What’s better than a road trip for a healthy dose of escapism?
In fact, think of it as your hero’s journey where you step out of your ordinary life into an adventurous experience and enter your ordinary life once again as a new person.
But how do you make sure that your road trip is a memorable movie-like experience rather than just, well, a plain bad one? The answer is simple. You’ll have to do some work and hit that fine balance of planning and spontaneity.
Whether it’s the hostels you are going to stay in while backpacking through Europe or the spots you will visit on your next trip to Japan, you have to research and plan!
To help you with the researching part, here’s a list of top 10 places to explore by a road trip:
The Leh-Ladakh route via Manali is easily every biker’s dream with its gorgeous yet thrilling roads which consists of the highest motorable passes in the world. This 476 km route has everything that you would expect from a memorable road trip – from snowcapped mountains to challenging roads with insane bends.
Here are the places that you absolutely MUST visit here:
While these are the highlights, and you might have to make a slight detour or two to visit them, the route itself is full of natural wonder including lakes, valleys, villages, monasteries, temples, and moore plains.
Further, the roadside dhabas, local cuisine, flora, and fauna, and its rich culture will definitely make you fall in love with it.
Visit Hokkaido in Spring and Autumn to experience its full beauty.
The traffic-free wide roads make up for a laidback road trip experience which coupled with its whimsical beauty, stunning coastal and mountain views almost make the setting fairy-tale like.
For a short trip, we would recommend making Shikotsu- Toya National Park your starting point. Here, you can enjoy the Shikotsu and Toya lake. Then, move towards the scenic Shakotan Peninsula. To experience the famous carpet of lavenders in full bloom head towards the farms in Furano.
Other highlights along the route are:
Tokachigawa Onsen – a moor spring heated by peats, famous for its moisture retention.
Akan National Park – three lakes, and a famous campsite.
Asahiyama Zoo – Observe Japan’s fauna through the unique glass domes.
Tailored for your road trips, Lille is located between the three main tourist hubs – London, Paris, Brussels, and linked by all the major roads. It is the perfect place to experience the local culture of France with its stunning historical architecture, frequent cultural events and festivals, flea markets (as well as fashion boutiques by local designers), and a myriad of typical French cafes and terraces.
Some of the highlights that you should definitely check out are:
Andalusia is an autonomous community in Spain, and unlike Lille, it’s not on the list for its connectivity or as a single stop on your road trip but with 17.3 percent of the territory of Spain if you had to choose a region for a single road trip to experience the whole of Spain – this is it!
Why choose Andalusia for your Spanish road trip? Here’s the tea:
Its rich art scene (Pablo Picasso Museum), cultural festivals ( Semana Santa), sunny weather, Spanish food, and the dynamic nightlife further makes it an obvious choice!
For nature’s awe-inspiring beauty and Norwegian wilderness and landscape, check out the Arctic fjords along the route of Bergen to Trondheim; a perfect road trip for the thrill junkies among us. The scenic 920 km route offers the highlights of Fjord Norway.
Here’s an overview of what you are in for: coastal landscape, narrow roads, waterfalls, small farms, ferries, hiking routes, snowy peaks and of course, FJORDS.
Some highlights of this route:
Every memorable American road trip needs a grand ending, and what can be grander than the Grand Canyon itself? Grand Canyon, Arizona’s most popular landmark, stretches 446 Km from end to end and attracts thousands of tourists. It’s one of those nature’s wonders that you have to see for yourself to actually believe it.
Here are the seven routes – each with adventures of its own – that you can follow to reach it:
Obviously, if you are planning your next great American road trip this overview isn’t enough, for more details and “adventure-packed itineraries complete with interactive maps and best places to stop”, you can check out this amazing My Grand Canyon Blog.
Now for a restorative and relaxing road trip experience, we present to you Maui’s Hana Coast in Hawaii. Make the journey through the Hana Coastline, the 95-Km long highway, and along the way, you’ll get to see black-sand beaches and magnificent waterfalls. The driving part itself might be a bit tricky as the route has almost 600 curves and 59 bridges.
Here are its main attractions:
If these breathtaking natural sites aren’t enough for you, then you can also check out the Kahului’s Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center which offers live music and dance performances (Yup, hula as well!).
If you are looking for more than natural wonders for your road trip, Northern Mississippi River route would be the perfect fit for you. To experience this beautiful, and equally, culturally rich route, you’ll have to start from Minneapolis and finish at Iowa through Minnesota and Davenport.
From Museums to artist retreats, let’s talk about what main artistic offerings would you find along the route:
Along the way, you will find quaint bars, motels, and coffee houses where you can either grab a quick bite while listening to live acoustic jazz music or sit down for a prix-fixe French cuisine.
While there are many routes and places to see in New Zealand, we picked this route for its sheer natural uniqueness.
Take this route to explore New Zealand’s geothermal sites. Take the route via Turangi, and you can experience river boating, wide gardens, and a bird aviary.
As you’ll move, you’ll reach Waitomo which is famous for its vast network of caves. Then head on to the hot water beach of Kawhia.
The next phase of your journey will take you to the volcanic town of Rotorua bubbling with erupting geysers. You can also explore various adventure activities including mountain biking trails here.
Your route would end in Wellington which is a hub of restaurants, cafes, museum, and concert venues.
Along the way, you can enjoy the Orakei Korako thermal park, Huka Falls, Lake Taupo, farmlands, and Owlcatraz Wildlife Park.
This 664 km long Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular road trip route. Start at Melbourne, and expect to see breathtaking views and wildlife along the way.
Here’s the route and its highlights:
Port Fairy, Old whaler’s cottages and grand public buildings, cruise out to the seal colony.
For more details, you can check out this blog on the Great Ocean Road.
After reading this, we are sure that you have already added quite a few places to your bucket list. Wherever you go, it’s always better to step out and experience that place in all its glory whether that’s through road trips or backpacking.
If you are planning to do just that, then you absolutely need to add backpacking through Europe in your list. Don’t be the noob traveller and leave everything up to spontaneity, but be proactive and start planning. Here’s a detailed list of hostels all across the Europe that you can plan your stay in.
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an
engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control. His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online startup for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Insider.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company. He is very passionate about writing and marketing.