Ever since it’s completion  in 1938, the Route 66 highway has been a truly amazing road for travelers who want to see some genuine American culture. Although its main purpose was to transport people between Chicago and Los Angeles, over time the astounding scenery and beautiful out-of-the-way towns along its winding path have made it far more than your average road. In fact, many British people fly to the U.S every year, just to experience the thrill of driving through the open country on Route 66.

So, if you’re considering taking a couple of weeks off work and spending them cruising down one of the most famous highways on the entire planet, you’ll probably want to know some details about what you might encounter, and how is best to plan your journey. Well, luckily for you I’ve been there, so sit back, relax, and learn from my experience.

Things You’ll Definitely Need

Although a reliable vehicle, some food, and a couple of petrol cans are all that would have been advised in the past, we’re now living in a very different world, so a laptop with internet connection should be considered essential. It’s true that there are literally hundreds of towns along the route, but it’s also true that you’ll encounter many long stretches of road in areas that are completely unoccupied. So, being able to alert the outside world to your whereabouts is paramount, should you encounter any engine trouble etc.

Planning Your Journey

You could go all out and plan your entire journey using some hi tech transportation management software, but you’ll probably find that a simple sat nav will suffice. In fact, being as you’ve got your laptop (and probably a smartphone as well), these should be enough to keep you on track.

Just remember to look at all the different attractions available before leaving home. Although Route 66 sounds like a single highway, in fact, there are quite a few different stop off roads along the way, so planning ahead will mean you don’t miss out on anything interesting.

I’d advise that you visit the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton and Mojave National Preserve in Nipton, California if you really want to see some cool things. That said, don’t avoid some of the smaller attractions along the way, as that’s where you’ll probably find the most obscure sights and activities.

Staying Safe

As with any long road trip it’s always sensible to get your car checked by a reputable mechanic before you set off. Make sure you ask the mechanic if he thinks the car is likely to make the full journey, as his opinion will probably be the most valuable. Also, as I mentioned previously, ensure you’ve got a couple of cans of spare petrol in the boot in case you break down in the middle of nowhere, as this will help you to avoid long walks to find a filling station.

So there you have it my Americaphile friends. Hopefully now you’ll be in a better position to plan, and enjoy your jaunt down Route 66. Just remember to get some classic U.S rock tunes for your radio, as you might as well go the whole hog eh?

Image came from Flickr

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