road trip

How to Prepare for Your Cross-Country Road Trip

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many individuals living or working in the city to move out and return to their hometowns. But instead of booking a flight, they preferred to make a road trip, citing health, safety, and financial reasons for their choice.

Are you also planning to travel by land to see the country or go back home? Whether this is a temporary arrangement due to your current employment status or a permanent decision, your long drive home will entail thorough preparation. A cross-country trip is not an easy endeavor, after all. Make sure you have everything you need to avoid mistakes and problems along the way.

Prepare Your Car

The last thing you want to happen in the middle of your trip is your car breaking down. Before you’re set to leave, take your vehicle to the auto repair shop.

  • Whether you’re driving a BMW or a Subaru, a gasket replacement might be in order if it has signs of minor damage.
  • Check its fluid levels and decide if it needs an oil change or a brake fluid replacement.
  • Ask your mechanic to change your car’s tires if they are old and nearly smooth.

Plan Your Route

Once you’ve had your car serviced, it’s time to plan your route. It will help you avoid roads that are undergoing maintenance and other obstacles.

  • Decide which sites and landmarks to visit so you can plan accordingly.
  • Identify which towns or cities you plan to rest in to find accommodation. Alternatively, you can look for places where you can safely park to take a nap or eat a meal.
  • Check highways for common traffic concerns and decide if you’ll be taking those routes or using alternatives.

Create a Budget

Moving, primarily through a cross-country road trip, can be expensive. By creating a budget, you can plan for every expense and potential emergencies.

  • In addition to gas, you will need to account for your food and accommodation expenses.
  • If you’re doing everything yourself, you might need to rent a cargo trailer to carry your household belongings.
  • Make sure you set aside a certain amount for emergencies such as a flat tire.


Make Arrangements in Advance

As you plan your route, decide where to stop and stay overnight. Make the necessary arrangements with these places.

  • If you plan on staying with a friend or family member, make sure to inform them of your expected arrival date, so they can make room for you.
  • If you plan to stay in a hotel, book a room in advance to avoid situations where they don’t have any vacancies.
  • Identify motels along your route to give yourself options in case you feel tired and want to rest.
  • Identify rest stops and parking lots where you can park to relax and stretch your legs for a short time.

Prepare a Cooler

A few days before your trip, prepare a small cooler of snacks and drinks. Keep this in the passenger seat if you’re driving alone or in the backseat if not. This gives you a convenient supply of refreshments on your drive.

  • Make sure to pack lots of water to avoid buying bottled water.
  • Pack easy to eat snacks like cookies, crackers, and small chip bags.
  • Pack canned coffee or energy drinks if you plan to drive at night.
  • Stop by gas stations and grocery stores to pick up ice bags for your cooler.

Once you have all these in order, it’s a matter of packing your belongings and loading them in your car and cargo trailer. Moving cross-country is a huge undertaking, but you can make a move smooth by preparing accordingly.


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