Are you sick and tired of the same old vacations? Maybe you’re used to sitting by the pool with a good book or swimming in the ocean on a hot summer’s day. This kind of trip can be amazing, but it can understandably get boring after a while. Perhaps you are in need of some excitement and adventure. You want to be stimulated and make memories that will last a lifetime.
In that case, a cross-country road trip may be the perfect vacation for you. Driving around the country, taking in all the sights and sounds of this beautiful nation. A road trip is a great way to spend your holiday, as it gives you complete freedom to plan your trip in any way you like. You can travel wherever you like, for as you feel like it. It can be incredibly liberating, while providing you and your travel companions with an experience like no other.
The idea of packing up and hitting the road for days or weeks on end might seem a little daunting. You’re heading out into the unknown and have no idea what you will encounter along the way. But no one who embarks on a road trip ever regrets it. If you’re still unconvinced, here are eight great reasons why a cross-country road trip is the perfect vacation for you.
When you plan a traditional holiday, you need to have everything booked well in advance. You reserve your flights, your hotel accommodation, meals out, and activities to fill your days. You’re following a set itinerary, which although it puts your mind at ease, leaves little room for spontaneity and adventure. But with a road trip, you are completely free to do whatever you want. If you so desire, you can make no plans at all and just start driving in a direction of your choice. Once you head deep into the countryside, you will see all kinds of exciting routes to take and attractions to stop at.
And if this lack of planning sounds a little scary, the great thing is you can be as organized as you like. Feel free to plan an entire itinerary, booking hotels and activities to do along the way. Alternatively you could opt for a combination of the two approaches, drawing out a rough route but leaving plenty of room for impromptu detours. Once you get accustomed to the lack of structure, you will never want to go back to your usual beach vacation again.
Whether your road trip spans the United States or a completely different country of your choice, there will be no shortage of stunning landscapes to take in. Make sure you plan a route that avoids major urban areas in favor of country roads and wilderness areas. Driving is no longer such a chore when you get to bask in the glory of majestic mountain ranges, glistening alpine lakes, and verdant pine forests. Take all the photos you can manage and go back home with memories that will last the rest of your life.
Summer vacations can be incredibly expensive. You have so many costs to factor in, including flights, hotels, activities, and dinners out. But a road trip can be accomplished on an extremely tight budget. Fuel will be your primary expense, but even this can be relatively cheap if you are traveling with friends and can split the bill. Of course, if you have the money, you could opt for a luxurious road trip, staying in high end hotels and eating in the finest restaurants, but the down-to-earth experience is part of the fun. You can plan your route to stop at budget accommodation, or you even wild camp or stay in your vehicle for free.
Here are some tips to help you save money on your road trip.
- Sleep in the great outdoors rather than forking out for costly hotel rooms every night.
- Use websites that help you find the cheapest fuel prices in your area rather than stopping at the first gas station you see.
- If purchasing or renting a vehicle for your trip, shop around to find the best deal.
- Plan for the worst case scenario. You never know when your vehicle might break down, so learn some basic car maintenance and have some spare parts ready to perform a quick fix. You can buy parts for Ford trucks and other vehicles relatively cheaply online.
- Travel with friends or loved ones to enable you to split the costs.
- Shop for groceries at discount stores and cheap supermarkets and prepare your own meals for the journey.
- Opt for free or cheap activities along the way, such as wilderness hikes, wild swimming, and exploring new towns and communities.
A Learning Experience
Most people don’t know a whole lot about their country, other than the basics that they learn at school. And many people rarely leave their home towns over the course of their lives. But traveling by car across the country will give you a unique opportunity to learn more about this beautiful nation. Depending on your personal preferences and itinerary, your trip may take you to some fascinating geographical and geological features that will spark an interest in science and nature. Or you might visit some sites of historical interest that teach you about famous battles and movements throughout American history. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you are guaranteed to enhance your knowledge and come away with a whole new level of appreciation for the world and the people within it.
Whether you are traveling with your family or a group of friends, a road trip is guaranteed to bring people closer together. Spending several days in the confines of a small vehicle will force you to socialize and bond in a way you may not be used to. You will get to know your travel companions incredibly well, and see them in a context completely different to your usual circumstances. There may be a spot of bickering along the way, particularly if you have young children in the back, but by the end of the trip everyone will be getting along just fine. You’ll make beautiful memories together, and come away with shared experiences that none of you will ever forget.
Doing something a little different can make you a stronger, and more well-rounded individual. Planning a road trip is very different to organizing a traditional beach getaway or city break. It can be stressful and requires you to be highly adaptable and confident. Due to the flexible nature of your trip, there may be challenges you have to face along the way. Perhaps your planned route is blocked or you end up with a low tank in the middle of nowhere. But dealing with these issues as they arise will make you a stronger person, and more capable of coping with adversity. It will be a character building experience for everyone involved and will improve your life going forwards.
No matter how much you plan and organize your road trip, the best thing about it will be the unique and unexpected experiences you have along the way. The moments that become stories you tell people about for the rest of your life, and memories that you and your travel companions talk about constantly. It might be watching a meteor shower over the desert or bathing in a waterfall. It may be an unforgettable meal you have, or a landscape that takes your breath away. These experiences can’t be contrived or planned for, you just have to wait for them to happen and wash over you.
Time to Relax
Modern life can be stressful. You have to work hard five days a week with only a small amount of vacation time. Add to this the frustrations of commuting, social media, news headlines, relationship troubles, and financial worries and it’s clear why a relaxing getaway is so important.
Although a road trip is far more active than two weeks by the pool, it is a fantastic opportunity to unwind and let your hair down. For the duration of your adventure, you can forget all about work and just enjoy yourself. Although you might need your phone for navigation and bookings, try to spend as little time in the digital world as possible during this time. Take a break from social media and really immerse yourself in the real world. Soak in the gorgeous scenery and make an effort to meet people and learn things about the places you visit en route. Very quickly you will notice that all your stress and anxiety washes away, and you will feel happier and more positive. Your mental health will certainly feel the benefit, well after you make it back through your front door.
Hopefully this has convinced you that a cross-country road trip is the perfect adventure for couples, families, friends, or solo travelers. Good luck on your journey!