5 things to consider when planning a US road trip

5 things to consider when planning a US road trip It’s one of the iconic holiday experiences – the open road, a blasting stereo... But...

5 things to consider when planning a US road trip

It’s one of the iconic holiday experiences – the open road, a blasting stereo... But, however free you’ll feel cruising through epic landscapes on a classic American road-trip, the key to making the most of your journey is planning.

What you need to see

Unless you have a huge amount of time to weave your way around this vast country, the first thing to do is decide which region you’re going to see.

Luckily, there are many established routes to choose from, with entire sites dedicated to listing them. Helpfully, they’ll even tell you how long each takes.

Of course, the most famous of these is Route 66, from Illinois to California, via the Grand Canyon and plenty of desert. Another popular trip is to hug the West Coast, taking in San Francisco, Los Angeles and the glorious surf spots made famous by The Beach Boys.

For those looking to experience more of the metropolitan flavours of the US, journeying inland from New York to Chicago will provide all the skyscrapers you could ever need. Alternatives are scattered through the Midwest and Deep South.

What you’re driving

Even once you’ve decided on where you’re going, how you get there will be a huge factor in how you experience it. And, again, there are no shortage of choices to be made in the types of vehicles available.

Those doing it on TV often opt for a classic American choice such as a chrome-plated convertible or a high-powered motorbike, and these can be surprisingly affordable to hire. However, you must consider whether this undeniably stylish option is practical for your travel needs. Also available are more traditionally family-friendly cars, which will give you space; economical choices that will mean fuel eats up less of your budget; or even motorhomes, for those looking to combine vehicle and accommodation.

Travel companions

Whether it’s a friend or a group of friends, a lover, or a spouse and family, a road-trip together can be one of the most incredible bonding experiences you will ever have. You will share sights you can’t put into words, and learn an incredible amount about each other.

However, you may also have difficult moments, with fatigue, discomfort and disagreements. So – if there’s more than one driver, make sure the duties are spread fairly (and, potentially, also the petrol money). Make sure there’s always food and drink aboard. If there are kids (or just easily-bored adults), be certain they have some in-car entertainment to divert them.

And it’s worth being prepared for any mishaps along the way – US hospitals provide great care, but at high prices.

The journey and the destinations

When we think of road-trips, we imagine cruising endlessly through the landscape. It’s a wonderful, romantic image and it will absolutely make up a large portion of your holiday.

But you also need breaks. First-time road-trippers often set an itinerary that allows precious little time to stop and look around. And if your journey is taking in marvels of nature like the Grand Canyon – or modern wonders like Las Vegas – you owe yourself time to explore.

Help from apps

One thing today's road-trippers have – in abundance – that previous travellers didn’t, is travel apps to make the whole experience that bit easier. There's apps offering other travellers’ tips and maps incorporating GPS trackers. America’s WiFi coverage is excellent, so you should never be far from all the information you need.


I really appreciate the comments I get. Please leave your blog url so I can check out your blog :-)

Items marked with a * have been gifted, this does not affect my personal opinion.