There is nothing quite like the open road, driving along with the wind in our hair and your fingers curled around a well-worn steering wheel. For driving enthusiasts, worldwide who are seeking the ultimate road trip experience, look no further than the renowned Route 66 in America.
This famous highway spans the width of the United States of America, totalling an incredible 2448 miles of unadulterated driving bliss for automobile and motorcycle fans anywhere. First built in 1926, Route 66 quickly became a vital thoroughfare for migrants seeking their own slice of the American dream in the west and as a result this historic highway has become an icon of American culture ever since.
Running from the lush Lake Michigan in Chicago to the arid desert land of Nevada, Los Angeles, Route 66 runs through starkly different landscapes along its winding way, not to mention time zones, so if you are looking to experience a slice of the all-American lifestyle first-hand you will not be disappointed on this road trip. Although since superseded by interstates used by commuters, America has fought to keep its route 66 heritage from years gone by, and visitors can step back in time to the 1930’s and enjoy the vintage motels, gas stations and diners boasting neon signs that line this popular tourist route.
Route 66 passes through some of America finest cities and landmarks, including the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas to name but a few, so prior planning is essential to make the most of your trip. Firstly, you will need to decide on how you wish to travel, the most popular method of transport is by car and if this is your preferred mode of transport then you can hire one from international car rental agencies such as Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Avis, National, Hertz and Alamo, etc. Rates can vary wildly and will be dependent on when you plan on travelling, who with, where from and to and the duration of your trip. The majority of Route 66 road trippers opt to travel from East to West so that they start in cooler climes in the windy city of Chicago then finish up on the sun kissed coast of Santa Monica Bay, California. However, there are considerably more cars available in rental agencies on the west coast so if budgeting is an issue it may be worth considering going against the grain and travelling West to East to save money.
The amount of money you save to take with you is also very dependent on your itinerary. Some planned Route 66 road tours state that the trip can be done in as little as 15 days, with optional extras such as a drive up the picturesque coastline of Highway 1 to take in the Pacific Coast Highway and the delights of Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco. If you plan on cramming in as many tourist attractions as possible plus enjoy decent accommodation and several trips to the old fashioned American diners you won’t want to run out of money so it is recommended that you plan your budget carefully. The average tourist could need up to $3000 to cover food, accommodation, petrol and souvenirs so make sure you are prepared and always take a credit card with you for safety and emergency backup.