Hit the Open Road – Planning an Epic US Road Trip

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You’ve always wanted to just get in the car and hit the open road, wind in your hair and all of America stretching out in front of you. We get it – there’s nothing quite like a classic cross-country road trip to discover hidden gems across this beautiful country. But how do you even begin to plan an epic journey that does Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway justice? 

Let’s dig into how to choose your route, prep your ride, pack your bags, and plot your can’t-miss stops on the ultimate US road trip adventure. From national parks to quirky roadside oddities, we’ve mapped out everything you need to make those “wish we were there” dreams a reality. Keys in the ignition, gang – this will be the trip you reminisce about forever.

Planning Your Ultimate American Road Trip Route

Once you’ve decided to embark on an epic US road trip adventure, the next step is mapping out your route. There are so many amazing places to see how do you narrow it down? Here are some tips for planning the ultimate driving route:

Focus on what interests you. 

Make a list of must-see attractions, national parks, cities, landmarks, etc. that spark your wanderlust. Then connect the dots to plot your route. If you’re a music fan, check out Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans. For stunning scenery, head to the Pacific Northwest, Southwest deserts or Blue Ridge Mountains. Want culture? New York,

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Chicago and San Francisco should be on your list.

Decide on a direction. Do you want to explore the East Coast, West Coast, Route 66, or a little bit of everything? Figure out if you want to do a loop or one-way trip. Once you choose a direction, the stops along the way will start to take shape.

Determine a time frame. 

How long do you have for your road trip adventure a week, two weeks, a month? Account for driving time between places to ensure you have enough time to enjoy each stop. It’s better to be realistic than try to squeeze in too much.

Check road conditions and closures. 

Some mountain passes and roads are closed seasonally or for construction. Make sure all the roads you want to travel will be open during your trip. There’s nothing worse than having to reroute at the last minute.

Build in rest days. 

While it’s tempting to pack in as much as possible, don’t forget to schedule in some rest. Driving for 6-8 hours a day can be exhausting. Plan for rest days in interesting cities or towns along your route so you can recharge, do laundry and just explore at a leisurely pace.

Your road trip will be more enjoyable if you avoid burn out. A well-planned road trip can lead to amazing adventures and lifelong memories. But like any journey, make sure to start with a sturdy road map to guide your way. Happy travels!

Packing List and Travel Tips for an Epic American Adventure

When planning a road trip adventure across America, packing efficiently is key. Here are some essentials to bring along:

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Pack for a variety of weather conditions and activities. Think:

  • T-shirts, shorts and comfortable walking shoes for exploring cities
  • Hiking boots, athletic pants and breathable tops for national parks
  • A jacket, hat and scarf for chilly nights
  • A swimsuit – you never know when you’ll stumble upon an inviting lake or watering hole!

Camping Gear

If camping along the way, don’t forget:

  • A tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillows, blankets, etc.
  • A lantern or flashlight
  • Camp chairs
  • Bug spray
  • A camp stove, plates and utensils


  • A camera to capture all the stunning sights
  • Books, magazines, cards or travel games for long drives
  • Chargers, a power inverter and portable phone chargers
  • A cooler with snacks, drinks and sandwiches so you can avoid constant fast food stops


  • A road atlas or map to navigate areas with limited cell service
  • A GPS device as backup


  • A first aid kit
  • Any important over-the-counter or prescription medicines that you regularly take
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • A basic toolkit, jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, paper towels

Plan your route ahead but be open to spontaneous detours. Make overnight stops at scenic viewpoints to stargaze. Talk to locals for the best recommendations on food, activities and hidden gems. Take breaks when needed to avoid road fatigue. Enjoy the journey! An epic American road trip adventure awaits. With some pre-planning and the right supplies, you’ll be ready to hit the open road. The best part, you don’t need a passport or US passport name change. Safe travels!

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