For the past two weeks, my husband and I have been busy driving across America. It has been one of the most rewarding and exciting trips of our lives. To read more about our trip, click here to visit my other blog!
This trip is the inspiration for this Friday Fun post. If you have never driven cross country, I highly recommend that you do so. You not only get to see just how diverse this land is, but you also get to have a great time at an affordable price. Since we car camped and only stayed in motels a few of the nights, we spent less on this two week adventure than we did when we went to Cancun for four days! And although gas might be on the higher side, it's much lower than it was last summer. Many families are taking advantage of this and hitting the road.
So what are my tips for an unforgettable All-American Road trip?
- Allow at least two weeks. This ensures that you don't feel rushed, and allows you time to explore all that you encounter on the road.
- Plan a tentative itinerary. We actually deviated from our original plan by two days. Things will come up that you might realize you want to see or do.
- Navigate with state road maps. Sure, GPS systems are great, but they don't give you the overall picture the way that maps do. With our state maps, we can see how far it is til the next exit or gas stop, where the campgrounds are located, and what the name of the mountain we passed was. Road maps give you a better feel of taking a road trip than mapquested routes do. Plus, if you are a member of AAA, you can FREE road maps for each state! Free maps can also be found at the visitor information centers near the state lines of each state.
- Take the Scenic Byways instead of the Interstate. The interstate can get very boring rather quickly. Scenic byways take you through some of the most spectacular scenery of the area, and are much more interesting. It might take you longer, but if you choose to take a couple of these routes, you won't be disappointed.
- Stop and smell the roses. Don't try to drive too much in one day. This was our mistake, and although we had a good time, the long days really wore us out. Expecially if you have kids, you will want to stick to shorter driving days. Plan your itenerary based on the route rather than the destination.
- Pack a Cooler. On the way home, we ran out of food in the cooler and bought fast food to tide us over til the end. We should have just resupplied at a Walmart, because the fast food made us feel terrible and ended up costing us much more. To keep under budget, have lots of sandwiches and snacks on hand as well as plenty of cold water. It is also healthier this way.