have a real adventure out there on the road. We want you to be safe and to be smart about where you’re going, but please don’t make this a boring trip by just driving straight through to your destination.
You should definitely know where you want to end up. Say, if you’re starting in North Carolina and want to make it to Oregon, that’s good. As you travel, always be sure you’re trending toward the northwest direction. But you obviously don’t need to jump on a highway and just drive there. That’s not a road trip; it’s just traveling.
Take the back roads. Stop and get out. Talk to people in local establishments. Make it adventurous, while always being safe.
Make Time to See Cool Things Along the Way
As you’re slowly but surely making your way to your destination, make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings and what kinds of attractions are near you.
Oh, you’re nearing St. Louis? Have you ever seen the Gateway Arch in person before? It’s probably going to be worth it to stop by and check it out. Heading up through the western deserts? You definitely owe it to yourself to see the Grand Canyon. You don’t even have to go down and hike it or anything like that, but grab some pictures, spend some time taking in the views, and move along.
This road trip should be all about having experiences and making memories.
Have a Mix of Accommodations
You might be wondering how you’re going to get to bed if you’re taking a semi-unplanned road trip through the United States. After all, if you’re taking your time and seeing things along your way, how exactly can you plan to stay in this or that hotel?
One way that some travelers have used is to have a mix of accommodations for themselves. So, you would plan to stay in hotels or motels at certain major points along your way. Maybe you have a hotel in Billings, Montana, booked way in advance on a certain date. But while you’re getting there, you stay where you can find room in a roadside inn.
Once Billings is behind you, you can look forward to the next major hotel stop in another state or two, but along your journey there, you do what you can.
That’s a nice, decent mix of planning and adventure. See if you can coordinate your trip this way, and you should end up feeling safe yet still free to explore.