Countries like the United States and Australia are huge. In the United States, both the east-west and the north-south circuits are extremely popular. Route 66 is one of the popular travel circuits here and it takes the traveler over two thousand miles between Los Angeles in California and Chicago in Illinois. Nicknamed the ‘Main Street of America’, it passes through hundreds of small towns across the Southwest and Midwest.
An equivalent trip in Australia would be those that connect Sydney in the south-east of the country with Perth in the west, or the road between Sydney and Cairns or Darwin in the north. Few travelers have successfully completed the circular circuit from Sydney to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane back to Sydney. Such a road trip could take at least a couple of months and is said to be among the most physically exhausting road trips down under.
So how exactly do you plan for such a cross-country trip? There are two components to this – physical preparedness and then the mental preparedness.
Before you start the journey, it is important to break your trip down to small chunks of 250 miles each. This is likely the most you should be driving any given day. If you are passing through hilly regions or places that do not have good roads, it is vital that you break these journeys into even smaller components. The objective is to break the hundreds or even thousands of miles into daily journeys. This helps you plan your pit-stop at the end of each day. You may plan the town you shall be stopping at the end of each day, book your hotels and even know where to refill along the entire trip.
In countries like Australia, you are likely to hit stretches that are completely devoid of any town or habitation. In such places, you may be required to set up tents for the night. Besides carrying all that you need to pass the night in a tent, it is also a good idea to carry camping equipment like portable fridges and power supplies. This lets you charge your phones and keep yourself cool, especially if you are traveling in the summer months.
Driving hundreds of miles each day for weeks at a stretch can be extremely tiring. Depending on the route you take, this journey can also be incredibly lonely. As a traveler, it is important to prepare yourself mentally for this trip. Exercising every day for weeks leading to the trip helps you build the physical stamina and the mental strength to pull yourself up during the trip. Successful long-road travelers also burn a copy of their favorite podcasts and music to keep them company. However, if you are still unsure about pulling it off, it is a good idea to find a travel partner who can provide you company and the motivation to keep going.
Cross-country road trips sound fanciful and anybody reading this article would be secretly wishing to do a trip themselves. But in reality, such trips can be exhausting and lonely. Preparing yourself for all eventualities can reduce your anxiety and can make your travel a lot more enjoyable.