TodayApril 15, 2022

Tips to take a staycation in the USA

Not every vacation is about jetting off to Cuba or Japan and experiencing exotic parts of the world. Although the majority of us wouldn’t have a problem with this, there are times when staycationing in your own country is a more relaxing and welcome way to travel. There are jewels in the crown right here in the USA under everybody’s noses if we are ready to look.

It’s essential to make sure every base is covered on a long journey. There is no turning back when you’re halfway across Route 66 and there are no stores in sight. Here are a few things I wish I had remembered when preparing to get my kicks on a road trip.

Rainy Day Fund

The money you’ve saved is for the trip; however, we all know we will need more than we thought. That’s not to say you shouldn’t come back with any cash. When the time comes, there’s nothing wrong with spending it as you see fit. Still, it’s important to keep a little bit stashed away in case of emergencies. You never know when the car will break down and you’ll need a flight back home. And, while that sounds like an exaggeration, it’s happened to hundreds of people in the past. Take about a quarter of the budget and keep it safe just in case.

Buying a reliable car

Reliability starts with the car itself. Picking an unreliable vehicle to transport you around the country is a terrible start as it will only blow up by the side of the road. With that in mind, choose from a selection of Volvos or Volkswagens or anything that has a solid reputation for reliability. Of course, insurance coverage in case the worst happens is a must, and it’s vital that you don’t opt for the cheapest option to save money. A comprehensive policy will ensure you get back home or to the nearest garage for running repairs.


Depending on the length of the trip, it might be better to buy or lease an RV. A car is fine, but it doesn’t have the flexibility of a motorized vehicle. For one thing, you can use it to eat, sleep and live in on the road. By sleeping in the bed and using the kitchen appliances to cook, there’s a chance you could save a fortune. Plus, there’s a comfort factor to consider. Driving around the country isn’t going to be a walk in the park and you will need your space. That’s impossible in a five-door coupe. In an RV, there is the space to take a breath and recharge your batteries.

The Essentials

It’s tempting to pack as much as possible and bring the entire house with you on the journey since you don’t have to go through TSA or pay for extra baggage. Don’t do it though because it will be uncomfortable lugging your suitcase or backpack around. Instead, opt for the essentials, the stuff which is irreplaceable or tough to find on the road. This generally includes your insurance documents, driver’s license, and any relevant copies. Also, throw in phone chargers and signal boosters in case of emergencies. Warm clothes never go amiss either, but sometimes it’s fun to buy a souvenir piece of clothing.

As well preparing physically, don’t forget to adjust mentally too. Being on the road for a long time can chip away at your mood and leave you feeling tired and cranky. Bring some of your comfort items from home, like your pillow. Make the trip fun, and memorable.

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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