Home THE JOURNEY Road Trip 4 things to know before a US road trip

4 things to know before a US road trip

route 66 sign painted on the hyway
Image by Mario Schmidt

Who doesn’t love a road trip? You get to see beautiful scenic views, stop off at quirky rest stops and explore a whole new area. In comparison to stressful airports and stuffy flights, road trips are a relaxed and carefree way to take a vacation.

However, while road trips can be fun and relaxed, you’ll need to do plenty of planning before you start your trip. Driving can be dangerous, so it’s important not to overlook any potential issues. Here are 5 things to know before a US road trip.

Traffic laws

Before your road trip, it’s important to be aware that traffic laws vary between states. This means that some things that are legal in one state might be illegal in another. If you’re going through Texas, for example, you’ll need to know that it’s against the law to eat while driving. Some states are stricter on penalties, too. What happens if you get in an accident without a license in Texas might be different from another state like California or New York. So, it’s important to make sure that you’re always driving safely and legally. Check up on the states you’re visiting to make sure you aren’t accidentally breaking any laws.

The route

It’s no good going on a road trip without planning your route. You’ll find yourself snarled in traffic, accidentally on one-way roads or missing the best views. You want to ensure that your road trip is as scenic as possible, so it’s important to plan ahead. This means doing your research and establishing all the places you want to see and go. Sure, there’s something to be said for finding gems off the beaten track, but if you know there are certain places you’re keen to see, you don’t want to miss out.  

Vehicle safety

Before you go, you’ll need to make sure that your vehicle is in good working order. You don’t want to find yourself broken down on a remote road or worrying about faulty brakes. So, make sure you check everything over before you head off. If you’re worried, take it to a garage beforehand and get it seen by a professional. Don’t forget to fuel up, too!

What to pack

Packing for a road trip can be difficult, especially if you’re crossing a lot of land. The climate can vary greatly in the US, ranging from dry heat in Texas to freezing winters on the east coast. So, look up the places you’re driving through beforehand and check out the climate. Luckily, traveling by car means you don’t have to worry about baggage restrictions. Bring a couple of jumpers for chilly nights and shorts for hot stuffy days in the car. Don’t forget a first aid kit and plenty of water, too.


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