I recently road tripped across America, moving from Toronto to L.A. My very loving friend and I drove 5,000 km in 5 days. It was long, but easy, probably because we were over prepared for the journey.
Here are some things to think about if you’re planning a trip, especially if it’s a long one.
Plan your Route: Google Maps is a great way to start planning. It will give you a realistic estimate of how long each leg of the trip will take, not to mention you can input what time you will be leaving and predict traffic in certain areas.
Consider Sunrise and Sunset Times: Make sure any scenic stops you plan will be visible when you get there. My original plan had us driving through Grand Canyon Park around 5pm, but in early January the sun would have been long gone. By checking when the sun will be setting in any area on a weather app, you can save yourself a lot of disappointment. We also tried to do the most scenic drives during the day. Colorado for example was so beautiful to drive through, and at times very snowy and scary, good thing we had the daylight on our side.
Plan Lunch Stops: If your route doesn’t have you staying in a city or town you wanted to see, plan an extra long lunch there. We chose to stop for an early lunch in Denver one day and spent a couple hours walking around. It was a beautiful city and the exercise/moving around was very much needed.
Hotels and Accommodations: We chose not to book any accommodations ahead of time. We didn’t want a deposit to add extra stress to being behind schedule or hold us back if we were making better time then expected. We did however look up availability and prices before we left to get a sense of where we would be staying. A huge tip would be to read RECENT reviews; 4 stars on Yelp could be old information.
Snacks: As Canadians we can’t really bring fresh food into the States, so we decided to wait until we crossed the border to hit up a Target. We stalked up on apples, oranges, carrots and nuts. The key here was finding healthy food that didn’t need to be in a fridge. We knew we wouldn’t be eating the healthiest meals during our trip, so we wanted to make sure we were getting some nutrients along the way.
Other Quick Tips:
- Be Flexible – something may not go as planned, don’t let it get to you.
- Bring toilet paper- you never know.
- Buy water in bulk- no one need to pay 2 dollars for a bottle at a gas station.
- Take your car in for maintain before you leave – obvious reasons.
I hope this helps you plan your future adventures!