6 Tips for your cross country road trip

pink usa map vintage road trip


First post in a bit! Hi! Everything has been totally nutso lately. I just got back from a road trip, and between working and moving I feel so crazy! Anyway, here is a kick off post to a few more fun ones coming soon 🙂 Peek at the bottom to see a few cozy items that made the trip more comfortable!

Driving across the US is probably one of the most beautiful and reflective things anyone could do in their lifetime. It is one of those experiences that creates moments that will never be forgotten… and it is within those moments that you find yourself noticing a single instance; that instance you will hold in your heart forever. It is those moments within moments that change us forever.

I have driven across the country twice now and I would do it again and again if I could!! Let me first start by telling you one thing… it is a LONG drive haha. There is nothing quick about it, so you better buckle in (or hang out the sunroof) and enjoy the ride.

I am from New Hampshire but live in California and this summer I went home for about a month and got a new car. SO I had to get it back to the west coast. My sweet friend, Clea joined me for the trip – we took about 2 weeks to drive and it was seriously such a blast!  We could have taken longer for SURE (there is so so much to see) but we couldn’t have done it faster because we worked during the days, which limited our driving time.  We both work remotely, which was totally awesome for this trip.  Adventuring while still working a full time job?! A challenge for sure, but so fun. I can’t wait to share more details about the trip. I am working a “usa road trip” series featuring the places we stopped at! But before I do that I wanted to share a few tips if you ever decide to take this journey 🙂

1. Don’t worry about planning TOO much

If one of your excuses for not taking a road trip is that you don’t have time to plan it… cross that one off your excuse list!! Having an idea of a timeline is important, but as far as places to stay, things to do and stuff to see… they do not have to be figured out perfectly. I would suggest planning your general route and know how much time it takes to get from destination to destination.  If it makes you feel more comfortable, go ahead book a hotel or air bnb for everyday or even every other. Having a destination in mind will help you relax and enjoy. Other than that, part of the fun (in my opinion) is to figure it out along the way. Some of the best things you will see are stops you didn’t seek out.

2. Know your driving limit

Like I said, driving across the country takes a LOT of time. If you are not someone who likes driving for a long time, then don’t! It is much more worth it to add an unexpected night stop to sleep and get some rest than to be completely exhausted, frustrated and over it! Not only is that not enjoyable but it is also dangerous. I learned my driving limit the hard way, which is why I am giving this tip HA. I pushed myself to keep driving because I was just SO determined and it was a complete disaster and so dangerous. Long story short.. we ran out of gas in a corn field in Ohio at 1 in the morning and were pretty much crap out of luck (until we pulled it together and hiked to a gas station and figured it out.) Point is, don’t let this happen to you! Although completely terrifying in the moment, it did make for a good story, but if I am being honest, it is one story I could have lived without haha. This leads me to my next tip…

3. Find out where gas stations are

Depending on which route you take, chances are at some point there will be a long stretch of road with very few gas stations. Don’t trust your google maps to tell you where the next one is. If you are headed through a state with lots of land a little to do, be sure to keep your tank at at least half! If you don’t get great gas milage, I would suggest even keeping a small gas container in your trunk.

4. Pay your tolls

Every state has different toll road rules. Some of them you pay cash or card as you go and others require a pre paid pass. If you don’t have a prepaid pass (you’ll need a different kind of pass for every state), be sure to note not only what highway you were on but also the time of day and which exit you got on / off so you can pay online.  You only have a few days to pay online, so just take care of it at the end of each day so they don’t all add up!

5. Put down your phone and leave your camera behind

Although your phone is super convenient for directions, take some time to look at a physical map! Maps are so interesting and help to give a sense of overall direction. Planning your route by map slows your day a bit, but in the most peaceful of ways. Challenge yourself and turn off your device… you’ll thank me later 🙂 As far as your camera goes, leave it behind sometimes! Don’t get me wrong, I love to take pictures and capture moments that were fun or took my breath away! However, I find the most cleansing and heart fulfilling moments are the ones where you are not worrying about doing anything but taking it all in… just for yourself, not a camera, not for social media or to share with anyone else. Remind yourself that you can ALWAYS take more pictures, but peaceful and reflective moments are few and far between.

6. Bring a journal

The first day into our trip, Clea bought the cutest little journal! The entire time she talked about the moments she wanted to remember and reflect on later. She spent some time writing and making lists of everything that felt right to her.  If journaling is for you, I would suggest bringing something to hold your memories in. For me, journaling is actually really stressful! So, a few days in I bought a beautiful stack of squared watercolor paper bound in thread.  I used these to write down things I wanted to remember, thoughts and even a few drawings. Having a single piece of paper to work on was much better for me. Whether a personal journal is for you or not, consider bringing something that you can spend time with remembering and reflecting on your experiences.

Stayed tuned for the road trip series I will be posting soon! What are some road trip adventures you’ve had? I’d love to know any suggestions 🙂

If you know me then you know how much I LOVE everything about Airbnb. Click here for a travel credit 


take a peek below for a few things that made our road trip more comfortable! We had the things below or similar. Click to see some skin care loves, basic makeup to feel put together, cozies, journals and the cutest little picnic basket.