The Road Trip Blog is written in the following sequence.
You can click on each blue content sections below and shortcut to that relevant section to save time:
2. How to pack Rucksack
3.Where to Stay or Sleepover
4. Which Routes for Road Trips
5. My 4-in-1 Route trip on Greyhound coach trip.
6. Some Do’s and Dont’s
One of the most interesting ways to see America is by road. I have travelled many times in the United States by road, train and air and the first mode is best for sightseeing and is cheapest in the long run. Of course in today’s Covid-19 situation I think this mode will be even more appealing to the health conscious traveller.
In writing this Blog The objective of which is really to give the would be traveller ideas on how best to plan their trip. I may not have mentioned some of the most important as well as beautiful landmarks in the country such as Niagara Falls, Yosemite Park, Mount Rushmore just to name a few examples to visit as I will do separate Blogs for these later. When I travelled from East coast to West Coast I always included trips to Disneyland, Universal Studios and other theme parks and these places require a full day as a minimum if not more.
In writing this Blog post I also had the objective to keep costs to a minimum as road trips in the main can became expensive if not properly planned. Glaring examples of these are medical costs from injuries, car accident and breakdowns if not covered in the policy to name a few.
How to Pack a Rucksack
Rucksacks are A multi-use bag used in all kinds of overnight travel, from bicycling to camping to wandering, a rucksack comes in handy for a variety of situations. Learning to pack a rucksack is very important and should be planned when you are uninterrupted without stress and certainly not done at the last minute. if you are going away for a while you don’t want to forget the important things otherwise you will end up buying in haste.packing ideas here
The most important factor about rucksacks in my opinion is the comfort factor. Having to haul all your belongings comfortably for many days on your one and only calcium built skeleton is very serious business. I am a firm believer in the half packing rule also. Once you have decided what you want to take - then half it for your backs sake.
Where to stay, sleep or rest
It doesn’t matter whether you are travelling by road rail or air at some point you will need to rest and take a break from all the sightseeing, being on the road can be very fatiguing. So here I’m just going to summarise methods of getting rest during a stopover along your journey.
If you are about to embark on a road trip, this is a question you will have to ask yourself every night. Where should I pull over to spend the night? When you're on a road trip it is important to get a good night's sleep to take full advantage of whatever the new day brings.
Assuming you are not staying in a hotel or looking for a place to pitch a tent, it can be quite difficult finding somewhere to sleep in your vehicle. Fortunately, America is a very road-trip friendly country, with well maintained roads, cheap gas, service stations with ample parking and resting or even sleeping and many other places you could potentially pull over and park overnight to sleep safely and legally.
in the cities there are YMCA and once you venture outside the metropolitan areas many camping grounds are available. Today most service stations have ample parking spaces for parking the car overnight. Sleeping in the car however, can be uncomfortable during the hot summer nights and if you open windows to stay cool you will let mosquitoes in or worst still uninvited guests who will part with your belongings. Examples I found suitable in the past are McDonalds and Walmart car parks. Both of these have Restroom facilities and grocery store and most likely have any item you may need. Trucker stops have the advantage of shower facilities as well.
Which Routes for Road Trip
The routes will depend on how you will expect to travel. I guess in today’s modern age of travel people can travel with a Rucksack, Bike, Car and a commercial mode of transport mixed together. However without digressing too much I will for now assume a road trip scenario using a car and camping along the way for various stops along the way. Below I have summarised a few of the routes I consider to be relevant although ultimately it depends on the individual requirements.
1.Route US-20. Following in the footsteps of previous pioneers, US‑20 takes in a little of everything during its two-lane trek from Oregon’s rugged coast to the glorious sea and sand of Cape Cod.
2. Going to Florida. This route takes you from New York City along the Atlantic Coast to Florida
3. The Skyline Drive Just like the song Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia on the trail of a lonesome pine This driving route of the Appalachian Trail parallels the epic hike. From the top of New England to the heart of Dixie, it takes you through continuous natural beauty—without the sweat, bugs, or blisters.There is so much to see in Virginia not withstanding the Corny Slogan Virginia is for Lovers. First, consider panoramic views that overlook scattered on lofty Skyline drive which runs 105 miles down the length of the 300-square-mile sanctuary. Additionally, beyond Skyline Drive lies Shenandoah national park, where bears roam the hollows and brook trout ply the tumbling streams. The park contains a wide array of flora and fauna as it rises from a mere 550 feet at its lowest elevation to over 4,049 feet.
4. Pacific or West Coast? Starting at the northwest tip of the United States at Washington’s Olympic National Park and remaining within sight of the ocean all the way south to sunny San Diego, this 1,650-mile, mostly two-lane road trip takes in everything from temperate rainforest to near-desert.
5.Route 66. The romance of traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles along historic Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”
6. The Way West This is Route US2 as depicted in the Kirk Douglas film The Way West but running from West to East direction.
7. My Favourite- 4-In-1. Yes this is the best 4 routes in one as I like to call it. It requires you to be fit, at least one month vacation time and a lot of preparation required. The more planning you do before you set off the better and smoother your trip will progress.
I took this road trip when I was younger shall we say, and would not dream of doing it now when I think of all the things that can go wrong. I guess you acquire wisdom with age. The coach trip was done using Greyhound bus service with a one month free pass valid ticket. with this ticket i think it was around $75 at that time.
I kicked off the trip starting from New York City, headed North to Boston, from there without wasting anytime crossed the border into Canada and onto Montreal, then Ottawa. After a fleeting visit at the capital I continued my expedition through North Bay, Sudbury, Thunder Bay taking in the beauty of the Great Lakes, then onwards to Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary (stayed for the Calgary Stampede) and finally arriving in Vancouver. This was North American continent done in a week!
In Vancouver I went to Sea World, saw the Orca Killer whale in captivity. To be honest I thought the animal wasen’t in the best of shape like you see in the wild. After sea world I continued my bus journey crossed the border into America and went through Seattle which did not really interest me and so travelled through the night and arrived in Portland Oregon.
Oregon state has only one national park but is by no means lacking in scenery. With 360 miles of public beach, gorges, wild rivers, forested peaks and fossil-rich desert, the state is packed with natural wonders.
Greyhound, the best known of the Greyhound Corporation's many subsidiaries and twice the size of the next biggest bus company, Trailways Inc., has been the workhorse for the budget traveler for decades. Low cost airlines although can offer ever‐lower fares, the advantage of travelling by road are numerous, independance from travelling with many people, airport congestion, parking security checks at airports to name few annoyances.
A trip on the Greyhound bus will have its disadvantages like any other bus trip, close proximity seating, bearing with the whimsies of fellow passengers and taking meals served by vending machine in the dreary terminals of some inner cities but this i think can be part of the experience and cherished years to come. my one very vivid memory i recall was stopping at greyhound bus station where purchasing a coffee thermos flask entitled one to free refill at any greyhound station coffee shop !!
Before you begin your road trip you might want to cover a full day in New York city and a full day looking around in Washington DC before you start your road trip east to west direction, as the transportation companies will insist you complete your drive in a certain number of days. You can negotiate with them in deciding how many days you will deliver the car to the owner and be conservative. You don't want to stress yourself by breaking the speed limits and then spending hours at a police station when you could be sightseeing instead. Washington DC looking around Lincoln Memoral Jefferson memorial and Washington monument are in close proximity to one another. Walking along the Potomac river in June in cherry blossom is the best time of year
Coming back to topic, Interstate 40 (I-40) Best road trip is starting from New York and finishing in Los Angeles can be done in around 8 days. The major sights along the way include the Blue Ridge Mountain in Virginia, Nashville home of country music, Memphis Tennessee, Little Rock Arkansas, Amarillo Northern Texas.
Continuing next through Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona covering a full day doing the hike in the majestic Grand Canyon with trip down to the bottom.
The cost of the road trip will be dirt cheap if you can get people to share with you.
Many places in USA offer camping grounds where you can pull over, tent up and in the morning use toilets and wash facilities. The road trips would be suitable for all ages. One thing to bear in mind when the auto transport companies give you a choice of car try to get an economical one and large enough to sleep in the back. I remember when I did one of my initial trips it was in a Volkswagen Beetle, needless to say it was a bit small for the three of us. However it was a nippy little car very economical and it’s little air cooled engine got us across 2500 miles to San Diego!
Some Do’s and Dont’s
* Do check the satellite navigation for road delays ahead and heed the warnings. If roads closed If necessary stop off and stay in motel get rested and try next day
* Do Check the engine Oil,
* wiper water levels, in the car before the journey and when starting off on a long segment of a journey between service stations.
* Spare tyre condition. And I mean another complete wheel.!
* Do take a reserve petrol/gas container
* Do take a extra battery/power pack for mobile devices. If possible take a small solar panel with you as there is plenty of sunshine in USA and power is needed for everything from phones to kettles.
* Do take a Paper map of all the states you pass through. You never know when you might loose GPS signal which is relied upon for navigation
* Dont take the smaller roads when using Satellite navigation.
* Dont take any hitchhikers.
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