How to Prepare for Your First Big Road Trip

Going on short weekend road trips are a great way to dip your toe in the water and get used to being on the road for hours on end, enjoying the scenery and making spontaneous pit-stops along the way. As great as these weekend road trips are, nothing will compare to your first epic, cross-country road trip. Make your way across Canada, or dip down in the south and explore the United States, or go even further, into Mexico.

Wherever you go, you won’t be disappointed, because the best way to see this great continent is with a narrow focus and a long stretch of highway in front of you.

Choose Your Accommodation Carefully

Road trips mean seeing something new every day, heading out, being active and generally wearing yourself down by the end of the day. In order to recharge, you need to be very careful about where you rest your head at night, especially if you have young children. A new, unfamiliar place and a potentially uncomfortable motel bed are not for everyone. 
You could alternatively bring camp gear and set up camp every night, or if you and your partner are avid travelers and can’t wait to start showing your kids the world, or just want to get out there and see the world together, you can find a great used RV for sale. You’ll enjoy a home away from home as you spend every summer traveling, exploring and learning about the world.

If you do opt for the RV route, then you are going to want to book camping slots in advance and know how to properly pack for one.

Finding the Right Campsite

The whole point of an RV is that you can sleep anywhere. There are plenty of rest stops on rural and long-haul highways that you can pull over and enjoy a night for free. If you wish to spend a few days in one place, however, then you are going to want to choose a campsite.

These campsites can either be personally owned or owned by the state. The best ones, however, are guaranteed to be booked (at least during the high season). These are the ones that have great amenities and good connections to the beautiful local highlights in the area. To avoid disappointment, it is important to book these campsites in advance. If you don’t you could find it difficult to find a spot and, as a result, spend hours looking for a free slot in the national park you wanted to explore.

Packing for an RV

An RV needs, first and foremost, supplies. This means having natural gas canisters to power any cooking appliances you have to having a full tank of water. You will need to empty out your sewage tank as well, though that can be done in a fully equipped campsite.

Stick to Smaller Areas and Do Them More in Depth

It can be tempting to do a cross-country road trip across the Trans-Canada Highway, but the secret is there is so much more to do and see. Driving across is great for the views, and it takes you along some of the biggest cities and destinations, but these are not the only worthwhile parts of Canada. If you wish to see the majestic beauty of the country, you need to take time off the highway and delve deep into the natural wonder. Start exploring the wildlife, and you’ll start to realize that you need months, if not years, to explore this beautiful country properly. That’s why your first big road trip shouldn’t be about seeing everything from coast to coast; it should be about choosing a province and exploring it to its fullest.

Bring a Wide Variety of Clothes

You are going to experience a wide range of temperatures during your travels, which is why it is important to bring a wide variety of clothes to help keep you comfortable no matter which way the weather turns.

• Materials to Bring

When choosing the clothes to bring, you need to focus on breathability. In summer, this breathability is going to help keep you cool and not sweat buckets into your clothes. In winter, the breathability will allow moisture to wick away from your skin so that you don’t get cold.

Linen is great for this, especially in the summer. For winter, wools are your best friend.


Regardless of which time of the year you head out, you need to focus on finding the perfect rainproof outer layer. This should be a top priority. If snow doesn’t have a chance to be in the forecast, then heavy-duty rain gear is going to be key.

• Sweaters and Thermals

Rain or shine, winter or summer, bring thermal layers and sweaters with you. Nights can get cold any time of the year, and the last thing you want is to be cold without any way to naturally heat up.

• Hiking Wear

Bring proper hiking gear. This means clothes that keep you covered while keeping you cool so that mosquitoes and flies have less to feast on. It also means having shoes that give you proper support.

Research in Advance so You Know What is Available

You don’t want to miss out on anything, but you also don’t have the luxury of seeing what’s along every corner and road. Research in advance so that you can choose your favorite sights, activities, hikes and more to do in your province of choice and ensure you will see the best parts for your big road trip.

Include Downtime in Your Trip

Last but not least, remember downtime. Exploring the natural world is exhausting physically and mentally, so have a day where you just lounge around your RV or find a great lake to set up camp. If you really want to decompress, take large breaks where you go screen-free and instead try to soak in the stillness of the world around you.

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