How to Plan a Road Trip From Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Road trips are the ultimate American adventure, and what better to explore the country than from your car? You can take a road trip by yourself or take the family along with you, but plan on taking your time. Planning a road trip from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., will take some work, but with the right attitude and an explorer's spirit, you'll be able to make it look easy.

Steps

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    Plan your route. Look up different ways on Google Maps or MapQuest. Do you want to stick to mainly the highway or do you prefer back roads? Make sure you have some ideas for alternate routes you can take in case you run into traffic or road closures.
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    Visit a travel agent. An agent can help you plan your route, as well as give you ideas for places to stay, restaurants to eat at and local attractions to enjoy along the way. Get some guidebooks so you can look things up as you drive from Los Angeles to D.C. Most travel agents will be able to provide state guidebooks for any state you will be driving through.
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    Look up hotels before you leave. If you get some guidebooks from your travel agent, you'll be able to find a hotel while you're on the road. But look them up beforehand so you have an idea of where you may be stopping. You don't want to end up in a flea-ridden motel room or, worse, the Bates Motel.
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    Plan for stops. You'll be stopping a lot to eat, use the restroom and get gas, so look ahead to see where the most convenient places to stop will be. Figure out where you may need to stop for gas so you don't end up running out in the middle of the desert.
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    See local attractions. Check out the Painted Desert in Arizona. Plan to spend a day at the Grand Canyon. Go to Hollywood before you leave Los Angeles and check out the White House once you get to Washington, D.C.
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    Economize space. Pack lightly and make sure everyone will fit comfortably in the car. Leave room for anything you may end up buying on your road trip from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. You might consider renting a bigger car for the trip, if you own a small car.
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    Take your car to the mechanic. Have your oil changed and a car tune-up before you leave. Make sure your spare tire is in the trunk and is filled with air. You don't want to run into any car problems when you're on your road trip.

Tips

  • If you're traveling with someone else, take turns driving every few hours.
  • Take your time. Make frequent stops anywhere you think sounds interesting; you never know when you might be back this way again.

Warnings

  • Don't let yourself get too tired. Be careful driving at night so you don't fall asleep.

Things You'll Need

  • Guidebooks

Article Info

Categories: Road & Rail Travel | United States