America is a country full of epic road trips. While we're naturally biased and think that Route 66 is the ultimate journey, we do agree it's worth exploring as many routes as you can while you're stateside.
With that in mind, here are our top tips for planning American road trips, no matter where they are.
1) Discuss your priorities
Do you prefer nature or city-based exploring? There are so many great American road trips to choose from and they're all worth doing – depending on your interests. If nature's your thing, plan a trip that takes in a number of national parks, and check out the options for an annual pass, worthwhile if you'll be visiting several. Meanwhile, if you want to see epic cities like New York or Las Vegas, check out road trips that begin or end at those destinations.
If you're really not sure what you want, start plotting points of interest on a map (paper or online!) and then see how you can link them all together.
2) Decide how you'll spend
Carrying heaps of cash on your person isn't ideal anywhere. Most people either find a credit card that has reasonable overseas travel charges more convenient, or get a dedicated multi-currency travel card. Either of these options are great, as long as you're confident you know when repayments are due or how you'll top up, even in the middle of nowhere.
However, depending where you travel to on your great American road trip, you might find you do need some cash on you at some point. Try and estimate what you'll need before you go, and whether you should change Australian dollars before you travel or withdraw cash once you're there.
3) Check you can travel one-way with your hire vehicle
The Route 66 team deals with moving the vehicles around so you can make the most of your time.
Unless there's lots you want to see on your chosen route that warrants driving it twice, the ideal solution is that you hire your transport in one place, and drop it off in another. Some hire companies make this easy, others are more complicated.
If you can't find a hire company that works with your itinerary, look into the guided tours available in the area. Our Route 66 tours are one-way, and we deal with moving the vehicles around so you can make the most of the time you have available.
4) Question how much of the day you want to be driving for
Much like point number 1 on this list, it's worth deciding what makes an ideal holiday before you go. Some road trips require many hours of driving each day. However, you might want to limit your driving to a few hours each day and ensure you get ample opportunity to stretch the legs.
Be realistic about this when planning your itinerary so you see everything you want to. If you want to cover more ground than you're comfortable driving, consider a guided tour for at least some of your journey.
5) Remember your luggage
Whether you choose to travel by car or motorbike, or any other form of transport you can conjure up, don't forget that it must accommodate your luggage.
Hiring the smallest vehicle available might keep your hire or fuel costs down, but it might not accommodate super size suitcases. Be realistic about whether you're a light packer or someone who likes to take a few 'just in case' items. It'll make your trip run much more smoothly if you take this into account ahead of time.
Planning your Route 66 road tip and more
While we specialise in tours of the famous Route 66, we're more than happy to help you work out how to connect our itineraries with other great American road trips while you're here. Get in touch today for more information.