Cross Country Road-Trip
My boyfriend and I recently completed a two-week cross country trip from New York to Los Angeles and I'm SO excited to share what we learned along the way in this post, as well as a few city guides in the future for our favorite places we stopped at along the way.
You can also read the story I wrote for Taste of Home, 10 Best Tips For A Road Trip on the Cheap for more ideas and money-saving tips!
Before the Trip
Establish a timeline: We had a general timeline (July 16-30) for the trip with a plan for the cities we were going to visit but for the most part didn't book hotels until the day we arrived into each city. In general we spent every other day driving, with two nights and one day in each city. Thankfully the long drives (Philadelphia to Nashville and Dallas to Albuquerque) were about a week apart, so the other drives felt shorter in comparison.
Prep the car: Definitely get an oil change before the trip and plan to get one after as well. Stock up your car with all the essentials: emergency kit, chargers, a cooler, reusable bags, and water bottles. I HATED having to use plastic water bottles, but on days where we were driving for 8+ hours, it was unrealistic to be able to constantly refill our reusable bottles (which we used where we could).
Here's where we went: Albany --> Boston --> New Jersey --> Philadelphia --> Nashville --> New Orleans --> Austin --> Dallas --> Albuquerque --> Grand Canyon --> Phoenix --> Los Angeles
Drive time: We split the drive up 60/40~ish (thanks Bill!), with me doing most of the morning driving and Bill driving at night. I wasn't used to long drives as much as Bill before the trip, so it took me a few days to get into the swing of things, but it was smooth sailing with practically no traffic the whole way outside of the cities. We generally took 2-3 hour shifts of driving at a time, depending on how long our drive for the day was. Our total mileage for the trip was around 4800 and we spent about $350 on gas total.
Entertainment and work: Thankfully, working remotely means I was able to take little to no time off from any of my positions, but I did fall a bit behind with things because of the time difference and days we didn't spend in the car. I worked for my various positions while Bill drove, and he read scripts for his coverage position or played games while I did. We are both into podcasts, so took turns listening while we each drove. The Skinny Confidential, The Balanced Blonde, IGNTD, Bloom & Grow are some of my favorites, Fatman on Batman, Pardon my Take, and Lights Camera Barstool are some of Bill's.
Places to stay: Neither of us were picky about where we were staying, especially considering I was still paying for my previous apartment in LA and we were also preparing to move into our new apartment which we needed to furnish when we got back to LA. I booked all of our hotels on Hotwire and found pretty good deals for every spot, paying around $65-$75 per night.
Places to see and eat: It was amazing to visit cities neither of us had been to before, so everything was very exciting for both of us! I did a fair amount of research before each stop on places to shop, the best coffee, vegan eats, sights, and more. I turned to fellow bloggers and influencers, city guide sites and Instagram in general for the best spots in each city, but also did exploring to find what was good. I'll be sharing more about where we went in my city guides for Nashville, New Orleans, and Austin, but if you'd like tips on things to see or spots to eat in Dallas or Albuquerque, let me know!