When my friend, Leslie, first got accepted to Stanford, she was elated. She had a green Volkswagen Jetta that she insisted on having with her while she was there. Rather than fight her on it, her parents agreed. Not only did they agree to let her have her car at college (she's from North Carolina), but they suggested that they take a cross country road trip to get it there! Leslie has always been the adventurous type, so to hear that she would be taking a cross country road trip with her quirky father to get to California from North Carolina, I couldn't really say that I was all too shocked. All I know is that if that was me, I probably would have opted to just have the car shipped there instead while I hopped on a plane flight.
My boyfriend is one of those people, but this is only because he is deathly afraid of flying. One too many bad flying experiences may have just grounded him for life. In any even, taking a cross country road trip is a great way to see the world or at least the country that you are living in. Not only this, but it gives you a chance to see sights that you might have not otherwise seen had you taken a plane ride. While flying is certainly more convenient (most times) than driving, there is something to be said for those who have braved the back roads that criss cross around the United States.
In addition to taking a cross country road trip, it is important to make sure that you really plan things out effectively. For example, always make sure that you have plenty of access to cash (not just credit cards). Not everywhere that you are going to stop is going to be as up-to-date as some of the places that you may be used to. Call hotels ahead of time and/or friends who live along the way, this way you can make sure that you always have a place to stay. Besides this, knowing that you have mini destinations can help to reassure you that you are near civilization should you ever get lost or feel a little lonely. You should also ALWAYS make sure that you travel with someone. This is an even bigger deal if you are a young woman. Unfortunately, women are still targets for many criminals and predators, so if you can, travel with a male associate or a group of friends.
Packing should be kept to a minimum if you can help it because, again, you don't want to make yourself look like a target for theft or other criminal activity. Bring a GPS unit and then bring a backup up-to-date road atlas just in case. Make sure that your cell phone is charged and ready to go. Last but not least, make sure that you have your car inspected before you go. Have the names and numbers of local mechanics along the way handy just in case you experience a problem. If you are super paranoid, you can even give a few of these places a call to let them know your intentions of possibly stopping by.