The Great Cross-Country Road Trip

The concept of traveling has been close to many people’s hearts. Most want to travel to explore new places and cultures.

But…

The tour doesn’t begin once you reach the destination. 

It starts once you leave the house. The trip that’s required across the country is a big part of the tour. 

Since traveling to reach the destination is a big part of the trip, how should one do it?

You need to decide which roads to take, what form of transportation is best and to determine the most feasible means necessary.

Another factor that most travelers consider is convenience. 

Nobody wants to travel across the country in a cramped form of transportation--or the most expensive one. All the factors of traveling need to be aligned in order for the trip to be worthwhile.

To make the cross-country road trip efficient, we wanted to explore the common forms of transport that most people take and highlight which one seems the likeliest choice when considering budget and convenience.

We also thought it was necessary to mention the most common routes, which would expedite the journey and ensure that your family is safe and comfortable. 

What Is A Cross-Country Trip?

As the name suggests, cross-country trips require you to explore the U.S. while traveling from one coast to the other. 

The idea seems exciting, but the trip can be daunting if you don’t have the right game plan. That’s right. You need to plan the trip before you end up regretting it. 

A cross-country trip requires you to explore the entire country, at least, most of it by road or by air. 

Here’s the thing about cross-country trips.

The destination isn’t where the trip begins. It’s the entire journey. That’s the focus of a cross-country trip. Seeing the different states while you make your journey to the next one is the whole point of a cross-country trip.

If traveling across the country seems like a daunting trip, maybe it isn’t for you. 

So why should you do it?

Exploring the U.S. is a great honor, believe it or not. Many people around the world wish that they could live in the United States, but most of them will never get a chance to do that. So the fact that you have the legal right to do it is a privilege you shouldn’t take for granted. 

Most people want to travel the world, but they should start with their country first. If you haven’t seen most of the United States, it doesn’t make sense to start your world travel by visiting foreign countries. Start with the U.S. It’s a magical place.

Here’s the first step.

Plan The Trip

Choose How Long You Want To Travel

The first thing you need to do is decide how much time you’re prepared to dedicate to the trip. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to traveling across the U.S., then your most common form of travel will be by plane.

Air travel will enable you to get across the country the fastest. Know that this is the most efficient form of travel but also the most expensive. The other thing that you need to consider about air travel is sightseeing. You’re not going to see much and can’t experience the different lifestyles from the air.

People who have made the journey from one coast to the other said that the journey requires at least two weeks, preferably three.

Pick The Key Spots

It’s almost impossible to see every suburb, every tourist attraction and every region in the country unless you have unlimited resources. For most people, that’s not a viable option.

What you have to do is to pick the key spots that you want to see. Choosing the must-see locations lays the foundation for the entire trip. If you want to see the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, as well as Venice Beach, that’s a good starting point as it helps you to know where you’re going to start and where you have to head next.

Those routes help to open doors to other routes. By knowing the key spots, it allows you to book accommodation in advance and helps you to determine the mode of transport.

Speaking of which, the mode of transport is the next point.

Transportation Mode

We’ve mentioned that an airplane will allow you to complete the cross-country trip the quickest, but it will also be the most expensive. 

What are the other options?

You’ve got options between a bus, your car or an RV.

Traveling by bus is an affordable option and allows for sightseeing. The only problem with traveling by bus is that the bus company determines the key points where it will stop. Also, you can’t travel the entire country in one trip, without stopping overnight for accommodation. 

Traveling by car allows you to stop wherever you want but also requires you to book accommodation since you can’t travel the entire country without getting rest. Sleeping in your car isn’t the most comfortable option, especially if you have passengers. It’s going to be too cramped.

So that leaves us with an RV. In my opinion, that is the best option.

The reason an RV is the ultimate option is that it allows you to explore the different states while combining travel and accommodation. An RV allows you to travel at your own pace. Need to stop, no problem. You do it on your time. 

The best thing about an RV is that it provides an entire family with enough space to feel comfortable. The kids can play during the journey while mom makes food. What could be better than that? Not only can you have fun during the trip, but you don’t need to stop at a restaurant to eat.

The best part about having a comfortable RV is that it allows you to park at a safe destination and spend the night in it. You eliminate the cost of accommodation. That is a huge expense that you don’t have to worry about.

Now that you know which key points you want to explore and your mode of transport, the next step is the budget.

Budget

If you don’t know what sites you want to see or the mode of transportation to take, you’re like a ship at sea without a crew on. The tides will sway you in every direction. That means the trip is going to take longer than you expect and will end up costing you more than you thought.

Since you know which sites you want to see and you’re going to take an RV, it’s easy to determine how much money you’re going to need. Don’t forget to factor in toll gate fees and unforeseen expenses such as staying at a hotel if your RV breaks down, not to mention the repair costs.

Best Practices

One of the key things that you need to determine to get to the sites that you want to see are the roads to take. Since everybody will customize the journey to meet their needs, it’s difficult to stipulate which roads you should take, but here’s a good rule of thumb.

Regardless of which spots you want to see during your journey, try to use the roads that are the most commonly used. That’s important because those routes are the safest and quickest way to your destination. 

What are those roads?

  • Route 66
  • Great River Road
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • The Loneliest Road
  • Overseas Highway
  • The High Road to Taos
  • Hill Country

Since you’re going to be traveling by an RV, make sure that you have enough gas in the tank and that phones are charged in case of an emergency. The other important thing to have on you is enough cash.

Some places don’t accept cards or the system might be down. The last thing that you want is to be stranded because your card is declined. 

Considering that you have mapped out your route, know the exact places that you’re going to park your RV when you spend the night. Make sure those spots are safe. Preferably you want to be in a park with other RVs. 

Try to make your journey in summer. Traveling across the country in unfavorable conditions only makes your journey more difficult. You don’t want to be traveling in snow or when it’s raining. 

That makes the journey less safe, not to mention affecting your schedule, itinerary, and travel progress. 

Before you’ve left the house, you need to make an itinerary of the roads that you’re going to take, how long it’s going to take to get there and how much time you’re going to spend at each site. That’s important not only to determine the time for the cross-country trip but also for the budget.

Traveling across the U.S. can be an exciting trip if you do it the correct way, but it can turn out to be a nightmare if you haven’t planned before leaving the house.

We have not only mentioned the best transport mode to take but also the key things that you need to consider before you commence the journey. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.If you still need convincing of how great RVs are for camping and the magical cross-country road trip, we highlighted all the important numbers in the infographic below!

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