Having been fortunate enough to embark on a number of American road trips, I have learnt a few things along the way. Here are my top tips for making sure you get the most out of your roadtrip and have super amounts of fun!
This post is written by the lovely Sarah from Infullflavour.com, make sure to check out her blog!
1. Buy a map of America
This probably sounds either a) completely obvious or b) absolute overkill, but it helped me and my husband so much when we were planning our trips. America is unbelievably vast, especially when compared to the UK, and it can be hard to gauge how far one place is from another. A map is also super helpful to work out where you want to visit, where that is in relation to other places you want to go, and what the best route might be.
2. Work out pitstops
As referenced in tip 1, America is huge. You can drive for miles without seeing another car or person. This is also true for food and fuel stops. On one of our trips we drove from Yosemite in California to Bryce Canyon in Utah in one day which is just under a 10-hour drive. We used Google to help us ascertain the best places to stop for supplies, which ensured we were prepared for all eventualities.
3. Get breakdown cover
I don’t know if some rental cars come with breakdown cover automatically, but particularly if you’re driving in any remote areas, make sure you’re covered as this will give you reassurance and peace of mind.
4. Check the returns policy on your rental car
If you’re planning on picking up a rental car and dropping it at a different location, double check this is specified in your policy. Most booking systems will ask you to input your collection and drop-off locations, but just in case, make sure you’re not going to face a hefty fine for breaching the agreement.
5. Plan in some rest days
It’s tempting to hit the road every day to cover as much of the country as you can. I’m sure this will suit lots of people, but if you’re like me, then having a bit of a chill every now and again is really welcome. Don’t feel guilty for not being on the move every day; enjoy a longer stopover, see the sights, enjoy the pool, catch up on some reading – whatever you want to just take a bit of time out.
6. Try to visit different states
Whether it’s on the same trip or you’re lucky enough to go on several roadtrips, try to visit different states. I’ve been to around 10 states and they are all so different to each other, even if they are neighbouring. California’s lush scenery for example is a world away from the dry deserts of Nevada and Utah. Just for the record, my favourite state is New Mexico; I don’t think it’s particularly touristy but we absolutely fell in love with it.
7. Enjoy the food
America gets a pretty bad reputation for its high-fat, sugar laden food. While this is readily available, there is also tonnes of amazing cuisine that is specific to each state. Try something different; maybe ask your server for recommendations on what is quite unique or authentic. Just stay away from Twinkies, those things will make you hyper for about a week!
Hopefully you’re now ready to buckle up and hit the American open road – enjoy!
Sarah has been blogging on In Full Flavour for six years, originally focusing on food and travel. Since becoming a mum to her now two-year-old, the travel content has reduced and the family content has crept in. When she’s not parenting or working in her day job in PR and marketing, she enjoys watching Netflix with her husband, working on her blog or catching up with friends.
Follow Sarah on Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @infullflavour