The following is a guest post by Dan Greene.
Going on a road trip is a great opportunity for adventure and exploration. You can set your own schedule and take detours as you please. See something that catches your eye? It’s easy to go off course and dedicate a day to visiting new, unexpected places. After all, there’s only so much research you can do. The best way to experience a country is to visit it, and once you’re there, a car gives you the flexibility to create a trip that’s perfect for you.
But not everywhere is ideal for road tripping. To help you plan your next adventure, we’ve picked four countries that are perfect for road trips, some with popular routes and others ideal for the more adventurous amongst you. Check them out:
Running from the River Main to the Alps, The Romantic Road is one of Germany’s most popular holiday routes. Brown signs link the individual towns on the way, making it an easy choice for first-timers. That’s not to say it’s not spectacular, though, nor does it suggest you shouldn’t head off in your own direction from time to time.
On your journey, the landscape starts off with river valleys, meadows, and agricultural plots before developing into more dramatic mountain scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass through several medieval towns with buildings that have been preserved through the centuries and encounter friendly European culture. Key spots include the famous fairy-tale castle at Neuschwanstein, Franconia wine district, and Weikersheim Palace.
The United States is vast – in fact, it’s the third largest country in the world. You’d be lucky to cover a portion of the 50 states in one visit. But each state is unique to the next, making the USA one of the most diverse countries in the world. You’ll want to see as much as possible. So what better way to see a good chunk of the states than hitting the road?
As 1cover’s USA guide says, it’s like your own personal hop on hop off bus except you get to make the rules. They suggest a scenic drive on California’s Pacific Highway 1 to make the most of the beautiful weather, but also recommend loads of other activities throughout the country. Pick out your favourites and make your own route:
- Explore national parks – the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite, for example
- Visit the Big Apple
- Play at Orlando, Florida
- Watch a ball game
If there are places you’ve always dreamed of visiting in the USA, add them to the list and see if they fit within your route.
Originally built for army vehicles, The Leh–Manali Highway in northern India connects Leh and Manali in Himachal Pradesh state. It’s only open for about four and a half months each year (between May/June and mid-October), and there are miles on end where you cannot find fuel, or the support of a garage. It’s not a route for the faint of heart, and it’s a good idea to have some experience of basic maintenance tasks.
Nevertheless, it’s a road trip worth the effort. The scenery is breathtaking and you won’t have to share the roads with many other travellers. In fact, most of the time, you’ll be the only people around. Every time you turn around another mountain pass, you’ll be in awe of your surroundings – just like these bloggers, who described the journey as “epic.” Check out their experience of the highway on a bus. The Gata Loops, a series of hairpin bends looping down, sound like something to look forward to – although you might want to close your eyes if your driver takes the same route as theirs.
Great Britain might only be small, but the best attractions are spread out. If you want to experience the diversity on offer, a road trip is an ideal way to get around. From the island paradise that is the Scilly Islands to the buzzing cities of Birmingham or Manchester, there’s a lot to see in the countryside, as well as in the towns. Top activities from Hand Luggage Only include:
- Hiking the Yorkshire dales
- Seeing the Angel of the North in Newcastle
- Exploring Edinburgh
- Climbing Ben Nevis
- Punting in Cambridge
- Visiting Oxford and its famous university
- Seeing the Roman history of Bath
- Wandering round Stonehenge
There’s plenty to appeal to all kinds of travellers – whether you’re going on a road trip as a family, with friends, or for a romantic break. And remember, your route isn’t fixed. The beauty of a route trip is you can easily make amends to your adventure. In Great Britain, you’ll never be too far from the next attraction.
Where have you gone on a road trip? Share your suggestions, itineraries, and tips for road travel with us.
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