Thoughts On A Driving Holiday In The USA

22.August 2013

Our Journey

Being back in North America on a hiatus from the expat life has me thinking of about the car culture here. The wealth needed to own a private car has been around in USA since the start of the automobile age. The space between places of interest are greater than most places in the world, this has lead to high personal car use for holidays. The flip side of this is either poor or expensive public transportation options for visitors from outside of USA. With all of the infrastructure to support people driving on holiday, one can’t really play along with a car. Good news for travellers from abroad is the existence of excellent online tools for finding car rentals in the USA.

Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann

Because driving is so ingrained in the culture, one doesn’t have to look very far to find driving guidebooks, lists of must see routes, stories from road trips or planning tools. Depending on how long a visitor plans to spend driving in either time or distance having access to the American Automobile Association may be a good idea. The AAA has reciprocal arrangements with many Automobile Associations around the world. Joining in your home country before the holiday or even before planning may give you access to the seemingly endless supply of information and planning tools. Be sure to check with what level of support has been arranged between your home association, it is not equal for all countries. Minimally, you should be able to access the roadside assistance network should give you piece of mind after watching one too many Hollywood horror movies. Scary stories are usually just that, scary stories. Something that a third cousin heard in the line at the store while buying bread. Nothing to worry about.

Photo Credit: Madison Guy

What a road trip really needs is a sound track. No lugging a box of mixed tapes or CD’s around. Load the iPod up and put together some classic driving tunes. If you are heading to anywhere flat, I recommend some Johnny Cash to tap into the American spirit. Blues for anywhere the Mississippi River has an influence. Some 80’s hair band for Southern California and get progressively more mellow as you drive north. Avoid catering to children’s music, give the little ones a bonding between good American classics and the scenery outside the window. This a perfect time to imprint a great association between the music and trip memories.

Photo Credit: “Caveman Chuck” Coker

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