Tips for the Ultimate Cross-Country Road Trip

These tips will help you get the most out of your driving adventure

If you do a search online for the best spots in the world to visit, you’ll see plenty of recommendations for European capitals, Asian cities, and Latin American beaches. While they have their merits, the truth is you don’t have to leave the confines of the U.S. to see some interesting, unusual, and spectacular places. And there’s no better way to get an up-close-and-personal look at America than by cruising its roads. If you’re planning an epic cross-country trip in your RV, we’ve got some tips for you:

Plan, but don’t plan too much

Okay, this one may sound kind of counterintuitive, but stick with us. While you of course should make some plans – like what your final destination is, where you’ll be staying along the way, etc. – the fun of a cross-country trip is the adventure you’ll have. You don’t want to be so strict with your itinerary that you miss out some unique experiences. As a starting point, check out this map that gets you to 48 states, but not so much in straight lines.

Make sure your RV is road-worthy

You may be excited to get going, but don’t forget to give your RV a close inspection before you go anywhere. You definitely don’t want your trip cut short due to a breakdown. Inspect all of the important areas, including the brakes, battery, and tires. Be sure your waste water system is working as it should. Plus, if it has been a while since you changed your oil and filters, add this to your to-do list.

Consider your budget

You probably already know your trip will be pricey, but it’s important to get at least a ballpark estimate of what your expenses will be ahead of time. Figuring out how many miles you’ll be driving and then using a fuel cost calculator to see how much you’ll have to spend on gas is a good first step. Then you should think about the costs of the RV parks and campgrounds where you’ll be staying. Finally, you should factor in food, entertainment, souvenirs, and anything else you’ll buy.

Get off the highways

Highways are great for getting where you want to go as fast as possible, but they’re usually not the most exciting means of travel. This is why you shouldn’t be afraid to take some back roads once in a while. If you can, give yourself extra time to do some exploring. You just never know what you’ll encounter on a backstreet you’d never have seen on the highway. Depending on the time of year you’re traveling, pay attention to weather warnings. You don’t want to put yourself and passengers in danger by traveling into hazardous areas.

Remember to enjoy the journey

That well-known quote about the journey being more important than the destination is true. You may have some fun plans for when you reach your last stop, but the best parts of a cross-country trip happen between points A and Z. And even if there are some missteps (or outright blunders) over the course of your travels, try not to get too frustrated; almost certainly these will be things you’ll laugh about – and may remember the most – later on. Be sure to take your time and appreciate the ride.

If you’re itching to take a cross-country trip but don’t yet have an RV, get in touch with RV Advisor. We will be glad to help you figure out which type of RV is right for you and what you’ll need on your travels.