How many movies have you watched, how many songs have you sang, how many books and articles have you read, all featuring their characters/lyrics/stories along this mythical route?
I am pretty sure you have also dreamt of yourself driving a classic car on Route 66 with just the “wind-in-your-hair”. Oh well, it’s never too late to make your dream come true!
Here is all you need to know before “Getting your kicks on Route 66”!
- The most important of them all! No matter what people might say, Historic Route 66 does exist! Indeed the old motorway was officially decommissioned from US maps back in 1985, but most of the original route is still there (probably a fair 85% of it).
- Unlike any other road trip, Route 66 is probably the most difficult and demanding journey of them all. It is not by mere chance that it is considered as the ultimate road adventure! Since its decommissioning the route no longer exists on modern maps, which makes your GPS pretty much useless!!! I hope it is now made clear that your main task is to learn how to read paper road maps, find yourself a good travel companion and make sure he knows how to read maps, as well! Good news is that there are several signs along the way that will direct you back to Route 66, but they are by no means sufficient to solve your orientation problem! For more details on how to find your way on Route 66, read my dedicated post here!
- Make a realistic estimation of the actual time you need for this trip. The first day will definitely be a disaster, so think of it as a lost day. The next days you will see yourself getting better and better in tracing the route until you eventually master it!
- Do not underestimate your daily travel time. The road is longer than you expect. Set aside extra time for the cases you will get lost, anything unpredictable that might happen, as well as the stop breaks and detours you will need to take for visiting the best part of the route; its roadside attractions.
- Think wisely of your choices for the overnight stays. Focus on places that really worth your extra time. And just because you may not be able to cover the distance you had initially planned for the day, it’s better to avoid making hotel reservations in advance. I would only advise on pre-bookings while visiting popular national parks, where the prices of nearby hotels can easily explode your budget! However, bear in mind that most national parks have an attached campsite where you can park and sleep for the night for a very small fee. This can partially solve your problem, but do some own research as a reservation might still be required, and also make sure you have the appropriate camping gear with you if you plan to go for that option!
- The two most useful mobile apps you will find super handy are “Priceline” where you can make your last minute hotel bookings with a discount of up to 60-70% compared to other booking platforms, and “GasBuddy” for tracking the nearest gas stations with the lowest prices, always updated in real-time!
Now that you know, turn the music on and “Get your Kicks on Route 66”!!!