Just imagine, you are singing along to your favorite song, the wind is blowing in your hair, you’re with your best friend, family, significant other or whomever, as you embark on a cross state road trip. With not a care in the world except when you will be to your next beautiful destination, the memories that you make on this trip will last a lifetime and then some. No matter if you are zipping through the highways in a sports car, or traveling in an RV you will look back on this experience and be so thankful though you did it. A cross state road trip can be fun, but tough to plan. It is so easy to forget to book a place to stay in that one little city, that you will barely be at for 13 hours. However, don’t fret. We have got you covered. With this guide, we will walk you through important things that are often forgotten as well as places you can’t miss out on when traveling from the North East down to the Gulf.
Depending on where you are coming from, your drive may look a bit different. Maybe you are taking a train, hitch-hiking, or just winging it. Whatever you decide to do we just ask that you are safe, and also have a ton of fun. No matter how you choose to set off on your cross state road trip, it is likely that you will take a similar route no matter where you are coming from. If you want to take a scenic route, pick out a few of your favorite areas that you can’t miss and build a route around that. If you are looking for the most efficient way, you may end up on the backroads,so make sure you are familiar with the route in case you lose phone service. Of course, you could go with the most likely route which is sticking to U.S Route 1. This route runs all the way from Canada down to Florida.
This route is the one we recommend if you are trying to make a straight shot. U.S 1 is close enough to many places that you may find interesting and want to stop. Or you can take U.S 1 half of the way and then jump onto the blue ridge parkway. This will take you through beautiful mountain views, allowing you to see everything from beaches to mountains. Stop and spend a night on the Outer Banks, and view where the first flight took place, or stop and relax in a cozy cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The options when taking US 1 are endless in places to stop and see. Make sure that you are realistic with how much you are going to drive in one day, how far you may get, and how long it will take you to make some stops. The last thing that you want to happen is to miss out on one of your favorite destinations due to lack of planning. We recommend that you spread out your driving instead of trying to do large chunks everyday. While you may want to get to a certain destination, would you really enjoy it if you were just rushing through, trying to get to the next?
Where To Stop
You are in luck. If you are a beach person, there is plenty of that along the way. If you’re a nature lover, there is plenty of that on your drive. If you are a lover of the cascading mountains, there are hundreds of miles of that too. The great thing about driving on a road trip, is the ability to stop and see all of the places you have always wanted to. Even if you only stay for one night, or maybe even a couple of hours, it is well worth the visit to some of your favorite places, and maybe even a few that are hidden gems. Splitting time between the mountains and the beach is a crowd favorite. From discovering small, unique islands like St. Simons Island in Georgia or Jupiter, Florida, you won’t want to leave. These areas are warm, cozy, and filled with adventure. Perfect during the winter as a way to escape the cold, or in the summer to experience island life.
It is vital that you stop before you get too tired. Even if it is for a quick nap in a rest area, your safety is most important. Although you may be excited to get to a certain destination or finally get out of the car and stretch, taking needed breaks is crucial. Though it can seem annoying to have to stop every hour or so, it is better to stop and be safe than to regret it later. If you have all of your hotels booked and you don’t think you will be able to make it one night, that’s okay. Many hotels will work with you on the bookings. If you find yourself in need of a hotel in a different town at the last minute, try Hotala. This way you can stop and feel rested, and not chance falling asleep at the wheel or getting lost.
If you are interested in going on a cross state or country roadtrip, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Although there are a lot of details to plan and iron out before you hop in the car and get on the road, there are many tools that can help you. Whether you work with a travel agent or expert of some sort, or use an online planner. There are many resources that will take the guesswork out of your trip. This will also allow you to Keep all of your reservations and files in one place digitally. This eliminates the Accidental loss of tickets, receipts or whatever you may need to check in somewhere. A digital planner can also offer options and ideas of where to go, what to do, and where to stay. For example, if you are in Anna Maria Island you will definitely want to check out The Manatee Beach. Or if you are in Houston, You can’t miss out on the space center. Trip planners will auto-populate these options that way you don’t have to spend hours researching and you can focus more on enjoying your trip.
Now you have already chosen the route, picked where you were going to stay and what you were going to do, and even thought about unnecessary stops that you may have to make. But there is one key factor that you don’t want to miss. And that is prepping your car. While this may seem like just changing the oil, or gassing up, it could be a little more than that. It is vital to know the health of your car in the condition that it isn’t. For example if you are going through the mountains and it is winter, your car may not be equipped to handle the snow and the slopes. This is why getting your car checked out with the mechanic and making them aware of the conditions you could be driving in is necessary.
Not only is it necessary to have your car checked out, it is vital to make sure that you are taken care of as well. Too many times we head out on the road and don’t think about our basic needs when traveling. This can include stopping every few hours to stretch our legs, get something to drink or eat, and use the restroom. Many times we try to hold it until we get to the next stop but that isn’t great for us. Being flexible and having apps and websites readily available in case you need to stay somewhere on the fly is important.
Check your Environment
There is nothing worse than heading out on what you suspect would be a wonderful vacation to have it fall flat. While many things can turn a vacation bad, don’t let it be the company. A cross country road trip is embarking on a very long journey so it only makes sense that you take it with someone you love to be around. You are going to be spending a lot of time with this person or group of people to make sure that you enjoy their company. Make sure you pack plenty of snacks, as well as something to keep you hydrated. While many don’t like to consume any food or drink while driving so they don’t have to stop this often, we have found that it is much more enjoyable of a ride if we can enjoy a few snacks here and there. Not only is it important for the environment in the car to be good, it is also important that the environment outside is good. For example, traveling in a snowstorm when you are from a beachy area may be a little more tough than you think. And traveling from up north where transportation is often provided may be a little different than in the beachy areas. Make sure you do research on common laws such as phone and seat belt laws.
The east coast and the Gulf Coast are such wonderful places to explore. It can be a true Delight to see it for the first time oh, that you may never want to leave. Make sure you have a lot of time and each area for you to truly soak in the beauty of. Whether you are hiking through the mountains, or raking through the sand on the beach we know you will have an absolute blast. Make sure to take pictures to document everywhere you stop as well as simple things too. Enjoy a nice cup of coffee on the side of a mountain, or take your iced coffee out to walk the beach and see the sunrise. The options are endless. We hope that you have a great time and that one day you will get to see the Southwest and the beautiful desert if you haven’t already.
Please keep in mind that travel restrictions May apply in any area that you are going. It is most important to be up today and well aware of any restrictions you may come into. For more information visit the state site to see what their requirements are. If you are leaving the country ensure that you have your passport as well as travel authorization forms ready and complete once you step off of the plane. However if you are driving out of the country make sure that you’re up to date on their requirements. We hope to see you soon along the road!