words Al Woods
There are many beautiful places in the UK, just as there are many beautiful places in Europe. You can road trip through our continent for years and still have many new places to go and things to do, but none of them will compare to the Great American Road Trip. America has some of the best natural wonders and cities in the world, and the best way to see them it to take a month or more off from work and to hit the open road.
To help you get the most out of the trip and to familiarise yourself with a few cultural differences before you get underway with planning, we have put together a complete list of the top tips to take note of:
Accommodation in America
The concept of a motel is quite American, and yes, you can find them dotted along the roads. They are frequently used as a rest stop for truckers who have to legally rest on long routes. Some can be nice, but rarely will you find a motel that is of the same calibre as a hotel.
Not only that, but costs add up when staying in a motel and then eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The most cost-effective and luxurious way to travel, then, is to invest in an RV rental.
These RVs can be small and great for a compact journey, or large enough to comfortably fit your family. The best part is that many of the models have a kitchenette and even a shower, so you can stick to your budget and still live luxuriously on your adventure.
Packing for Your Road Trip
When you rent an RV, you have a lot more space than a typical car, but that doesn’t mean you want to overdo it. You might want to ski during your trip, for example, and bring your equipment over from the UK, but that isn’t cost or space effective. Instead it is better to rent on location.
When you are in the country and ready to stock up for your trip there are a few things you will want to focus on:
- Preparing an emergency kit (first aid, lighter, road flares, and road-side assistance).
- Dry and non-perishable goods
- RV-friendly toiletries
One final thing to pack is one or two petrol tanks. Though you shouldn’t play chicken with your petrol tank, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This way, if you do run out of petrol, you can easily fill up your tank at least enough to get you to the nearest petrol station.
Preparing to Drive in America
The general rule of thumb is that you only need a valid license to drive in America, but some states are different and will also need an international license. If you already have one, great, if not, you will need to research every state you intend to drive through. Though it is one country, it’s more apt to think of America like the European Union. There are a set of federal laws that govern the whole country, but in most cases each state governs itself.
Tips for Route Planning
The exact destinations of your route are entirely up to you, but to ensure you stay safe and have the ultimate adventure, you’ll want to follow these three tips:
1. Create a Route on a Paper and Digital Map
Your phone can add way stops, sights, and make suggestions with ease. It’s the perfect tool for planning a road trip and even budgeting realistically for it, but things happen. Your phone might drop and break. It might get wet and not turn on. In short, you need to have an offline backup. Ensure the map you buy is current, as older maps will have outdated roads and routes that are no longer applicable.
2. Make Note of All Rest Stops
Though they show up automatically on digital maps, and you will see signs on the road that tell you how far away the nearest rest stop is, it’s a good idea to make note of these yourself. This way you can confidently make detours without being too far from a refuelling station.
3. Don’t Over Plan
Last but not least, don’t plan out every step of your journey. There is a lot of beauty and excitement to be had from spontaneity, and with an RV, you always have a roof over your head.