Many Americans and foreigners have always been captivated by the American Heartland and all that it offers. But before you go on a road trip inside this amazing part of the country, here are a few points to consider.
Before Anything Else
There are no rules when you are going on vacation, or at least there shouldn’t be. After all, the whole point of taking time out of our busy work schedules is to relax and enjoy a few days off without having to answer phone calls, write emails, or meet any deadline. Still, having fun also takes some preparation. If done correctly, it can be the difference between an unforgettable experience with our family, friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances and a trouble-filled holiday we would rather soon forget.
Because of this, we must make the necessary arrangements to ensure everything goes according to plan. The first of them is to have our trailer, 5th wheel, or camper checked to make sure it is in tip-top shape and it won’t break down along the way. The second is outfitting it with food, water, enough gas, pillows and blankets, board games and other fun road activities, and pretty much anything else we might need. Finally, we must make sure everything back home is set up well. This includes speaking with a trusted neighbor to look after our property, collect our mail, and turn off the water and lights.
While on the Road
The American Heartland is full of amazing things to see and plenty of activities to do. Among others, we can visit the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, follow the trail of the Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota to Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and listen to the best blues in the nation in cities like Memphis, Kansas City, or St. Louis. But if we want to do these and many other things along the way, one thing is sure. We need to be ready and well-aware that there will be a lot of distance to cover and, with it, long hours behind the wheel.
As a result, one of the best things we can do is to have a clear “on the road” plan that includes not only activities to do inside your vehicle, such as those we mentioned in the first section, but also proper rest time and planned stops for food and gas. For example, if there are two adults in the family or a teenager with a valid driver’s license, clear schedules can be set for all three to drive based on energy levels, ability to maneuver different types of terrain, and even driver preferences.
The benefit, in this case, is two-fold. First, fewer breaks are required, which means you will reach your destination sooner. Second, drivers will at all times be physically energized, ready, and focused on tackling any challenges the road might bring head-on.
Soaking It Up
If you find yourself in a hurry to get somewhere, the best choice is not to go by car. Rather, you should take a bullet train or a plane. This is as straightforward a statement as you can ever make. Yet, oftentimes we are in such a rush to reach a particular place that we fail to live at the moment and absorb what is going on around us at a specific point in time. Instead, we dash from one stop to the other, trying to cover as much ground as we can in as little time as possible, and forget that we are on vacation and there isn’t a ticking clock anywhere in sight.
As we highlighted previously, the American Heartland is filled with interesting activities and destinations to see and explore. Thus, no matter how much time we have, it would be impossible to cover each of them exhaustively, unless, of course, our vacation is years on end.
Rather than trying to do so, we should soak it all up by taking the time to taste the local dishes, walk around the streets, talk to a few people who are willing to share with us their own experiences and lifestyles, and take it one step and one minute at a time. By doing this, we will be engaging in a much more valuable, all-inclusive experience.
If you want to make the best out of your trip to the American Heartland, make sure you plan well both before your trip and for when you will be on the road. Finally, put in the effort to enjoy each moment as much as you can. If you do this, the next time you head out on a road trip with the family will be something you will never forget.