US Summer Road Trip Recommendations
So it's been a year since I did a cross country road trip - my brother and I drove from Los Angeles to Boston in under 5 days. It was freakin incredible.
Now I'm starting to get road trip fever. While I seem to have my summer planned out for me, I have done quite a bit of road tripping in the US and wanted to share the outline of my trip last year with you.
But first, what are the most important factors to consider when planning a road trip?
- Gas: what kind of car or RV do you have? How's the gas mileage?
- Food: are you planning on eating out? Ton's of snacking? Cooking on the road?
- Lodging: you can save money by staying in an RV or by camping, otherwise, Airbnbs or hostels are the way to go for cheaper stay.
- Experiences: if you want to enter National Parks you'll need to budget for that, any additional experiences (museums, rafting, etc.) will also be additional money.
- Driving: how many are you? how long are you okay (and safe) driving for?
- Distance: the above will help determine how long you can go in the time you have. Personally, I like having a day or two, but I've driven across country in three days so I'm not one to judge.
Plus the fun stuff:
- Make sure you have a fun and relaxed crew together, the worst thing for a road trip is a friend that can't handle not having everything planned or overthinking each thing. It should be relaxing, and fun!
- Music playlist. Come on now, I shouldn't have to say this.
- Take detours! Stop in abandoned towns! Open up to strangers (as long as you don't get weird vibes)... Just chill and have fun. If you want a super planned out adventure, a road trip might not be the thing for you.
- DON'T drive at night in empty towns if it feels unsafe.
- DON'T leave valuables out in the open - stick them in the trunk if possible.
- DON'T pick up hitchhikers (sorry dad) unless you're 100% certain it's truly helping someone and you feel safe.
- DON'T travel with anything you don't need and too much cash.
- DO have a first aid kit in your car.
- DO have an extra tank of gas, and wires to jumpstart in case of anything.
The Road Warrior - West Coast to East Coast
This is a pretty simple Los Angeles to Boston trip, you could add in going further north (we didn't have time for this) and hit Yellowstone, Montana, etc. It's incredible though because the driving is easy and you pass some of the most beautiful parts of our country. We actually did Vegas instead of the Grand Canyon since we've already gone there, but for the purpose of sharing the most beneficial trip I changed it to that.
Highlights: Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Rocky Mountains, Denver, Badlands, Chicago, Niagara Falls, and more!
Distance in miles: 3,522
Time needed: 5-20 Days (you could extend this and make extra stops)
Money spent on gas: $350
Money spent on food for 5 days: $220 (we went super cheap)
Money spent on lodging for 5 days: $200 (we chose Airbnbs)
Transportation options: by car (we went in my Mazda 3), by RV (my recommendation for RVs is RV Pennsylvania), or by motorcycle.
Let me know your thoughts and if you would add any additional stops!