An Ultimate Guide For An All American Road Trip

 
 

What’s the best way to see America?

The answer can quite simply be summed up in two words: by road.

 Image by Madeleine Ragsdale

Image by Madeleine Ragsdale

The American road trip is an idea as timeless as the concept of the American dream. It has spawned countless films and media as well as literature including On The Road. Travelling Route 66 is an iconic journey that will allow you to explore what many people consider to be the true America. As well as this, going by road across the country allows you to pass through some of the flyover states that you would otherwise never see. How many states have you visited in America? We would guess the answer might be a couple and they would probably include the big names. Unless of course, you have been on an American road trip. In that case, you could have visited countless states during even a single trip.

 

Planning your USA Road Trip

 Image by Studio 7042

Image by Studio 7042

But what do you need for this road trip to be the ultimate American adventure? Well, we have a few ideas that you should consider.


Let’s start with a key choice. You need to think about what route you are going to take and plan it out. Now, you might be thinking about not selecting a route at all and simply going where the road takes you. Well, you can do this, but you will need excellent geographical knowledge or potentially a Sat Nav. Even then though, you need to understand what route to take.

You might need to think about which locations you want to see or how much time you want this trip to take. If you want to travel across the whole of the states in the shortest time, there’s a map for that. This interactive map will help you plan your journey down to a tee, and you can follow it all the way across.


On this particular route, you will discover amazing sites including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and Elvis Presley’s Graceland. This just names a few of the incredible locations you’ll see on the fastest trip across North America. Of course, if you have more time, then you can take a longer journey too.


The Transport - What Car to Choose

 Image by Peter Fazekas

Image by Peter Fazekas

Are you a local? If you are, then it might be better taking your own car across the USA and discovering all the sites for yourself with your own set of wheels. The alternative would be renting, but this can be expensive with various paperwork if you’re going to be crossing multiple state lines.

If you are traveling to the USA from another country then renting a vehicle is really your only choice. While it’s possible to use a service to transport your own car over, the expense will add a fortune onto your trip budget.

When you do rent a vehicle, make sure you let them know that you are intending on taking a road trip and set an appropriate time for your full trip and indeed your return. Of course, you might not want to complete the trip in reverse. If that’s the case, look into arranging a rental with a company like Alamo. Using this service, you can rent a car in one Alamo location then drive it to another leaving it there at your final stop. This usually costs extra but avoids the hassle of taking the vehicle back to your starting destination.


It’s not just about deciding whether you want to rent or using your own vehicle though. You need to decide on what type of vehicle you want to use for the road trip. There are various possibilities here. One option would be to choose a classic car that is, of course, a convertible, particularly for a summer vacation. While this might seem like the classic aesthetic option, you might want to go in another direction and choose one that is more reliable like an SUV or a modern saloon with all the latest tech features. Particularly, if you want to make sure that you aren’t stuck at the side of the road at any point. Some people buy a second-hand classic and only get halfway through their road trip, before it leaves them at the side of the road.

It’s also worth thinking about fuel costs. This isn’t going to be a short trip and will likely require several fuel stops. As such, you might want to think about an economically friendly machine like for instance, a hybrid. Hybrids are great for fuel costs and are also known for high levels of reliability.

Different Types Of Money

 Image by Quintin Gellar

Image by Quintin Gellar

You need to make sure that you take a few different types of money for your road trip. For instance, you should get a credit card. It’s important to have a credit card in case anything goes wrong on your road trip. For instance, you could find that you damage the vehicle that you rent. If that’s the case, you need to make sure that you have the means to pay for it and a credit card is definitely the ticket here. It provides you with an ultimate level of financial freedom that other monetary options simply does not offer. Now, you might be thinking, wait I can’t get a credit card because of my current finances. But on this page, you’ll see that various credit cards are available regardless of your current financial situation. Ultimately, this means that you don’t need to worry about an issue with not being able to have the money you need in hand.

You’ll also want some cash in your pocket. Currency cards are popular, but in America, it’s customary to tip for a variety of different situations. Carrying a hundred or so in tip money is one of the easier and indeed the best ways to do this.

We hope this helps you prepare for a great road trip across America. As you can see you don’t need that much at all. It’s really just a matter of making sure you know where you’re going, have a way to make the trip and that you have the money you need for any emergencies.


Header image by Pietro De Grandi

This post is a contribution to HandZaround.com


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