I enjoyed last week's selection of great drives (Top ten road trips, May 23) but I wanted more information on how to plan a holiday to the US, which seems to have the most to offer in terms of driving holiday.
Start with Route 66
I enjoyed last week's selection of great drives (Top ten road trips, May 23) but I wanted more information on how to plan a holiday to the US, which seems to have the most to offer in terms of driving holidays. Are there any companies or websites you could recommend? There are endless opportunities for driving in the US, and I believe it's still the best way to see the country. If you are planning a non-circular route, you may find it worthwhile to fly into one city and out of another, as most car hire firms will allow you to drop the car off in another location.
Many companies offer fly-drive holidays of five to15 days, which provide you with a suggested itinerary, a car and accommodation along the route. These companies include Trailfinders (www.trailfinders.com), Travelpack (www.travelpack.co.uk) and North American Highways (www.northamericanhighways.co.uk). However, given how easy it is to hire a car and drive in the US, I would recommend an independent trip. With a little planning you should be able to plan a rough itinerary that gives you enough flexibility to chop and change your trip to explore unexpected places. If you use chain motels such as Motel 6 (www.motel6.com) you know there will usually be a reasonable standard of accommodation within reach.
Combining a driving holiday with a camping holiday, making the most of America's excellent selection of campsites, would give you the most flexibility, although it's best to do this during the temperate summer months. Many individual states offer details on scenic drives through their tourism websites - see www.traveloregon.com as an example - but one of the best sources of information on roads in the States is www.byways.org, which gives a very comprehensive round-up of the thousands of spectacular drives available around the country. It has an interactive map which allows you to click on the part of the US you want to visit or simply browse through its A to Z list of routes. Each section comes complete with photographs and information on points of interest; there are also features on the history of particular areas and additional seasonal features such as "swimming, surfing and sailing on America's byways". The interactive part of the site includes traveller's tales, a podcast and news items.
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