If you're moving from coast to coast, chances are you'll be spending a few days or even weeks driving across the country.
It might sound like an awful idea at first, but it's a great way to get a glimpse of the vastness and diversity of our country.
On a journey from the east coast to the west coast, you'll pass through miles and miles of undeveloped land, around mid-west cities and through desert and mountain climates. You'll enjoy some gorgeous landscapes, as well as some long stretches of monotonous flat scenery.
But an easy, long-distance drive takes some advanced planning. Here are 10 things you'll wish you knew before driving cross country.
You can't count on strong signals to radio stations as you gain distance from cities and you may not like the music you can tune in. Before leaving home, download some of your favorite music, as well as a selection of podcasts.
Ask your friends and family for some suggestions of favorite podcasts that are entertaining. Listening to something engaging makes time pass more quickly when you're driving cross country.
While driving on long stretches of highway, it's impossible to avoid slow trucks and other drivers. Be patient and realize that it's part of the adventure of traveling across the country.
Don't engage in road rage. If you can't get rid of annoying drivers, take a break and let them get far ahead of you.
Extra weight slows your car down and reduces your gas mileage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, vehicles are assumed to carry only 300 pounds of passengers and cargo.
If you're moving cross country and towing a trailer, you'll have to stop often to fill your gas tank and will spend more money on gas than you may have anticipated. You may also be limited by where you can stop because a trailer can be difficult to navigate around narrow spaces and on busy roads.
If you prefer a selection of healthy foods, pack your own fruits, vegetables and cheeses in a cooler with an ice pack to keep them fresh. By bringing your own food, you'll save money and have more energy throughout the trip.
It reduces driver fatigue, improves comfort crossing lanes across highways and increases gas mileage. It will also help you avoid subconsciously violating speed limits.
Some parts of the drive will drag on and on as the scenery is not very interesting. Be sure to stay alert and stop for caffeine as needed. Alternate drivers, find something entertaining to listen to or play a game.
If you're traveling alone, you might try to find a travel companion to share the driving. If that's not possible, try to break up the trip. Stop to visit a friend or enjoy some sightseeing along the way. Don't drive more hours than you're comfortable with.
Before you set out on your trip, it's a good idea to take a look at your driving route so you can plan where you may want to stop. It's cheaper and easier to find last-minute accommodations near small towns, farther from big cities.
Depending on the time of year and the direction you're driving, time zone changes may give you more or less daylight to drive in. If you're driving west, you'll have more daylight and if you're driving east, you'll have less daylight as the time zones change.
If you want to see the top attractions across the country, you'll need to do some advance planning and add time to your trip. The most interesting places to visit across the country are not located right off of the highway.
America is beautiful. As you drive cross country, you'll revel over natural landscapes from sweeping flatlands along the bottom of valleys to craggy mountains that rise high above sea level.
Be sure to stop often to stretch your legs and take some photos to help you remember your favorite moments. Relax and enjoy the scenery as you drive across the country!