That’s why I wanted to research on the most useful tips to nail Route 66, so you start to taste a little bit of the main street of America right now. Awareness and information are key when it comes to embarking in this kind of crazy/amazing trip.
Facts to keep in mind when planning the itinerary
It’s a coast-to-coast sort of trip (exactly from Chicago to Los Angeles), so there will quite a lot of road involved. You have to be prepared for that. The destinations or places you’ll stop in are not that important, actually. What it will take over your days, will be driving and driving, concretely around 2 or 3 weeks, which is the average timing to cross it.
Keep in mind that the United States are incredibly huge and traveling as a “normal tourist” will not make you know all the awesome contrasts you can find from Chicago to Los Angeles, especially how people from the deep America live every day, the breathtaking landscapes and natural parks or the legendary villages full of history.
You also have to know that Route 66 itself doesn’t exist. You can’t look for it in the GPS as one single route, so you have to keep in hand a map with your stops indicated, which you can easily look for in a guide. It’s just about choosing the stops you want to make and custom your itinerary.
It would be useful to plan a list with the starting points and directions you’re going to travel to in every state, as well as the places to sleep and eat.This way, if you have marked what your destinations are and where you’re heading exactly, there will be much less chances to get lost.
Recommendations: For deeper information before traveling, in Driving Route 66, you will find the most common questions travelers ask when starting to plan this lifetime trip.
For planning the budget saving as much as possible, Monster Piggy Bank gives you the details to do so.
DURING THE TRIP
When getting in the actual villages and towns, the most enriching thing to do will be heading to the interest points and talk to the locals. Not just you’ll be able to learn a lot about the people that devote themselves to this magical route, but you’ll learn a lot of really useful stories to make your trip way better.
Once you’ve already planned what you’re going to visit, asking at what time these interest points open and close can be a wise thing to do, so you don’t find yourself with your plan ruined at 5 in the afternoon.
You’ll also want to know when the sunrise and sunset occur in every destination, always keeping in mind that in the US you have time switches because of the long distances between one state to another.
As I said before, you’ll spend a lot of hours just driving with nothing else to see than plain roads. So the most intelligent way of planning your visits is to combine the actual stops of the Route 66 with seeing other bigger cities, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco.
It would be a good idea to take one day off just to get to know Chicago, a spectacular metropole that you won’t be able to visit in one day. You can make some exceptions in order to get out of the everyday driving routine.
Recommendations: If you want to acknowledge the highlights of every state you can visit, Roadtrippers gives them to you all summed up.
However, 10 Best talks to you about the best spots you will find on the road. All of them are a MUST!
Eating and Sleeping
When it comes to the everyday life, it would be wise to eat and sleep in the road, where diners and hostels are much more affordable. Try to avoid big cities: restaurants or hotels in Los Angeles or San Francisco can totally disrupt your budget.
Alternatives like renting a van that allows you to literally sleep in the road can make you quite some money, that can be spent in other visits or spending more days traveling. Yes to nomad life! This is not the most traditional way, but it totally works.
For eating, easy! A portable cooler can solve all your problems. Buy food in the supermarket and try as much as you can to prepare your own meals. Not only will they be healthier, but they will last longer and save some cash.
Source: Foto Community
Recommendations: If you want an already planned trip, Moon has done it for you, with pictures, destinations and miles traveled per day.
For more accurate info about where to eat, Travel Channel has a complete list of the spots to head. Having these kind of lists
And this last list from Route 66 News is for those of you who decide to actually fulfill your trip on a Van or RV: You can find a lot of campgrounds to spend your adventurous nights.
Source: Gardiner FCU