The world’s best road trips offer a fabulous opportunity for those seeking to make fresh connections with new environments and to see incredible landscapes. A driving vacation can deliver real freedom and flexibility, something that is not always found on other trips, and there is always a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipation, as the epic adventure gets under way.
Driving around the world
With the knowledge that an increasing number of travel options are available across the globe, and there is now easy access to cheap car rentals abroad, the opportunities to take a driving vacation in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand have never been more appealing.
Of course, the classic US road trip along Route 66 still attracts a great deal of interest and attention. The ‘Mother Road’ has gained many nicknames over the decades, seen many alterations and remains a favorite today as enthusiasts work to restore some of the most important historic buildings that line parts of the original road. This ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, via Missouri and Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma and close to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon – a distance of 2,448 miles. Remaining parts of it still wind through many dramatic landscapes as it bypasses the major cities.
If Europe is a preferred destination, Italy has one of some of the most beautiful driving routes of all. A scenic trip alongside Lake Como or Lake Garda is peaceful and exotic, while a drive among rolling hills to the dramatic Amalfi coastline brings deep blue waters and picturesque villages. The route from Tuscany to Portofino has wonderful views of vineyards and villages with medieval architecture, and a diversion to Florence will yield a sumptuous feast of art treasures, and ornate historic buildings that are famous the world over.
While there are several European countries with mountainous roads, especially Switzerland, Austria and Germany, those who like a driving vacation with a touch of adventure really will get their adrenaline going on a vacation in northern India. The Leh-Manali Highway is only open between June and September, as there are dangers from landslides and snow often blocks the road throughout the rest of the year. The route is 298 miles long and climbs between sensational mountain passes at an average elevation of 13,000 feet. Local villages and towns provide convenient places for an overnight stop and the Buddhist monasteries in, for example, Lamayuru and Hemis are definitely worth a visit.
Staying in control
One of the best things about a driving vacation is the freedom to make choices about where to go and what to do, to change direction, and to eat and sleep, more or less, when and where it suits. Key parts of the vacation can be planned before setting off, and being in possession of relevant local information is important and courteous when visiting another country, but once on the road you can be more flexible and alter the itinerary if required.
A driving vacation needs a budget like any other, so checking up on gas prices and the location of gas stations beforehand is important. Using cheap car rentals means there is an opportunity to select the right size vehicle for your party and one that is economical in terms of fuel consumption, making a road trip adventure a great option for a vacation.