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Archive for December, 2010

Isn’t it every traveller’s dream to take to the open road and make a huge road trip from coast to coast across the great North American continent? It’s certainly been mine for years now and it’s always been on the back-burner. Well that’s all going to change this year, all-American road trip here I come!

First thing is first though, how to plan one. Making a trip like this abroad needs time to plan, that’s for sure. From the research I’ve done so far, it’ll be no easy task so here are a couple pointers that I’ve picked up along with my planning.

  • Give yourself time, at least two weeks to do the trip so that you don’t feel rushed. Plan well in advance (working on this now) making sure you can get time off work and other responsibilities at home for that period. Once you book your flights to the USA, give yourself some days to adjust to the time difference before hitting the road.
  • Make your itinerary, but leave room to move. The spontaneous style of road trips is almost their entire charm. Select some major cities and sights to see and then leave the rest open for new discoveries.
  • Ditch the GPS and pick up state road maps instead. These electronic navigation systems are good but are nothing compared to maps which will tell you the name of that mountain you passed 30 miles back, where the next campground is, how long until the next junction, etc. For free maps, scour the visitor information centres.
  • When planning your route, try to avoid making the whole trip using the interstate. Take the scenic rural highways instead. It will take you longer but you’re more likely to find something interesting on the way.
  • Don’t drive too much in one day, this’ll tire you out. Make the trip with a fellow driver so you two can switch, travelling only for a couple hours each day to be able to enjoy what you see along the road.
  • One last tip, make sure you don’t forget to apply for an international driver’s permit. It’s very important if you plan to drive in the USA to have this paper.

Have you ever taken a real road trip? Any tips to share with us?

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