9 Things You Should Do On a Cross-Country Road Trip

Nothing makes you feel more adventurous than leaving everything behind and venturing out West in a decade old vehicle with over 200K miles and a Great Pyrenees in the backseat during the dead of winter. 59 hours, 12 states, three pit stops, two re-routes, and four days later, I made it to Golden State.

What I thought would be days of misery turned into one of my favorites memories of my twenties. Here are some traveling tips:

  1. Pick the right people

You cannot control the road. You can, however, choose your crew. I had three requirements:years of friendship, great music taste and a positive outlook on life.

  1. Keep a daily log

We aim to have purpose in life. Moving across country is a huge part of someone’s story. Every morning when the sun rises, have the person in the passenger seat ask the car to individually say what he/she is thankful for and a quote that stood out to them yesterday. Inside jokes are now forever remembered.

  1. Go old school with an atlas

America has many interstates, some are more traveled than others. You may find yourself hitting bad weather and while you can trudge on through, you could instead go off the path and take the more scenic route, while avoiding snow and rain.

  1. Ask the deep questions

American novelist, Thomas Berger said “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” The events of 2016 revealed disconnections. we need to have more discussions even if it’s with people not like us. If you’ve never practiced the art of deep conversation, use this as a start.

  1.  Download Snapchat and Instagram

Odds are people are following your journey, make it more fun with filters and stickers. Suddenly unfamiliar cities come to life on mobile and show your parents that you are still alive.

  1. Do the 1.5 hour detour
Joshua Tree

Odds are you won’t be on the road again for quite sometime, does it really matter if you make it to your destination one hour earlier? Probably not. There’s so much beauty and quirkiness in America, go and experience it.

  1. Skip the hotel

Staying at someone’s home is an intimate experience. It’s also a great way to connect with old friends or friends of friends. Just remember to leave a thank you.

  1. Stop by one winery

Even if you have a great caravan, you’ll want to celebrate getting to your destination. Go on Yelp and find a local winery and head there to grab a bottle to drink when you arrive to your destination. If you don’t drink, grab some coffee beans for your first morning in the new city.

  1. Reward yourself with a free day

Nothing will make you speed up and stick to the driving schedule like keeping a free day. When you’re on the road you can chat and day-dream about when you will finally be out of the car and what you will do, but more importantly, where to eat.