TodayApril 15, 2022

How To Plan Your Great American Road Trip

It’s time for a road trip

Traditionally a popular pastime of college students, the great American road trip can be enjoyed at any age – we look at the best ways to go about it.
When we hear the words Road Trip, we might think of a thousand American movies featuring college students and misadventures.

Not all road trips are like this; you’ll be glad to know. More people are choosing to stay at home for vacations these days, older, more responsible people, who have left their college days behind. They see the advantages of staying home to visit some of the incredible sites and natural wonders this country has to offer.

There are the beaches of California’s Big Sur, Death Valley, and the Grand Canyon, and forests of giant redwoods in the Deep South. There is something for everyone, which is one reason they are growing in popularity.

America lends itself very well to the road trip for a number of good reasons. It’s the size, for one thing, means the traveling itself becomes the vacation. Whether you’re driving an RV or another vehicle, there’s plenty of opportunity to kick-back and enjoy the landscape rolling by.

Then there are the landscapes themselves. America has some of the most dynamic landscapes on earth, from the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to desolate prairies, to shining blue oceans, and driving through these landscapes is one of the best ways to see them.

If you do decide on a road trip vacation, make sure it’s well planned. There’s nothing worse than running into trouble when you’re out for a good time.
Choosing the right vehicle will depend on your overall plan, how far you intend to travel, and how many folks are going.

Obviously, an RV is a great choice. There are many advantages to this vehicle for a road trip. They have large windscreens and windows at the front, making viewing the landscape easier. They are also high up from the road.

Fuel is a little more expensive with an RV, but costs can be saved in other areas—food and accommodation, for instance.
Using best practices is key to a successful time on the road. Don’t get caught out with a silly oversight.

Google maps is a great app for navigation, but it can’t be relied on completely, especially in black spots. Consider investing in a GPS, and if you are going out in the boondocks, consider bringing a paper map.

Know the rules of the road in the state you travel in through. Some states have different driving under the influence laws; for instance, if you’re unfortunate, you might need a DUI attorney.

Don’t be afraid to explore the hidden off the map routes, but be sensible. Always tell people where you’re going and keep some water and some food in your vehicle. A gallon of gas is also a good idea.

Destination – Where do you want to go?

Some classic American road trips include The Deep South, which offers colorful food, music, and warm weather. The West Coast, with its epic scenery and flashy entertainment. Or the Pacific Northwest where you can enjoy glacial mountain ranges, hikes, and lakes.

When choosing a destination, consider it the high point of the vacation. Select one that will be memorable, somewhere you’ve wanted to go to for a while, a bucket list for your life.

Remember the time of year you travel is also important, The Deep South, for instance, gets scorching summers, so if you’re happier in mild weather go in Spring or Autumn.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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