As someone currently on their #motherofallroadtrips across the US we can appreciate Dan's perspective on getting ready for the ultimate USA roadtrip.
The thought of road tripping the USA might give you the thrills now and cause you to be overexcited, but before you go head on crossing the great continent, there are several things you should know and be aware of in order to maximize comfort and pleasure and make sure you don’t get stuck in situations you can’t get out of.
Plan in advance
This is the most obvious tip, and it relates to just about any other kind of trip. Given that you will most likely cross the USA expect to drive for several thousand miles. That means getting maps, planning a rough itinerary, calculating finances and so on. Start doing this several weeks before and you will be much better off.
Rent or buy the right car for the trip
You have to think whether you want to rent a car for the trip or buy one. There are lots of cheap car rentals out there, so this might be a good option. In case your trip will extend to a longer period of time or you’ll stay in the US after finishing your adventure, buying a used car might also be a good plan. Just make sure you get a car with the right specs to carry you through the intended route. You want one with low MPG, 4WD in case you want to go on rough terrains. Will you get a car loan or pay it outright with cash/credit? So many different things to consider when buying. Also make sure that the car is reliable and that it had passed a rigorous technical inspection before getting it.
Don’t forget insurance
For the event that something happens and tragedy strikes, make sure you are prepared for the unexpected by getting travel insurance. Insurance for your car is a no brainer a well, as the last thing you want is to have to pay for the repairs from your own pocket and finish the trip prematurely.
Get a good GPS
A good GPS can really get you out of a tough spot, so get a good system to guide you through the US. Make sure you upload the latest and most detailed maps as well. Despite its ability to find the best routes, you shouldn’t follow your GPS 100 percent of the time, as there are situations when it might be better to just “follow your nose”.
Stock up on food and water
You never know where you might end up, so it’s a good idea to stock up on lots of food and water. You might be stuck with your car in the middle of nowhere or cross the vast deserted plains with not a shop in sight. Get as much water as your car can carry and food, preferably dry food, so that it won’t spoil. Having a camping stove with you might be a smart choice, as that would allow you to cook delicious food anywhere and save weight (dry food weighs less, there’s little or no water in it) as well as money.
Bring more money than you think you’ll need
Just as someone smart said a while ago, a good piece of advice is to build two stacks: one with gear and supplies and one with money (plastic cards will do as well). Now, just halve the gear and double the money.
Dan is always super excited for road trips, he's done them in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the US. The longest one by far ended up being the US, with so much to see and do!