Whether you are a United States citizen or a visitor wanting to get to know this great country a little better, there’s only one way to see it at its best. Forget about planes, and trains – it’s on the road that you will experience all the glories that America offers. But, make no mistake about it, there are plenty of dangers between you and your destination – and I’m going to go through some of them with you today.
First of all, although the States is a safe country, in general, terms, you can’t be too careful when you are planning a long, cross-country journey. It’s a big place – and you might find yourself traveling hundreds of miles without seeing more than a handful of other cars. There are also a lot of different environments to experience. One moment you could be in rocky, mountainous regions, the next you’ll be surrounded by cacti in the middle of a desert. It’s important, then, to plan your route, and understand what you will be up against on a typical day.
Stay in tune with the weather
Flash floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and earthquakes. The U.S. has many extreme weather conditions, and they are all a real and present danger in this country. But, for the most part, we all get little hints before they occur. So, keep in touch with the news while you are on your travels to ensure you don’t get caught up in anything that could turn into a disastrous situation.
Go old school for maps
Never have any trust in any technology other than your vehicle engine when you go on a long road trip. Especially when it comes to maps. You can’t beat a traditional map, so buy ones that cover every area you are planning to drive through. Take your smartphone, of course. It might come in handy for an emergency at some point, and you would rather have it on you than not.
Go big on your vehicle
You’ll be going through a lot of rough terrain, so think about that when you choose your travel vehicle. You should also think about sleeping arrangements. You might plan on stopping at motels, but a flat tire here or there could mean you have to sleep wild. Camping is an enjoyable experience, of course. But, if the weather’s poor, or you are in some place with dangerous animals lurking, then maybe a camper van would be a better option. Whatever you decide on driving, make sure you put it in for a service beforehand. Check your tires, oil, and all of your fluids, to ensure your vehicle can last the distance.
Always bring enough water to last you for a few days when you are traveling across the country. If you break down in the middle of nowhere, and your communication device fails, you never know how long it will be before someone finds you.
Hitchhikers – they are more than likely fine, but you have to ask serious questions about picking them up. It’s down to you, but if you are traveling alone, or feel uncomfortable in any way, it’s best not to stop. The chances of anything happening are slim, but you can never be too careful.
So, there are some of the basics about traveling cross country in safety. Don’t let the scare stories put you off – it’s a fantastic experience. But, make sure you tick all those boxes so that you can enjoy your trip, without putting yourself in harm’s way.
Photo Credit/Source: Flickr