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Driving Cross Country Road Trips (Tips and Advice)

Driving cross country is potentially one of the most fun experiences you'll ever have. It gives you the freedom to travel wherever you want, without missing anything along the way. It can also be a cheaper alternative to flying, with much less hassle. While taking a spontaneous cross country road trip is one of the many perks of driving rather than flying, there are still some important things you should consider before you take off.

Cross Country Driving Tips and Advice

The following are some things you should think about before you begin your cross country road trip:

  • Firstly, make sure your car is in good running condition before you start driving. You should check:
    • Fluid levels (Engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc.)
    • Car battery
    • Brakes
    • Tires
  • Plan for gas costs. With gas prices rising, make sure you have a budget in mind before you leave so that you can get to where you want to go.
  • Consider putting together a "vehicle emergency kit," which includes items like road flares, flashlights, water, and warm clothes.
  • Choose duffel bags for your clothing rather than suitcases. They save room in the car and are much easier to carry.
Cross Country Road Trip Information and Safe Driving Tips

Since you'll be driving a long distance, you'll want to have a road trip planner, or some way of keeping your plans together. Whether you want to go old-school and use traditional maps, or have printed directions from sites like Google Maps or Mapquest, make sure you keep these things organized and readily available. GPS systems are popular too, but see to it that yours is updated before you get on the road. No matter which method you choose, be sure you keep your eyes on the road. Below are some other road trip tips that will keep you safe:

  • Increase your visibility as much as you can, so that you're not hindered by things like rain and fog.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep, so that you don't fall asleep behind the wheel!
  • Try to stay away from excessive sugar and salt, and don't eat too heavily. Heavy meals make you tired, and therefore less alert.
  • Remember not to tailgate. This puts you and other drivers at risk of an accident and/or injuries.
  • Travel in a car that is fuel efficient, to lower your costs and save on some additional wear and tear to the vehicle. If you don't have an especially efficient car at your disposal, search around for some gas mileage tips that may be able to lower your fuel output for the duration of your road trip.
  • Don't ever drink drive. Getting a DUI, and the penalties associated with it, is not worth it.
  • Respect all traffic safety laws and avoid traffic ticket violations, fines, and penalties.

The Bottom Line

Cross country road trips can be very rewarding, but driving cross country comes with risks as well. Make sure you are well-prepared before you leave, and follow these tips along the way so you can maximize your fun!

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