Never have you had more time between point A and point B. Lots of time means lots of decisions both good and bad. Exit here for gas or hold off until the next service station? McDonald’s or that local place across the street that looks a little beat up but my stomach can’t take anymore McDonald’s? The trip is made (or broken) by your decisions. We’re here to share some of the do’s and don’ts of Cross-Country travel in the interest of making your journey a little smoother.
First, the Do’s. These tips will keep you on the road and in good shape.
1. Do stop here for gas
The “let’s stay on the road as long as possible and push this gas tank to the limit” mentality can get you burned! As you pass through the more rural western and middle states, gas stations become rare. Traveling for a couple hours without passing a service station is nothing unusual. Erring on the side of caution should be the approach to refueling.
2. Do rotate drivers
A rested driver is a better driver. Taking three or four-hour shifts will serve you well. The driver trying to push through fatigue might just put the whole crew in danger.
3. Do drink plenty of water
We think about hydration when preparing for demanding physical activity or when battling heat, but not so much when it comes to long car rides. When that headache kicks in after a few hours of driving you’ll wish you planned differently. Have a water bottle handy at all times.
And now for the Don’ts. These mistakes might get you in trouble in the middle of nowhere.
1. Don’t put the workout plan on timeout
Sitting in a chair all day and eating fast food is not what your body needs. Hitting the gym or going for a run after a day of driving will keep you on track and maybe even shake off the daze that comes with staring at the road all day.
2. Don’t get adventurous with the food choices
Sometimes the middle of nowhere food spots are great. Sometimes they’re not. A sick stomach from one of the “nots” is pretty bad when you’re in a town you can’t find on the map.
3. Don’t rearrange your luggage at every stop
Every time you rearrange your luggage you will lose track of something. It’s tempting to bring everything into the hotel, but for the sake of organization, bring only the necessities and save yourself the headache tomorrow.