A classic road trip is one of those experiences that is on any adventurous travelers ‘bucket list’. While synonymous with American pop culture, the world is certainly packed with opportunities to let loose and hit the road. It can be as long or short as you wish, and no matter where in the world you look there is bound to be a special route to take. What makes for a perfect road trip is really up to you – and that sense of freedom is what can make them so memorable. Stick to the highways, or explore the back roads? Why not do both!
Before You Go…
A great road trip involves a little more preparation than most other adventure holidays. It is essential that you know what it’ll take to get your car ready for such a journey. Long distance driving is much more fun with little extra comfort. It needn’t take much either.
Just a few accessories are often all it takes, plus a basic understanding of automotive mechanics!
What a place to start a road trip! Iconic San Francisco deserves a few days alone, and as one of the USA’s largest cities is the perfect place to pick up a vehicle suitable for your budget. Be sure to check out Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and take in the laid back culture before hitting the road. The first stage will take you through Lake Tahoe and into the stunning beauty of Yellowstone National Park.
Enjoy those luscious mountains and woodlands while you can, because the next stretch is through Death Valley – one of the driest and most unpredictable stretches of road in the world! You’ll have earned a break after this drive, so treat yourselves to a couple of nights discovering the glitzy pleasures of Las Vegas. When recovered, the final stage of this road trip takes you northwards towards the fabled peaks of Salt Lake City.
Looking to take your surf/boogie boards along for the ride? Well, if so then this could be the adventure for you. It’s a long drive but no worries – you’ll be able to stop off pretty much whenever you like. There is an astonishing number of incredible beaches on this route. In fact, it may be wise to actually plan your path quite carefully. You don’t want to accidentally pass Bondi (pretty hard to do!) or Byron Bay.
One of the beautiful aspects of this trip is that while you will feel at some times as if you are the last folks on earth, there’s actually a well-developed infrastructure that allows for regular breaks and refueling opportunities. There’s also no shortage of places to stay – beachside, plush hotel, and everything in between. Be sure to fit in a quick detour to properly explore the Great Barrier Reef too!
Not many cities will offer such an exciting introduction to driving overseas than Rome! But vehicle hire is easy, and driving through the City will ensure you do not miss any of the incredible heritage sites to be found here. Take your time at first – it will become much easier.
Next, head over to Tuscany and spend a couple of nights in Florence and perhaps an afternoon in nearby Pisa for that most ‘iconic’ of tourist photos propping up the tower. Next, we hit the road, all along the Mediterranean coastline that allows for a seemingly endless number of small villages to explore. Consider stopping in Genoa before working into France.
Where to stop in France depends on your time limits. Monaco, Marseilles, Toulouse, and Montpellier are the big cities – but take time to explore the stunning side roads around the French Riviera. A drive through the Pyrenees makes for a spectacular last couple of days before arriving in mighty Barcelona. Overall, this trip allows for a great blend of culture and stunning views that combined make it perhaps the greatest European classic road trip.
There are, of course, many other classic road trips to choose between. For the most adventurous, take a look at exploring the mountains of the Andes (Chile is probably the most popular country here – expensive for insurance!) or even Himalaya’s providing you are an advanced driver. The moral of the story is that wherever you do choose to visit, just be sure that you read up thoroughly about the route first and have an idea of the standard of your vehicle. The more preparation you put in, the more memorable it is sure to be.
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