Fancy getting your kicks on Route 66?
I spend a great deal of my workdays clicking through travel deals and reading up on destinations, often getting sidetracked and sucked into the dream of pondering holidays at whatever location happens to be on my computer screen at any given time. In fact, so far today I've 'mentally holidayed' in Croatia, Bali, Egypt, Iceland, Miami, Melbourne and even Cornwall, to name a few; in my head, I've practically travelled the world!
Every now and then an absolutely incredible travel deal lands in front of me - the sort of 'bucket list' adventure that the grandest travel dreams are made of. And one such deal has caught my attention today, drawing a sharp intake of breath and a few minutes of wondrous reflection... and I had to share it!
What's the deal?
Route 66 - 14 night self-drive road trip across America, including car hire and flights
PRICE: from just £1651 per person. Click here for more details.
The cheapest deals are for dates through January and into February 2019, but good deals can be found from around October 2018 when prices drop after the summer.
What's great about it?
This is one of the most iconic road trips you can think of. A full two weeks driving across America, from the "windy city" of Chicago, right the way to the sunny Californian Santa Monica coast, with countless fascinating and legendary stops and sights along the way. It includes hotels, some with 2 night stays and some breakfasts. Best of all, it incorporates so many major US landmarks - you'll leave really feeling like you've seen some of the best of America.
For me, driving in America conjures up images from loads of American movies. From Thelma & Louise to Cars, there's an 'epic' nature to the idea of every long US car journey - vast open landscapes, cities, backwater towns, deserts, mountains, and a wilderness and grandness of scale that's humbling and life-affirming. Expect to see western towns, retro diners, white sandy beaches, breathtaking canyons, expansive national parks, spectacular skyscrapers. This trip has it all.
What's the itinerary?
- Flight from the UK to Chicago for a 2 night stay (4* Millennium Knickerbocker)
- Collect car in Chicago and begin the Route 66 road trip through Illinois. One night in St Louis, Missouri (3* Hampton Inn, w/breakfast) - green and beautiful agricultural plains, where the Mississippi meets the Missouri River.
- Drive St Louis to Springfield (1 night in 3* DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel) - American Civil War battlegrounds.
- Drive Springfield to Oklahoma City (1 night in 3* Best Western Plus Memorial Inn & Suites, w/breakfast) - this is 'western territory' - cross the "trail of tears" and see the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
- Drive Oklahoma City to Amarillo, Texas (1 night in 3* Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, w/breakfast) - see huge ranches and cattle along the roads, as well as the famous Cadillac Ranch.
- Drive Amarillo to Santa Fe, New Mexico (2 nights in Santa Fe Inn, w/breakfast) - witness Indian/Spanish fusion and cultures.
- Drive Santa Fe to Albuquerque, New Mexico (1 night in 3* Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, w/breakfast) - see Indian culture and the petrified forest.
- Drive Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon, stopping in the town of Williams, Arizona (1 night in 3* Grand Canyon Railway Hotel) - see the Meteor Crater & Flagstaff.
- Drive Williams, Arizona to Las Vegas (2 nights in 4* The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa).
- Drive Las Vegas to Los Angeles (2 nights in 3* Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier) - taking in Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Venice Beach.
Sounds awesome, doesn't it? This has "trip of a lifetime" written all over it. And what's more, you can roam free in your hire car, stopping for whatever adventures take your fancy along the way. Just remember not to get too lost, as you'll need to make it to your scheduled hotels to get some sleep!
What else is included?
- All city and room taxes.
- One-way private transfer from Chicago Airport to Hotel.
- Car hire from Chicago Downtown / Drop off at Los Angeles airport on the last day. Note: there's a $500 one way drop off charge payable locally.
Why I'm tempted:
I've done a couple of road trips through the USA and Canada - I drove the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to LA, and also the Canadian Rockies, from Calgary to Banff and Jasper. I found them exhilarating like nothing I can effectively describe: just you and the open road and an ever-changing, often jaw-dropping and breathtakingly beautiful landscape. For me, they've made for probably the most amazingly fulfilling experiences of my life.
I'd love to hear other experiences of US/North American road trips, and also from anyone who books this trip. It's going to be incredible!