USA road trip information
This posting is just a little recap on our road trip. For anyone out there who is contemplating an extended road trip in the USA we would encourage you to do so and maybe this Info might come in handy.
Sleeping n’ Eating
America is a fascinating, diverse and beautiful country. Her people are warm and friendly and show a genuine interest in where you’re from and why you are there in their town, particularly in the mid west states. It is very affordable unless you want to stay in high end hotels, but that runs true in any country when you think about it. The run of the mill hotel and motel chains are more than adequate. The majority of properties we stayed in offered complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi, an iron, small fridge and microwave oven in the room which then allows you the choice of eating in or out.
Every couple of days we sought out accommodation which also offered laundry facilities. For about $ 1.25 per load you could wash and dry without having to find the local laundromat downtown. Some chains such as the Extended Stay America offer full cooking facilities in their rooms ie cooktops and ovens including all utensils. So all you have to do is just trot down to the local supermarket, buy your goodies and whip up a home cooked meal back at the hacienda. The four photos below were taken in the bank in West Yellowstone
The hotel/motel chains that we stayed in were : AmericInns, Days Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Extended Stay America, Comfort Suites and quite a few others that were not part of a chain. Most of the name brand chains had a 4pm check-in with free cancellation up till 6pm. Trip Advisor is a very valuable tool when looking for somewhere to bunk down for the night.
If like us, you crave the odd bbq during your travels, fear not. The majority of town parks and all the national parks we visited offered picnic areas with tables, chairs and bbqs. All you need is to supply your own charcoal. We became pretty self sufficent in the eating department and to make our outdoor cooking easier we popped into Wal-Mart and bought a few good quality basic essentials including a small bbq hot plate as all the park bbq’s are the grill type, a chopping board, and an esky on wheels which made for easy transfers from the car to the bbq or into the room at the end of the day.We love our bar-b’s so none of that cost went to waste. Ice was available at no cost in most places we stayed or for a small fee from gas stations or convenience stores.
Getting around & left v’s right
Many foreigners are worried about driving “on the other side “Well yes it takes a bit of concentration at first, but pretty soon you get the hang of it and then you start to wonder why you were worried at all in the first place. We tended to avoid the freeways where possible, preferring to take the local roads which allow you to see the smaller towns and a lot more of the countryside. Renting a car is easy, there are heaps of companies around. We choose Budget and took a Ford Explorer on a one way rental from Richmond Virginia airport to Portland Oregon airport with free mileage and insurance which was covered by our Visa card. During our 10 week trip we drove over 9,000 miles through 16 states including 5 days in Canada. Travelling those sort of distances you really need the free mileage option.
We used our iPad for navigation. Ours has a inbuilt GPS and we also put an AT&T sim card in it for wi-fi access while driving. As for paper maps, each states’ visitor centre willing hand over maps and brochures for their state. We also got maps from AAA which covered every state we were panning to visit plus others that we didn’t make it to. Lonely Planet USA and the internet were both great sources of info also.
So that about wraps up the info on the trip apart from what I covered in the earlier posts. If you need more details feel free to contact us.
The next few postings will be covering our time when we got back Guatemala and then on to Belize and Mexico before sailing north again to Florida.
Just a few more interesting photos to ponder over…….