There are many ways to experience all of the beauty of the United States. You can fly to different locations, you can take an Amtrak train, and you could even ride a bicycle across the Country. One of the most iconic ways to tour American soil is by going on a road trip with your car.

There is nothing quite like road tripping with a friend or 2 across the Country. There are many mistakes people make when planning a road trip across America. Here are some tips to help you plan a road trip and enjoy your road trip more.

No Set Schedule

Make sure you are not on a set schedule where you have to follow a certain route and you have only so much time at each stop. This is absolutely the wrong Way to road trip. A road trip begins by picking a destination. Let’s say you and your friends live in Roanoke, Virginia. You may decide you want to road trip out to see San Diego. Great, now you have your trip entirely planned. You will drive from Roanoke, Virginia to San Diego, California. That is the only planning you need to do. Seriously!

The mistake a lot of people do is they over plan their trip. Look at a map and say OK, we will head West to our destination. It is vital you realize it is the journey and not the destination. I know this is a cliché saying but it is entirely true. You may think that you want to drive so far each day but as soon as you come to Mount Rushmore you may decide it is really cool; and you guys will want to spend more time there and maybe even campout somewhere in the area for the night.

You may then see a sign for something that interests you so you get off the primary route and head out to this thing that interests you. While there you and your buddy meet some cute girls and then decide to stick around for a couple of days until they get tired of you or their daddy chase you guys out of town.

You once again begin driving towards San Diego. If you had a set schedule would miss all of these unexpected adventures. You may think you will stop in Las Vegas for gas and lunch but once you guys get to Las Vegas for the first time you may forget all about going to San Diego.

It is vital that you do not rush the trip and enjoy all of the little things that occur. If your buddy is sleeping the passenger’s seat then go ahead and drive and park at the end of a cliff and then start yelling like you are going off of the cliff so he will wake up and get scared. This stuff is funny so make sure you video tape it and share it on Facebook so the rest of us can laugh also.

In this digital age it is imperative that you track your adventure with pictures and videos and then share them online with your friend and family who could not come along. It is also time for male bonding and some of you adventures you may not want broadcast to the world over the Internet.

Regardless of your age you can enjoy a good road trip. There is so much you can see and learn about while traveling by car as long as you do not rush the trip. Get off of the major Interstates and take the back roads so you can see and experience new things.

If you go places that tourists do not go then you can see and experience cool things that tourists never will see.

You do not need a tourist book for you road trip. You can glance thru one to see if there are any spots you guys may be interested in visiting but it is more important to meet up with locals and ask them “what is cool about this area or your town?” The locals will often be able to guide you to something unique that is not mentioned in any traveler’s book and if it is mentioned then they can at least give you a unique perspective so you can understand it in the same way the locals do.

Have Fun and Relax

In order to have an enjoyable road trip it is vital that you have fun and relax. If you are continually uptight or trying to get to the next location as fast possible then you will miss out on the true spirit of what a road trip is supposed to be. Take your time and instead of driving to the next destination as fast as you can take your time, look at the landscape, have deep talks with your buddy, and stop so you can take a leak at the State line crossings. There is nothing cooler than peeing on 2 States at once unless you decide to go to the 4 Corners where you can pee on 4 States simultaneously.

A road trip is meant to be enjoyed. You should be developing stories that you can share for the rest of your life that people will find amusing. If you simply rush from one destination to another you will not be able to soak in the true meaning of what a road trip is supposed to be.

Wear Seatbelts

When on a road trip it is imperative you wear your seatbelt. If you choose not to wear your seatbelt then you road trip may be suddenly ended by death. Please wear your seatbelt at all times, but especially when you are on road trips. Your chance of an accident will increase simply because you are spending more time in the car driving. Wear your seatbelts and help protect your life. You cannot enjoy your road trip if you are in the back of an ambulance.