Okay so I’ve been SUPER lazy at blogging this adventure but I’ve been getting so many messages asking about road tripping in America that I knew I had to do a blog post to send people over to! Here’s everything you need to know (well,everything we know anyways) on road tripping through America.
You’re probably thinking, what do I know? We’re from the UK, why wouldn’t you just ask some American about how to travel their own country!?And sure, you could do. But I know 90% of any American that we’ve ever met has told us we’ve seen more of America than they have, so I’d say we know a fair bit. We’ve covered 47 states as a couple, 5 of them as a family. We’ve been to almost every famous landmark in America, and quite honestly it’s one of our favourite places to go in the world. Which is SO hard to pinpoint our favourite place because everywhere is so different and amazing in their own right, but we really do love America.
So the three states we HAVEN’T been to are Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska (damn you Alaska for being so far away!). We have done a total of 4 road trips, totalling 13 weeks in America. Driving is America is incredible easy and addictive! I’ve included a little map that is clearly very professional and took me hours to do. Please do not save the image…or else.
So you can pretty much see all the different routes we’ve taken. The green one, once we ended up in San Fran we flew to Hawaii for a week then back over to New York for a week. (That was our honeymoon!). On each of those trips we didn’t expect to cover half of what we end up covering, this is why we NEVER book hotels, we would hate to feel restricted and that would take the fun out of it for us, we love not knowing where we’ll end up, what hidden gems we’ll find off the beaten track.
So probably half the reason Americans don’t travel everywhere in the US is because a lot of the states are pretty, well, boring! North and South Dakota was not fun at all, we saw nothing for hours. But then the next day you’ll be surrounded by mountains, cool cities, amazing theme parks (Cedar Point :O and all the six flags)
I would say the blue trip was one of the worst (but not bad!), and I think thats just because we went through so many states where there is little one main road throughout and you see absolutely nothing, it wasn’t awful though because we also saw Chicago, Niagara Falls, Upstate New York, all the pretty little towns in Boston, Vermont and Maine. So yeah, it was still amazing, but not the BEST. (Loads of must sees on that trip though)
Then the Pink trip was pretty average, we had actually only planned on spending two weeks in Florida, doing all the theme parks and making it more of a ‘chilled’ trip. But because we went in December, the parks were dead and we finished all the theme parks within a week. Leaving a week spare to do a road trip. We had already visited Miami during the first week to watch a basketball game which was brilliant, also visiting south beach whilst we were there. But then we just started driving on the second week, thought wed head to New Orleans and back maybe, but then we just kept going and going, I really loved the French Quarter in New orleans and Nashville, Tennessee. We saw the odd cool little towns which was fun to visit but we didn’t see a whole lot that you have to put on a bucket list.
So the red a green trip is by far our favourite trips and everyone HAS to visit these places at least once in their lives. It’s a real toss up between the two, we can’t decide which we prefer. Every single state is completely different, California is just incredible – if you only have time to visit just one state I’d probably go there, to visit the beaches and national parks. Our favourite places are Vegas, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone, ALL the national parks in Utah ❤ Grand Canyon and i’m not sure i can pin point one place in Colorado but a drive through the state is just mind blowing!
Hiring a car in America is super easy and a great way of travel, fuel is crazy cheap there too. We try as much a possible to return the car back to the same state as the drop off fee to a different state can jack up the price pretty high. We have then hired out car seats through the rental company, although you can bring your own through extra luggage but I personally wouldn’t want to risk them being thrown around. Now when we were given the car seats the were in great condition however they didn’t come fitted in the car and that was down to me to fit, which I had NO clue how to do. After asking their staff for help, they wouldn’t give me any advice because they didn’t want to be held liable (massive eye roll). So I then headed back down to the main offices of car rentals and approached strangers with children (total weirdo) and asked if they would mind helping or at least guiding us! I found this one lady that was more than happy to help, she was happy to help us out instantly and I was very happy with how secure they were. Now this situation wasn’t ideal, worst case scenario I was going to find the nearest ‘Toys R Us” (although don’t follow that advice because they are now closing down HA) for them to help us fit it in safely.
We always pick up a large cool box at the begging of our road trips to chuck in the boot, we then top it up with ice at every gas station. Then we keep supplies up (especially with kids), like lots of fruit, drinks, milk (for breakfast), sandwich fillings. We then have cereal, bread and bits that can help keep costings down for breakfast and lunch. We found this stash essential for road tripping with kiddies because during the longer drives we needed to entertain and distract them long enough to reach the next destination.
I have blogged about how we manage longer drives with kids before but just quickly, we always head off for our drives about half hour before their getting tired, luckily our kids aren’t used to the hot weather so when were abroad they do still nap because of the heat. (even our 3 year old). We will then drive which will send them off to sleep for minimum of an hour to maybe 2/3 hours for the youngest (2 years old). then we know we have about 45 min/1 hour after the youngest has woken until we need to stop. The eldest will happily watch movies during the times we need to drag out driving time. We will try and only do one big drive during each day and then maybe go for a couple 1 hour drives at the beginning or at the end of the day to reach a destination.
So yeah, I hope i’ve been able to answer some questions you might of had. If you have ANY questions about travelling to America and need help then please just message me. I love to chat with you all 😀
We are heading back to San Diego July this year to visit friends which we CANNOT wait. If you’re going to be there we’d love to meet you. Give us a holler.
Peace and love! The English’s