The Great American Road Trip
The American love affair with the automobile is still going strong. There’s a romance to the idea of the road trip. It’s become a cottage industry of its own these days with pre-planned tours and stops. These tours tend to lack authenticity so it’s better to stick to the old way of doing it, off the cuff and on your own. After all, freedom is what America stands for. This is your opportunity to join the story of the great American road trip.
One of the first pieces of advice to consider is avoiding Route 66. It was decommissioned years ago and while some pieces of this road still remain, it is extremely commercialized and will not offer the experience you are looking for. If you want to see the wide open roads, diners, and motels of the US highway system, you’re better off planning your trip through some of the less famous highways. There are still routes that cross the country, but they don’t have recognizable names. These are the roads you want to aim for if you’re looking for the authentic experience.
When it comes time to stop for food or rest, try to focus entirely on family-owned businesses. Look for roadhouses and dive bars along the way so you are able to see what life is like for people who still live on the road today. Truck stops can be extremely convenient and helpful. They are far more modern now and offer much more than the usual convenience store fare, including showers and other amenities useful for road warriors.
Long-haul road trips are not for everyone. Several hours in a vehicle is not an ideal situation for many people. Remember to bring along enough music to get you through or download podcasts. As beautiful as the views are going to be, boredom is a reality of the road. Snacks like licorice can also help mitigate the long hours spent at the wheel. Highway hypnosis is a real thing and you need to be vigilant against it.
It’s also important that you know a little bit about car maintenance in case of trouble. If you don’t know how to change a tire or check your oil, now is the time to learn before you get on the road and find yourself alone on a highway somewhere. For newcomers to road trips of this kind it would also be beneficial to have a membership to AAA or a similar organization in case you find yourself in trouble on the road. You can also refinance a car loan with bad credit if you will need to replace your vehicle after a mishap on the highway.
The American road trip is one of our greatest treasures. Everyone should try it at least once in their lives. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that life on the road is for you, and you can join the long history of drifters, truckers, and travelers who have made the highway their home.