Driving Route 66 is on our bucket list, and last year we decided 2014 was the year we would do it. Since then it seems the road trip has become the latest trend.
Over the next 16 days we will be staying in Chicago, St Louis, Springfield, Oklahoma, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff/Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Most accommodation we booked using Airbnb which means we get to meet local people all the way, hopefully see what it's like from a non-tourist perspective and stay in great places for less. In a couple of towns we couldn't find anything that took our fancy so we opted for a good location instead and booked a Holiday Inn or Hilton Express.
Part of our toolkit is a Rand Mcnally USA Road Atlas, TomTom SatNav loaded with USA maps, and an ebook version of Road Trip USA Route 66 by Jamie Jensen which points out places on route. Plus of course a folder of notes and confirmations.
We have pre-booked a 4 wheel drive mid-sized SUV, as from advice on the forums this looked like the best idea. We chose one that did 29 miles per gallon, the most they seem to offer. As we will be dropping it back at a different location to pick-up it was important to check the fee for that as they vary a lot.
We have also booked a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon and a Las Vegas show, because it was so much easier doing the research at home and booking it now so we won't disappointed.
Now we are less than one day away from leaving, we are checked in online with Virgin Atlantic and we have bought No.1 Traveller's VIP package and lounge access to speed us through the airport – we hope for a stress-free start to our journey!
Last night we set about packing, using our main USA packing list plus considering the different temperatures and types of experiences we will have. We still managed to pack our main clothes for two people in just one check-in case, reserving a small second bag for our walking boots and jackets which we will need hiking around the Grand Canyon. We both popped in an extra jumper and I added a couple of extra plain white t-shirts, but that really was all. The extras checklist is also a huge help.
So, all set and ready to go, we think (and yes, we downloaded the Rolling Stones version of Route 66!).
Written by Helen