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An Expert Guide to the World’s Greatest Road Trips

 April 13, 2017
Andy in Lifestyle

Wondering where to go or how to get there? Check out this guide to get all the best places and tips for the road.

Do you look out at your car or watch TV and see people going on trips and wonder if that could be you? It might be time to start planning a road trip. Well, not just any road trip, but one of the world’s greatest road trips. We will let these pictures speak for themselves. Try not to get on a plane or in your car right away, because there are some helpful tips near the end. 

The Greatest Road Trips Around the World 

The Greatest Road Trips Around the World

Africa

  • Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, head to Madagascar to see the Baobab trees. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Madagascar

Image: Rough Guides

  • The Garden Route, South Africa

South Africa is a beautiful country with many scenic routes, but one of the most beautiful in the word is the Garden Route along the coast. 

World's Greatest Road Trips South Africa

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • The Panorama Route, South Africa

Through the interior of South Africa, you can see the Three Rondavels, waterfalls, and the Drakensberg Mountains along the Panorama Route. 

World's Greatest Road Trips South Africa Panorama

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The desert might seem a little desolate, but on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast you can see shipwrecks, sand dunes, and the world’s largest seal colony. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Namibia

Image: the whole world is a playground

Honorable Mentions:

The Sani Pass, South Africa/Lesotho
Drâa Valley, Morocco


Oceania

  • Driving to Uluru, Australia

Head for Uluru, one of the world’s most recognizable rocks and see the red earth of the Outback up close and personal. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Australia

Image: Rough Guides

  • The South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. See for yourself while taking a road trip around the South Island. 

World's Greatest Road Trips New Zealand

Image: the whole world is a playground

Asia

  • The Hai van pass, Vietnam

Vietnam has had a violent past, but now people can visit its beautiful landscapes, the mists that surround the highest points in the mountains, the amazingly green jungles, and the turquoise sea. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Vietnam

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • The King’s Highway, Jordan

A fascinating view of the Middle East, through ancient villages and open countryside, is waiting for you on The King’s Highway. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Jordan

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • The Golden Road to Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Follow the routes of ancient traders who traveled through the area carrying silk and other goods. After days of landscapes and cities, you can end your trip in Samarkand, the location of the famous Registan.

World's Greatest Road Trips Uzbekistan

Image: Rough Guides

  • The Oman Circle

Oman offers a wide range of sights: sand dunes, deserts, cave systems, Middle Eastern bazaars, beaches full of turtles, and wild rivers. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Oman

Image: Rough Guides

Honorable Mentions:

Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Azerbaijan

The Road to Mount Nebo, Jordan


Europe

  • The Atlantic Road, Norway

For stunning views of the Atlantic, travel through Norway along a feat of engineering and what has been described as one of the most beautiful roads in the world. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Norway

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • Transfargarasan Highway, Romania

Described as one of the best roads in the world, this trip through the mountains of Romania will leave you wanting more.

World's Greatest Road Trips Romania

Image: the whole world is a playground



  • Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

A trip through Ireland is not complete without driving the Wild Atlantic Way and experiencing all of Ireland’s wild green landscapes.

World's Greatest Road Trips Ireland

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • Amalfi Coast, Italy

This UNESCO  designated route winds along the coast, through small villages and towns, vineyards, and picturesque landscapes. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Italy

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • Iceland‘s ring road

Iceland is a mystical land that seems to have emerged from a mythology book in the middle of the ocean. You can visit all its natural wonders by traveling the N1, which goes around the entire island. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Iceland

Image: Rough Guides


Honorable Mentions:

Trollstigen, Norway

The Baltic States: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia

The Atlantic Highway, England

The Black Forest, Germany

The Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland


The Americas

  • Pacific Coast Highway, USA

California dreamin’ is the Pacific Coast Highway with the sun in your face, the wind in your hair, and the beauty of Big Sur. 

World's Greatest Road Trips USA

Image: the whole world is a playground

  • Cabot Trail, Canada

Take a trip through Nova Scotia and see magnificent wildlife and the French and Scottish influences of the many villages along the way.

World's Greatest Road Trips Canada

Image: Rough Guides

  • Badlands National Park, USA

The American West is home to some stunning parks, one of the most beautiful being Badlands National Park. While you are in South Dakota, you might as well visit the others in the area. Who needs to work, just make your trip longer. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Badlands USA

Image: Rough Guides

  • The Pan-American Highway

We saved the ultimate road trip for last. This highway road trip goes all the way from the southernmost tip of Argentina all the way to Alaska. This is the world’s longest driving route and goes through every kind of habitat on Earth. 

World's Greatest Road Trips Pan-American Highway

Image: Rough Guides

Honorable Mentions:

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Coastal Route 15, Mexico

Colombia River Gorge, USA

New York City to Niagara, USA

Northern and eastern coastline, Brazil

Ruta 40, Argentina


Tips for the Greatest Road Trip Ever

Tips for the Greatest Road Trip Ever

Planning a road trip can be an exciting time, but before you jump in your car and put the pedal to the metal, follow some of these tips to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Do your research—Know your stuff before you head out on the road, especially if it’s to a place you’ve never been before.
  • Bring a map—Sometimes technology fails us. It’s always good to have a backup. 
  • Know some auto repair basics—Changing a flat. Fixing a light. Oil problems. It’s good to know some basics before you head out to places where a service center is far away.
  • Carry some cash—You never know when you might be somewhere where you can play cash only.
  • Get off the main road sometimes—The main roads are nice, but sometimes you can miss out on some great sights if you only stick to the highways.
  • Know emergency numbers—Wherever you are, make sure to know what the emergency numbers are.
  • Know the legal BAC limits—Every region has different limits. No drinking and driving, but know what the laws are just in case you decide to stop somewhere and grab a beer.
  • Stay connected and bring extra devices—This might be difficult depending on where you are going, but make sure to get some devices that help you stay connected no matter where you are. 
  • Schedule in extra time and be flexible—Don’t rely too much on a schedule. It’s nice to be able to stop somewhere for awhile or go down a road that’s not on your agenda. 
  • Remember IDs, passports, and your license—Make sure you have all your important documents with you wherever you go. It might even be a good idea to apply for an International Driving Permit. 
  • Bring some healthy snacks and extra water—Skip the junk food and pack some healthy snacks and extra water to keep you energized and awake during the long days of driving and exploring. 
  • Know the rules of the road—Some rules seem common sense, but it’s still good to know what rules are specific to certain regions.
  • Get your car checked—Take your car to get it serviced before you go. Long trips can be tough on a vehicle and you don’t want it breaking down in the middle of the desert.
  • Contact your bank—Make sure your bank knows where you are going so they don't put a hold on your account.
  • Bring portable chargers—These can be lifesavers if for some reason you can not charge a device at a hotel or restaurant. 
  • Get enough sleep—Make sure you are sleeping enough, to minimize the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Get a hide-a-key—An emergency car key is a must. Just don’t hide it in a place that’s too obvious.
  • Take your time, relax, and have fun!


Apps for the Road

Apps for the Road

When going on a long trip, your smartphone and the apps you have can make the trip even better and it can also save the day. These are some of the best apps for your awesome road trip. And one more quick tip, if you can download them for offline use, do it. You never know when you might be out of service. 

  • Android Auto—If you have an Android device, this should be a go-to app for all your driving needs. Using simple options and voice command you can display your phone and access Google Maps, Play Music, and many other apps you might need but are not able to access since you should be focused on the road with both hands on the wheel. Yes, we know that most people don't do that, but we still have to say it.
  • Google Trips—If Google didn’t already pretty much do everything, now they have Google Trips. Is there any part of life they haven’t taken over yet? Along with trips, make sure to have Google Maps and Google Translate. They can both help if you find yourself lost and without a common language.
  • Waze—Many map services have traffic reports, but it’s difficult to tell how realistic they are. Waze allows users to update traffic in real time, giving up-to-date information about what is happening. It also gives you guided directions, taking into consideration the crowd-sourced traffic information. 
  • GasBuddy or Plugshare—One annoying part about road trips, is that cars can not just keep going forever. We all know the pain of having to stop for fuel when all we want to do is get to our destination. Whether you have a gas powered car, a hybrid, or an electric car, there’s an app for you. GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas in your area. The prices are updated by users all over the country. Plugshare is similar in that it allows you to find a nearby charging station for your car. 
  • TollSmart—Surprise tolls are no fun. You have to fumble around, reach under seats or search through hidden compartments in your car in the hopes that you have change. But with TollSmart, say goodbye to the frantic search. If you plan your trip with the app, it will tell you where all the tolls are and how much you have to pay. 
  • iExit—If you are like us, then you have no idea when the exits on the highway will appear and what’s at each exit. You just have to wait until you start seeing the huge signs that tell you which restaurants, hotels, or attractions are at each one. You pretty much have to be a speed reader to get all the information you need as you are flying down the highway. With iExit, you can plan which exits you want to stop at ahead of time. It gives you all the information you need about amenities and businesses to pick the perfect exit. 
  • RoadTrippers—The name says it right there—how can you not plan a road trip without RoadTrippers. It can help you find the perfect path for your trip. 
  • Glympse—If you are traveling with a group, it is often difficult to stay together and to know where everyone is. With Glympse you can send out a snapshot of your location and ETA. 
  • Spotify or Audible—No road trip is complete without a carefully planned playlist. Well, let’s make that multiple playlists. Spotify and Audible are two great choices for music or audiobooks. Whatever your preference is, just make sure it makes your road trip the best ever. 
  • Automatic or Dash—There is one thing on a car that most people hate: the check engine light. Not only is that light hard to figure out, but it can also add a lot of unwanted stress to the trip. Automatic and Dash use devices plugged into the car to help you get detailed reports about the status of your engine on your phone. 
  • Urgent.ly—Unfortunately, cars are not 100% reliable. $*#t happens and you have to pull over and get help. Urgent.ly makes that as simple as the tap of a screen. You can call for gas delivery, jump starts, and towing services anywhere you need them. The app gives you the price of the service without any hidden fees. 
  • HotelTonight—Hopefully, you have all your hotels booked in advance and have a nice warm bed waiting for you after a long day on the road. Maybe you are the more adventurous type who doesn't like to plan or maybe your plans just fell through. Either way, HotelTonight gives you last-minute discounts on hotels all over the country. 
  • OpenTable—While fast food is an easy find on the road, your stomach might not be thanking you after a while. If after a long day on the road you don't feel like driving around in search of a place to eat, download OpenTable to search for restaurants with seating and make a reservation. 
  • Flush Toilet Finder—Some people can find any random bush, tree, or bottle and turn it into a toilet. *cough-men-cough*, but then some of us need an actual restroom with running water and toilet paper. Flush Toilet Finder seems like a silly app, but if you have ever had to pee in an awkward (and public) position, you will know that this app is a must-have. It shows you a map of toilets and gives you useful information about each one.


There’s no time to waste! You have everything you need to make sure you have the world’s greatest road trip ever.