- March 28th 2012
Why limit yourself? You won’t just find amazing road trips within the lower 48 states. Grab some plane tickets, get a rental car and start adventuring with these five road trips – from Vietnam to Italy – to take before you die.
Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
The Hai Van Pass, a 13-mile (21-kilometer) stretch in Vietnam acts a boundary between the north and south portions of the country. Fortifications built by the French are scattered along the way, and the BBC television show “Top Gear” called it “a deserted ribbon of perfection – one of the best coast roads in the world.”
Seward, AK to Denali National Park
Courtesy Unhindered by Talent
Seward Highway often shows up in lists of great American road trips, and it’s easy to see why. Start out in the small town of Seward (population 3,000) and take in the scenery as you drive 127-miles (204-kilometers) north to Alaska’s largest city, where you can rest up in a variety of Anchorage hotels. That also brings you to the end of Seward Highway, but if you continue north to George Parks Highway, you’ll eventually find your way into Denali National Park. Here you’ll encounter the highest peak in North America: Mount McKinley. Read more »
- July 28th 2011
Which are the best cars for road trips? Guest poster Sean Gray gives us his picks.
Comfort, features, and fuel efficiency were among the factors considered in creating this list of the best cars for road trips. Check out the choices by category.
Compact– Honda Fit
Four people and their luggage can fit inside the Honda Fit. However, if it’s a trip for two, there is an even better reason to take the Fit. Because its fuel tank is under the front seat, the back seats can fold flat, providing more cubic cargo space than the Chevy Suburban SUV. So if you’re packing a lot of luggage the Honda fit may be your best when choosing a rent a car.
Sports Car– Chevrolet Corvette
Sometimes a road trip requires a fun car to drive, and the Chevrolet Corvette delivers. The car is equipped with the added perk of fuel efficiency. The Corvette also comes as a convertible or as a coupe with a removable roof. The added feature of the car being convertible is extremely useful, as it is perfect for sightseeing. Furthermore, if you’re one who loves speed this car will amaze you. The car comes stock with a 6.2 Liter V-8 engine. As you can see the Corvette is a perfect ride for sightseeing, and enjoying your trip.
Hybrid– Toyota Prius
With recent improvements in seat comfort and noise, the Prius has gotten even better over the years. Of course, the big advantage of the Prius is that it won’t run out of gas for up to 545 miles. Additionally the car is simply fuel efficient saving you time, and also money. Fewer pit stops results in a quicker trip, and you getting to your destination faster.
SUV– Volkswagen Touareg
Luxury is an understatement when describing the interior. The 2011 model even has heated rear reclining seats. If comfort isn’t enough, the Touareg handles well in both on and off-road situations which also makes it a great road trip choice.
Minivan– Toyota Sienna
The Sienna is packed with so many features that you may forget you are inside a vehicle. DVD entertainment and household-style outlets are just a couple of ways the Toyota Sienna XLE makes you feel at home on the road. Side sun-shades are a nice bonus if passengers want to snooze, or just stay out of the sun. Furthermore, the Sienna is roomy, and able to fit the whole family. The van also has automatic powered sliding doors, which is very handicap accessible.
Station Wagon– Volvo V70
If the trip includes kids and pets, the Volvo V70 is a great choice. Not only is there plenty of room for everyone and the luggage, but the seats are also comfortable. Two added benefits are that there is a big gas tank and good fuel efficiency. This results in you being able to stay on the road longer, and only stopping where you find necessary.
If road trips are on your summer to-do list, use your cash on these cars to make the trips easier and more fun. Truly though the choice in car is solely up to you, so do what’s best for you and your family.
For more on road trips, check out:
- June 30th 2011
On the Road is the name of one of novelist Jack Kerouac’s most notable works. A largely autobiographical work, On the Road is heavily based upon Kerouac’s real life road trips that he and his friends took across the United States in the 1950s. The two most important characters in the book, Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, are based upon Jack Kerouac and his good friend Neal Cassady respectively.
Many people have read On the Road and have been greatly inspired by it to take their own road trips. You may go so far as to base your road trip on the book, taking destinations and trip ideas from Sal and Dean. However, there’s no need to go all the way – Sal and Dean aren’t exactly the greatest role models all the time. Here are some tips on how to choose your road trip inspiration from On the Road carefully.
One thing that you definitely want to snag from the book is the enthusiasm for the road trip. Wanderlust is the name of the game and Dean’s definitely got the right attitude when he says, “I just wanta ride, man! I gotta go!” Your motivation for taking a road trip should stem from a desire to travel and see the world, to stretch out restless legs and spread your wings. You should not be embarking upon a road trip like Dean because you stole five hundred cars and desperately need to get out of town.
As Sal and Dean discover, a great way to save money on a road trip is to drive a car cross country for another person. In the book, that’s how Sal and Dean come to drive a ’47 Cadillac limousine from Denver to Chicago. However, let that be the extent of your inspiration – Sal and Dean mess up the Cadillac so badly that by the time they arrive at their destination, the car cannot be recognized by its owner.
Unless you want to drive on an empty stomach, you’ll need to stock up on food for your road trip. A law abiding individual will pay for said food, while people like Sal grab the food and run out the grocery store door while the owners are looking the other way. Maybe Sal could get away with that sort of thing in the 1950s, but today everything would be captured on closed-circuit cameras and the odds of you making a clean getaway are slim.
Even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s a good idea to maintain a legal speed. First of all, you never know where a cop may be lurking, just waiting to give you a ticket. More importantly, keeping to posted speed limits will increase your chances of coming out of this road trip alive. Dean chose to live on the wild side and drive so fast that he ended up driving into a ditch and wrecking his fender.
- April 28th 2011
This is a guest post by Phil Lastup
Going on a road trip is often fun for at least the first hour. After that pivotal, crucial point, things start to take a turn for the worst. The kids get bored, people get hungry and the scenery ceases to wow or create any sense of enjoyment. On a recent road trip, I learned very quickly how to make the most of our time on the open road.
A friend of mine and I were planning a road trip this winter while she was in town on break from law school in Massachusetts, and even though our end destination was a Las Vegas resort, I knew we could make the trip there at least as exciting as the partying and gambling that awaited us in Sin City.
I’ve been taking road trips since the time I turned 16, making me feel like I’m uniquely qualified to speak about what makes or breaks the experience. If you’re planning on taking a road trip of your own, maximize the experience by focusing on the three most important elements listed below.
The number one tip that I have found to guarantee a good road trip is to remember that the cooler is your friend! Before you leave, pack a cooler full of drinks, snacks and treats. I like to make some fresh, homemade lemonade and put it in reusable water bottles to keep everyone hydrated on the road. My favorite snacks to pack are apples, bananas, trail mix, baked potato chips, popcorn, beef jerky and dried fruit.
By making sure that everyone in the car has food if they get hungry, we save money and time by not having to stop every 15 minutes to satisfy a craving.
In addition to making sure you have plenty of food to quiet rumbling bellies, it is also important to supply some entertainment. No one wants to play the “license plate game” for more than five minutes, so it’s important to come up with some creative games and entertainment to keep the car alive. One thing that I love to do is to take a bunch of songs, remove the words with an editing tool so it’s just the music and make a CD of the songs. We play it in the car and play a game to see who can guess the song correctly first!
Another great way to make road trips more fun is to have everyone in the car, except the driver, document the journey. Have a bucket filled with documenting utensils such as disposable cameras, journals, pens, paper, stickers, etc. Encourage everyone to document the things that stick out to them, and when you return home, everyone makes a little representation of the trip and it is so fun to see what everybody comes up with!
With a little creativity and planning, road trips can be among the best trips you ever take!
- April 27th 2011
This might not be the best thing to read before tomorrow’s guest post on road trips, but it seems that life on the road is not without its risks – health risks. A recent report in the Journal of Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine studied data on 13,000 business travelers and found that most of those described their health as fair or poor. Their cholesterol and blood pressure numbers aren’t great and they are more likely to be obese, thanks to lots of time spent sitting in meetings, a lack of sleep and poor nutrition. More on this story here:
If you spend a lot of time on the road and are wondering how to improve your health, then check out these tips on staying healthy on the road.