Tips For The Ultimate USA And Canada Road Trip

Tips For The Ultimate USA And Canada Road Trip
Image taken by Sheenie of Just Nice Things

Every time I think about a big holiday I’m always drawn to the idea of a road trip across the USA and Canada. I’m a huge fan of the countries and have been lucky enough to explore the countries a few times over the past decade although I’ve barely scratched the surface.

I did a three week tour around California and Vegas which was incredible, I’ve done East Coast tours taking in Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York alongside plenty of Canada such as Toronto, Quebec and Niagara Falls. But as you all know the country is absolutely huge so there’s so much to explore and even if I quit my job and permanently travelled around I doubt I’d see everything in my lifetime.

There’s so much I’d love to do such as the Rockies and polar bear spotting in Canada through to the national parks of America such as Death Valley, and of course, the deep south of New Orleans and Nashville are high on my list. I do think that a road trip is one of the best ways to explore a continent as large as North America with huge distances between destinations and where do you start when planning such a trip?!

This guide from Canadian Affair is a helpful look at how far away attractions are from the gateway airports in Canada such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto so you can easily pick where to start your road trip from.

driving in the desertPhoto taken by Yaya at My Dreamality

The most important thing to do is have a plan. Work out exactly where you want to visit and how far each place is from one another so you know whether you might need a night’s stop in the middle or whether it’s a journey you can plough through remembering to factor in time for food and petrol stops, alongside visiting attractions on the way. If you’re doing a road trip the last thing you want to do is too much driving and not enough exploring. Milly from Mini Adventures agrees “Give yourself extra time getting from place to place. The USA is packed with quirky little roadside attractions perfect to get a slice of retro Americana, and it’d be a shame to miss out on these super cool stops because you’re rushing to get to the next big city!”

Not everyone agrees with me about pre-booking accommodation though as Sarah from Tobygoesbananas says “have an idea where you want to go, and maybe book accommodation in major cities but half the fun of a road trip is finding places to stay, discovering local attractions and seeing where the road takes you.”

Image taken by Mellissa at Fly, Drive, Explore

When pre-planning your trip make sure you that you “space out when you fuel up. Gas stations can be far apart in distance and you need to be aware of the size of the tank and what your gas pumping points are going to be in advance” which is great advice from Yaya James as I’d never have considered that.

Clare from Challenge Clare has a great money-saving tip from her San Francisco to Las Vegas trip to “book independently and not through an agent to save a fortune. We did 15 nights, including car hire and 2 prebooked trips for £1300 each in the school summer hols.”

Melissa from The Diary of a Jewellery Lover talks about the choice of the vehicle “When choosing a road trip vehicle, it may seem glamorous to pick a car like a Mustang convertible but think about this twice. There won’t be any space in the boot, and if you have passengers in the back they will be spending the whole time with their hands over their ears like our son did when we rented one in Florida. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen, no one wants to get a sunburnt face! Something more practical would be an SUV or family saloon car.”

road trip

Regardless of what car you choose make sure the tech work as Fiona from Savvy in Somerset says “Make sure your Sat Nav charge lead works BEFORE you leave the hire car place. We didn’t realize ours wasn’t compatible with the car until several hours into our journey. Luckily my husband had a power bank that charged it up a bit but we ended up doing a big chunk of the journey without it, which coupled with horrendous bad weather made for an incredibly stressful 12 hour drive and was probably the worst day of our honeymoon overall (apart from driving through the Mojave which was INCREDIBLE!). My husband is a really confident driver but it’s really put him off driving in the USA again.”

Sat Nav will come in really important if you happen to be there during wildfire season as Kim Long remembers during a trip around Oregon “you need to keep track of that as we had to change our route one day.”

When you’re out on the road remember driving itself is slightly different as Emma Drew says “It feels really weird, but unless otherwise stated with a road sign, you can turn right on a red light if you are clear to go. Pedestrians will have right of way so bear that in mind.”

*This post has been written in collaboration with Canadian Affair but all thoughts and dreams of a road trip are my own
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21 Comments

  1. March 23, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    Brilliant tips here. We adore road trips and are planning another one to Canada and the US later this year

  2. March 23, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    My husband would love to do a road trip through the States , some great tips here. Food for thought.

  3. March 23, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Some fab tips here – I absolutely loved both road trips I did and would love to go back and do another one day.

  4. March 23, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    Great tips here! I’ve done a road trip from Vancouver to New Brunswick on the East coast, as well as another one from Vancouver to Southern California. Next I want to do Route 66!

  5. Komal
    March 23, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    I have always wanted to go to the Deep South. New Orleans and Nashville especially!

  6. March 23, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    These are great advice for those planning to go on a long distance travel on the road. I would love to take a road trip around America and discover new places there.

  7. March 23, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    What a useful and informative post with good advise from people who have experienced the trip. I would love to have the opportunity to do such a road trip.

  8. March 24, 2018 / 2:31 am

    I have got to revisit Canada. Just didnt have a great experience the first time!

  9. March 24, 2018 / 10:10 am

    I would love a good little road trip in US that would seem so fun with the right people. Having a plan as you said it’s really important, also for me because I have a personality where I need to have a plan and know what I’m doing beforehand. 🙂

  10. March 24, 2018 / 12:09 pm

    I have always dreamed of going on a road trip in the States! I’ll remember these if I ever get to go x

  11. March 24, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    I haven’t been in Canada. It’s funny because my sister is Canadian and she lives there. She has been urging me to visit. Great road trips!

  12. March 25, 2018 / 6:12 am

    Always love a road trip. Would love to do one over America some day!

  13. March 25, 2018 / 9:09 am

    For those planning long distance road trips this post is perfect. I am planning a road trip next year, so will revert to this.

  14. Leo T. Ly
    March 26, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    I live in Canada, but I have not done a cross country road trip before. This guide will definitely be useful when I plan my trip this summer.

  15. Chelsea
    March 26, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    I work for a car hire company and love hearing about my customers plans for road trips in the USA, they usually want a convertible Mustang. Life goals

  16. March 27, 2018 / 6:46 am

    I would love to do a road trip across the states. My dad did it in a motor home when I was a teen and we flew out to meet him at various locations. Was an amazing experience

  17. March 27, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    So much stuff here that I wouldn’t have even considered. Things like making sure your sat nav cable works – imagine the horror! I’m a bit of a wimp and I’m not sure I could go on a road trip in a foreign country and not know exactly where I’m staying that night, so I would definitely pre book!

  18. March 27, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    Ah my dream. We looked into Route 66 some years ago but then we had our son. I think I’d have to prebook our accommodation. I’d be too worried about sleeping in the car! A Canadian road trip would be amazing and great for photo ops I’m sure.

  19. March 28, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Amazing tips! I completely agree with you. Whenever I think of a big holiday I think of the US. I think it’s because, for us, it would be a once in a lifetime thing. 🙂

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