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Coast to Coast: How to Plan Your Cross-Country Vacation

There are many great places to explore on a coast-to-coast vacation. You may want to see the amber waves of grain, the majestic purple mountains, and the fruited plain. Going on a long road trip requires some planning, so keep these tips in mind.

Preparing for the Trip

Packing for a long car or bus trip can be like trying to fit a jigsaw puzzle together. Place emergency items like a first aid kit or other supplies in an easy to reach part of your bags or luggage so that you can easily access them. Pack clothes in duffle bags with soft corners. Everyone should place his or her essential items in one duffle bag that is kept close to the group. Consider investing in travel packs or other all in one bag if you don’t expect to have much room. 

Because you'll be away for an extended period of time, you will also want to prepare your home for your absence. Taking a few simple steps to protect your home will give your peace of mind while you travel. As a general rule, you should clean your home, get rid of perishable items, make arrangements for pets, turn off lights and appliances, and set the thermostat to away mode. In addition to these measures, a home security system can provide further protection. Most modern security systems allow you to monitor your home from your smartphone. 

Planning Your Main Stops

You need to know each day's ultimate destination before you leave home. Planning out the big stops allows you to buy tickets to events and attractions ahead of time when they are often cheaper. You should at least have an idea of what towns you plan to stay in each night. You may even want to look beyond traditional hotel chains for your accommodations. Smoky Mountains By Owner explains, "The ability to rent a privately-owned cabin rental or vacation home is a great alternative to a hotel, as you will have additional benefits, such as: extra space, privacy, more amenities and much more compared to what a room at a hotel can provide." Once you book your accommodations, share this information with a friend or family member. In the unlikely event that something happens, authorities have a place to start looking.

Enjoying the Journey

You may only pass down this road one time in your life, so make sure to take advantage of each moment. If you see a sign for something that looks interesting, then take a break and visit it. After all, you may never pass by Leila's Hair Museum, Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum, the UFO Watchtower and other quirky roadside attractions once in your life, so stop and see them. At the most, aim to travel 50 miles in an hour. In addition, All Storage Online recommends, “everyone should have a travel journal. So many interesting things happen when traveling, it’s worth writing about what you did at the end of the day. The idea is to help you remember the places and stories from your journey.” Bring along your favorite playlist or some great audiobooks allowing you to enjoy the ride.

Taking a long car journey is a great way to see interesting things and to meet great people. Enjoy the trip by playing silly car games like Twenty Questions, I Spy, and License Plate Bingo. Most people who have gone on a trip look forward to going on another one someday because of the chance to slow down and to see what makes the country great. Make sure to prepare ahead of time by following these simple tips to make the most of your coast-to-coast adventure.


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