Crafting Your Perfect Cross-Country Adventure
The classic US map road trip can be the adventure of a lifetime. But it takes a bit of planning. Start by understanding what inspires you, from epic national parks to famous roadside attractions. Then, plan your route around these sights and include some scenic byways in between major highway stretches.
Getting Started with US Map
In addition to a map, you’ll need a compass. A compass is a navigation tool that’s simple to use, free of batteries and can give you an accurate bearing (the direction a trail or destination lies) with little to no error.
It requires you to practice before you leave the backcountry, but once mastered, it will reduce your dependence on electronic devices that can run out of battery or be interrupted by an urgent email halfway through your hike.
To set a bearing, find a landmark on the map and place the straight edge of your compass’s baseplate against it. Then rotate the orienting lines on the bezel until the magnetic needle is within the outline of the orienting arrow. Look at the index line to read the bearing. Repeat this process at two more points along your route to establish the bearing from those locations to the destination.
You can also adjust for magnetic declination, a variable that affects the accuracy of a compass and varies by location. The value for your area is listed on topo maps, but you may have to search for this information online.
Choosing a Route
The best way to begin planning a cross-country trip is by determining what inspires you. For some, that could be epic national parks, famous roadside attractions, or quaint small towns. Once you’ve compiled a list of “must-see” destinations, map them out to see what sort of route will make the most of your time and budget.
It’s also important to take into consideration the season when choosing your route. A winter trip through the Rockies or a summer trip through Arizona may be more challenging, as many scenic spots are busier then. Additionally, some areas of the country will be hotter or colder during certain months than others.
Finally, it’s a good idea to pad your budget with a bit of extra money. While you may not end up needing it, a little extra cash will give you peace of mind if something unexpected comes up along the way.
Another useful feature on maps is the ability to search for restaurants or attractions. Not only does this show you what is nearby, but it will also provide ratings from other users, allowing you to choose the best option.
If you’re trying to be environmentally friendly, Maps also has an option that displays routes that are the most fuel efficient. This helps you save on gas and keep your car running smoothly.
Planning Your Stops with US Map
There’s no better way to enjoy a cross-country road trip than to spend time in each destination along the way. This will give you a chance to explore local culture, eat some of the area’s best food, and take some time off the road to relax. Choosing the right destinations depends on your interests, so make sure you consult a US map to find the places that will most appeal to you.
One great option is to focus on the most popular national parks in each region. Whether it’s the awe-inspiring depths of the Grand Canyon or the thundering power of Niagara Falls, these natural landmarks will be some of the most memorable sights of your entire trip. You can also explore the cities that are home to these natural wonders, such as San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury or Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
If you want to take a more efficient approach, download an app like Circuit to plan a route with multiple stops. This handy tool lets you set time constraints on specific locations and prioritize them to ensure they’re the first ones on your route.
Whether you’re planning an epic road trip through the mountains and deserts of the west or hitting up the beaches of Florida, it’s important to have your vehicle in tip-top shape. Be sure to have it checked out for fluids, brakes and any other potential problems a week before your departure date.
It’s also a good idea to get your credit card company on board so you can add a travel protection plan that covers you for any unforeseen expenses during your trip.
Having a basic map of the United States with state names and capitals is a must for any car traveler. This colorful, laminated map is great for a classroom or home and features major cities and state capitals, roads, mountain ranges, national parks, the oceans surrounding America and more.
From the awe-inspiring depths of the Grand Canyon to the iconic sights of the Statue of Liberty and Golden Gate Bridge, there are countless natural wonders to see on a cross-country adventure. But if there’s one sight that stands out above all others, it’s Yellowstone National Park.
This huge US National Park is so vast that it spans across three different states — making it a must-see when traveling in the US. Learn more about this national park with this detailed map that illustrates its size and highlights its many iconic features.