Source: Free-Photos on Pixabay
Road trips are always an amazing idea for those who have a little extra time on their hands and want to explore more of a country or region without having to spend money on flights. Once you get to a place like the United States or Canada, with its wide open roads, ample opportunities for road tripping and campsites galore, you can cut costs dramatically by taking to the road in a campervan or similar. You can grab a cheap flight with Justfly to the likes of Chicago if you want to experience the ultimate road trip through the US – the historic Route 66. Sound like something you want in on? Check out this ultimate road trip guide to hitting the highway on this amazing route and what you should prepare for.
Back To Basics
So you’ve decided to do Route 66 for your holiday. Congrats! You’ve taken the first step to creating an amazing adventure and building memories that will keep you company for decades to come. The first thing you will want to do is to find a company to rent a car or RV from – ideally one with offices in both Los Angeles and Chicago so you can drop the rental at the same company on the other side of the country. Sometimes you can get a great deal if you do this as well because you might find that the company has a California registered RV sitting in their Chicago yard that needs taking back to LA, so they sometimes give you a great deal on these vehicles as it saves them having to get one of their colleagues to drive it all the way back.
The next thing you will want to do is to load up your RV with essentials – shampoo, conditioner, soap, water, extra gas for both stove and vehicle and some food as well. Don’t worry too much about things like food though as there will be lots of places to stop along the way. Definitely get a couple things for the first few days though so you don’t have to worry if you can’t find something along the way at first.
Stops To Make
Route 66 makes its way from Illinois all the way to Los Angeles, spanning some 2400 miles across eight states, making it one of the ultimate trips to do for those who like travelling. While the route can be done in about two weeks, that would be a very quick run and require you to leave out a lot of things along the way. The states that Route 66 goes through will give you a good idea as to places you should consider stopping off at, with Arizona, New Mexico and California being some of the most popular. The other states include Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Missouri. There’s a lot to see along this route – so you should definitely plan your itinerary accordingly!
Top Places To Stop
There are some seriously cool places to stop to sightsee and explore along the route, but many places close at different hours, so be sure to look ahead and check out opening and closing times of specific sights or attractions you want to include. Some of the top stops that many people make include the following:
Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield, Illinois
This cute little diner says it all about some of the stops along the route. With crazy, interesting and historical memorabilia all over the walls and fifties-esque seating booths, this fantastic eatery claims to have invented the corn dog here in the 40s. While you can argue that fact, the one thing you can’t argue about is the way they celebrate hot dogs on a stick, so definitely make time to drop in on your way west.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Everyone knows about the Grand Canyon, and if you don’t, you should. This unique example of geological evolution is a hot tourist spot for many, regardless of whether they’re doing the famed Route 66 or not. Come to see some seriously impressive examples of how the Colorado River has carved out a colossal canyon over millions of years. Great hiking.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the Wild West but without all the danger and disease, this is the ideal place to do so. Seligman claims to be the birthplace of Route 66, so it’s worth a visit. While a lot of the town seems like a tourist attraction, there’s actually a lot of working cattle ranches and real life in the area. Want something unique? Check out the Road Kill Cafe.
Cadillac Ranch, Texas
Made famous by songs and other popular culture, this crazily strange but interesting public art display is a must see along the route. Colourfully painted Cadillac cars stand on their heads and make for a really cool photo opportunity for anyone who likes the weird, random and wonderful.
Meramec Caverns. Missouri
Deep beneath the Ozark Mountains is Meramec Caverns, a really interesting display of stalagmites, stalactites and a cavern experience you won’t soon forget. Being one of the deepest and longest cavern systems in the world, the Meramec Caverns really stand out and provide visitors with unique and interesting background information about the formation of such caverns. A guided tour is available.
So if you’ve always had a bit of a thing for road trips, consider taking one down Route 66. You really won’t be disappointed in the distance to cover, the things to see throughout and the options for food, accommodation and general entertainment. Enjoy!