7 Factors to Consider Before Driving Cross Country
There’s nothing more exciting than getting in your car and heading out on the open road. With over 164,000 miles of road in the US National Highway System, that’s a lot of potential ground to cover! Whether you’re driving cross country for a family vacation or because you’re relocating, you want to make sure that you’re prepared for the trip.
Are you curious about what you can do to make sure that your big trip goes as smoothly as possible? That’s what we’re here for. Read on to learn about some key things to consider before driving across the country!
1. Can Your Car Handle a Long Drive?
Before you pack your bags for your trip, you need to turn your attention to the car you’re planning on using for your cross-country trip. Newer models are generally ready to go, but it doesn’t hurt to take it by the dealership to have the tires and fluids checked. If you have an older car, it’s worthwhile to have a more thorough inspection done so you don’t have any surprises on the road.
Another thing to consider is how the trip might impact the value of your car. Many people who plan on driving across the country do so because they’re making a big move. After all, the movers can’t put your car in the truck with all of your furniture.
What you can do, however, is ship your car out to your new home and save a ton of wear and tear on your car. Click here to learn more about this super valuable service.
2. Do You Want to Listen to the Radio?
If there’s one thing that’s consistent about America, it’s that people in small towns love country radio. While you might be moving from one major city to another, you’ll be driving through a ton of small towns. If you want to make sure that you don’t have to rely on local radio stations to provide your entertainment, then you need to plan ahead.
In the week leading up to the road trip, put together some solid playlists and download them to your phone in case the cell signal is spotty. You can also download some episodes of an awesome podcast to get educated while you’re putting hundreds of miles behind you each day.
3. Think About Your Dietary Preferences
For many people, hitting the road means taking a chance on all of the roadside diners and fast food joints you can find. If your tastes are more refined, or if you have specialized dietary needs, then the prospect of dining on the road might seem a little less exciting.
Check out the offerings at national chain restaurants to see if they have anything that suits your needs. Then you can plan your stops accordingly. You can also pack a cooler full of snacks to hold you over until something suitable comes up.
4. A Lot of Major Attractions Require a Detour
One of the biggest perks of driving to your destination is that you get to take your time and explore tons of attractions throughout the country on the way. When you’re planning your road trip, be sure to decide which attractions are most important to you because, unfortunately, many of them are not off the main highway.
For example, those driving through Arizona might want to take a side trip to see the Grand Canyon. To get there, you have to jump off the 40 and drive about 50 miles north. It’s a destination that’s well worth the journey, but unless you don’t have a set timeline, it’s not realistic to plan on seeing all of the major attractions.
5. Join a Roadside Service Club
Just because you had your car checked out doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter any kind of car troubles while you’re on the road. Anything from extreme weather to surprise nails in the road can derail your trip’s progress. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, consider joining a roadside service club like AAA.
Roadside service is a lifesaver, especially when you run out of gas or blow a tire. They’ll make sure that you get safely back on the road as soon as possible!
6. Have Maps for Backup
With all of the cell phone company commercials on the air talking about how wonderful their cell service is, you’d think that the entire country was fully covered. Unfortunately, there are tons of dead zones all over the country. If Google Maps quits on you in one of those zones, it can be stressful trying to get back on track.
That’s where good old-fashioned maps come in. Grab a couple from your local bookstore or AAA office to take with you in case you encounter cell signal issues. You may not need it, but if you do, you’ll never be more thankful for Rand McNally.
7. Bring Some Cash
The United States is a pretty diverse place. That includes things like highways and whether a restaurant or store accepts credit cards.
Plan on bringing some cash with you for the trip, including a good amount of coins. Some major cities, like Dallas and Houston, are surrounded by toll roads. You’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with payment for them in case you can’t avoid them.
Are You Planning on Driving Cross Country Soon?
Driving cross country is easily one of the most thrilling and memorable experiences you’ll have in your life. That said, if you don’t make sure that you’re prepared for the journey, it can quickly become one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have. Take the time now to make sure you’re ready to hit the road, and you’ll minimize a ton of potential for stress!
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