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How to Prepare for a Cross Country Trip – Essentials and Ideas!

Cross country traveling is quite exciting. There are so many attractions to see and you can experience different cultures and areas along the way. Before taking off for parts unknown on a cross country trip, keep in mind a few tips.



Ask the experts on an online forum for first-hand experience of traveling cross country. These folks have been there and done that and love to share their stories. Since you can’t believe everything you read online, read any comments that might be attached to posts just to verify legitimacy. If someone argues that the information provided is false, you may want to move on to another post. Forums are great ways to get advice and meet new people. Why, you may even want to stop and have lunch with someone you meet on a forum when you are traveling through their town.


Before you go, have your car checked out from bumper to bumper by a mechanic. Make sure you inform him of your travel plans. Have him inspect your spare tire, be sure you have a working jack and that you know how to change a tire. Top off your fluids and check your battery to make sure it is in perfect condition before taking off.

Do not allow your car to get low on fuel. You do not know what’s ahead of you on a long trip and even if you see a sign for a gas station; that does not mean it will be open or operable. Do not take chances. Top off your gas tank when it gets under half full just to be on the safe side.

What to Pack

Bring along a first-aid kit and a car emergency kit. If you have car trouble, you might need jumper cables, flares, or a flashlight. Throw in some batteries for the flashlight as well. If you are traveling in the winter or are going to be traveling through an area like the desert where the temperature will drop suddenly at night, bring along a blanket or two.

Pack a cooler so you don’t have to stop at unappealing truck stops. You can stop at a grocery store each morning and pack juice, water or soda and a variety of healthy snacks. Throw in some fruit, granola or protein bars, prepared sandwiches or salads for lunches or muffins for a quick breakfast. This will eliminate costly and potentially unhealthy restaurant meals.

Bring a bag for trash and some wet wipes for easy clean up. Bring along some books on tape if you are traveling alone or a variety of music CDs if you are traveling with others. Bring games or books for the kids and think about bringing a laptop or portable DVD player so they can watch movies on the road.


Make reservations ahead of time and do not rely on luck to find a place to spend the nights on the road. Research hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns or even couch surfing websites beforehand and reserve a room with guaranteed late arrival in case you run into some unforeseen circumstances along the way. Look for a place to stay with amenities like a pool or a fitness facility as you will probably want to get some exercise after being in a car all day. Finally, try to spend at least one night at a hotel with a laundry facility so you can do your wash along the way.

The Author has traveled extensively and looks forward to traveling across the country. She is always on the lookout for luxury Everett accommodations when she travels to Seattle.

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