The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

25 Best Road Trips in the World – That We’ve Taken

Written By: The Planet D

Updated On: February 11, 2024

road trips

We’ve taken a lot of the best road trips in the world during our travels. We’ve done everything from epic road trips lasting 6 weeks to one-day scenic drives that cover spectacular scenery. We’ve done them all and here are the best road trips Dave and I have done around the world.

Table of Contents

Best Road Trips in the World

Thanks  Johnny Jet  and  Chris McGinnis  for giving us the idea to make this list. It was during their Twitter chat about road trips that we realized, “wow, we’ve driven most of the ultimate road trip destinations on earth!” So without further adieu, let’s take a look at road trips around the world that we have done by country or continent.

Road Trips in the USA

There’s no doubt about it, the United States is one of the best road trip destinations in the world. Many of the best road trips in the world are located right in the United States. We’ve been lucky enough to drive along most of the East and West Coasts of the country and here are a few of our favorite routes.

1. Route 66 – Arizona

road kill cafe route 66

Route 66 is the road trip of dreams. We have all listened to that beautiful song by Nat King Cole and fantasized about driving Route 66 one day. And we had the chance. It lives up to the hype. Albeit, only portions of it are worth driving.

Much of the 3,940km route is abandoned and decrepit as it was forgotten when the highway system was put in place, but there are parts that have been turned into national scenic byways in Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona . We have driven many different portions of  Route 66 , but you can drive this entire route from Chicago to California.

For more another great US Road trip not on this list check out:  The Ulitmate 10 Day Arizona Road Trip ,

  • Duration: 1 Day for portions to 2-3 weeks
  • Highlights of Route 66: Best portions are in Arizona , New Mexico, Missouri and Illinois.
  • Read more at:  Route 66 Road Trip – Cruising The Main Street of America

2. Pacific Coast Highway – California

best scenic road trips in USA | Big Sur

It’s the most epic drive in the United States. The drive starts in Monterrey and weaves down Highway 1 to Los Angeles . Make sure to stay the night in Monterrey or Carmel by the Sea . There is great kayaking in the marine reserve of Monterrey and Surfing in Carmel. Read more: Big Sur Road Trip – The Best Viewpoints

It’s a beautiful coastal highway with long stretches of beaches, impressive sea cliffs, and legendary stops where movie stars and billionaires have hung out for decades to escape the hustle and bustle of California cities. And definitely take time to stay at one of the best places to stay in California (Mark Zuckerberg stayed here) the Ventana

  • Duration: 2-4 Days
  • Highlights of Pacific Coast Highway – The Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls, Carmel by the Sea, Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara, and Pfeiffer Beach.
  • Read more at  California Road Trip and Where to Camp in Big Sur

3. San Francisco to LA –  National Parks Route

roadtrips Ideas

This is the epic American route. Don’t just drive in a straight line from San Francisco to Los Angeles, go everywhere in between. This road trip takes you through four different states and showcases the best of America’s National Parks and cities.

It takes you through the most rugged and beautiful landscapes of America and you visit the most exciting cities in the country. Read more: Things to do in Yosemite National Park

  • Duration: 2 Weeks
  • Highlights of San Francisco to Los Angeles – Grand Canyon , Vegas, Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park
  • Read More:  Make the Most of Antelope Canyon Photography Tour

4. Hana Highway – Maui Hawaii

Bucket List road trip | Hana Highway Bamboo Maui

It’s just a short drive, but everyone who goes to Maui raves about the Hana Highway. This (mostly) single lane road is a day trip that spans the North Coast of the Island from Paia to Hana.

It twists and turns and you cross 59 bridges during the 2-3 hour drive (one way) there are many scenic stops along the way, but the real beauty begins after Hana when you reach  Haleakala National Park . This is one of the top things to do in Maui , so if you plan a trip, make sure to rent a car and drive the road to hana.

  • Duration: 1 Day
  • Highlights of the Hana Highway : Bamboo Forest, Painted Eucalyptus Trees, 7 Sacred Pools, Waterfalls, Scenic Views
  • Read More: Road Trip to Hana and Beyond

5. 17 Mile Drive – California

The Ghost Tree on 17 Mile Drive

It may be a short road trip, but it is a goodie. You can take an entire day exploring 17-Mile Drive at Carmel By the Sea. If you are looking for a different way of road tripping, try e-biking instead of going in a car. A road trip doesn’t have to be always in a car, we’ve included cycling Africa as one of our best road trips we’ve ever done! Read more: Photography Guide to Big Sur Coastal Drive, California

  • Duration: a few hours to 1 day
  • Highlights of 17 Mile Drive: Ghost Tree, Bird Rock,  the Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, John Denver Memorial, Beaches, Links at Spanish Bay, Pebble Cove.
  • Read More : The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary and The Best Viewpoints
  • Best California Road Trip

6. Miami to Key West

key west southernmost point

It took Dave and me a few tries to finally make it to Key West. We have driven from Canada to Central Florida many times, but only ever made it as far as Daytona and Orlando .

We had flown into Miami before but never did a road trip to the Florida Keys. When we finally rented a car and made our way to the famous ocean highway to the southern tip of the United States. We felt like we entered a different world. Key West is like being in the Caribbean without having to stamp your passport. Check out these Facts about Florida

It’s only a day trip from Miami to Key West, but we suggest taking your time to explore the Keys on the way down.

  • Duration: 1-day return trip to 1 week for exploring.
  • Highlights of Key West Road Trip – Marathon Key, Hemingway’s House, Key Largo , Dry Tortugas National Park, snorkeling, underwater museum, Seven Mile Bridge, Southernmost Point , Islamorada Florida Keys , & Where to Stay in The Florida Keys
  • Read More: Miami to Key West Road Trip – Best Florida Keys Itinerary

7. Lake Superior Circle Tour – USA and Canada

american road trip planner | lake superior circle tour

Road trips can take many forms and we circumnavigated the world’s largest freshwater lake by motorcycle. The Lake Superior Circle Tour is one of the epic motorcycle routes in North America, but it’s also fabulous in a car and makes for an amazing road trip.

From the sandy shores of the southern shore to the rocky high sea cliffs of the wild north, this is an unexpected route through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconson, and Minnesota. Travel through small-town USA, historic treasures and the wild abandoned North of Ontario, this road trip is magnificent.

  • Duration: 4 days to 2 weeks.
  • Highlights of Lake Superior Circle Tour – Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Terri Fox Memorial, Beautiful coast, three different states and one province in Canada
  • Read More:  The Best of the Lake Superior Circle Tour
  • See all of the best places to visit in Michigan for your next road trip.

Canadian Road Trips

Canada is our favourite country for road tripping and in our humble opinion, the best road trips in the world are located in our home country. From both coasts to the far north, through high altitude of the Rocky Mountains and along the shore, you will see it all in Canada.

8. Icefields Parkway – Alberta

Rocky Mountaineer Icefields Parkway Drive | best road trips near me

Alberta’s Icefields Parkway is often considered one of the top road trips in the world! And with good reason. There are so many things to see along the way. There is one spectacular scene after another.

Starting in Banff, the road trip takes you north along Highway 1 through the Rocky Mountains. It spans two of Canada’s most beautiful National Parks. Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. See our full drive here.

There are scenic lookouts galore where you can go hiking or to simply take in the view of mirror lakes reflecting jagged snow-capped mountains. A highlight is stopping at the Athabasca Glacier for a snowcat tour of this gigantic piece of ice and to take a walk on the Icefields Sky Walk. Continue on to Jasper where you can explore more of Alberta’s rugged and remote areas. Suggested hotel Fairmont Jasper and Fairmont Lake Louise

  • Duration:  1-3 Days
  • Highlights of the Icefields Parkway: Bow Lake, Columbia Icefields Skywalk, Athabasca Glacier, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise
  • Read more about Banff:  The Rocky Mountaineer,   Where to Stay in Banff

9. Dempster Highway – Yukon

country road trip | dempster highway Yukon

For the ultimate road trip adventure, there’s not a lot that compares to the Dempster Highway. You can drive to the Arctic on the Dempster Highway and that is exactly what we did.

This 736 km road stretches from the far Arctic in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, to Dawson City in the  Yukon. It crosses the equator through the most beautiful landscape in the world. You’ll see caribou, grizzley bears and other wildlife on along the way and it is simply spectacular.

  • Duration:  2-6 days
  • Highlights of the Dempster Highway:  Crossing the Arctic Circle, Innuvik, Dawson City, Eagle Plains, Tombstone Mountains
  • Read More:   Drive to the Arctic, Yes you Can

10. Fundy Trail – New Brunswick

Fundy Trail Parkway day trip from Saint John New Brunswick | best road trips canada

The province of New Brunswick houses one of the most beautiful coastal drives in Canada. Famous for the Hopewell Rocks, we drove along the Bay of Fundy Parkway and witnessed giant sea cliffs plunging into the sea.

There are secluded and isolated beaches, it crosses through the Fundy National Park where you can hike to waterfalls and lookouts and it drives along one of the longest undeveloped coastlines in North America.

It is home to the world’s highest tides where you can walk out for miles on the ocean floor. Take your time to drive along this stretch of road that houses some of the most spectacular scenery on earth.

  • Duration:  3 – 4 Days
  • Highlights of the Fundy Trail : Hopewell Rocks, Saint Stephen’s Sea Caves, Fundy National Park, Cape Enrage, Town of Alma, Covered Bridges. 
  • Read More:  Things to do in Saint John, New Brunswick

11. Cowboy Trail – Alberta

hoodoos road trips canada | unique road trip in canada

If you love getting away from it all and having a rip-roaring adventure, the Cowboy Trail is for you. This is one of our favourite road trips we’ve ever done. Following the route through Southern Alberta is easy, well marked and filled with activities and beauty. There is something to see every single day and this trip will surprise you.

From the lunar landscape of the badlands to where the great plains meet the Rocky Mountains, you’ll be driving through the varied landscapes that will take your breath away.

  • Highlights of the Cowboy Trail: Dinosaur Provincial Park, Crows Nest Pass, Bar U Ranch, Waterton Lakes National Park, Hoodoos of Drumheller
  • Read more:  Full Itinerary – Alberta Road Trip, Where to Stay in Banff

12. Cabot Trail – Nova Scotia

best road trips ideas cabot trail canada

The Cabot Trail is one of Canada’s Ultimate Scenic Highways. Located on  Nova Scotia’s  Cape Breton Island, it is filled with sea cliffs, coastal hikes, beaches, and untamed wilderness. You’ll see moose on the Skyline walk, whales on kayaking and scenic boat trips and stunning sunsets over the Gulf of St. Lawrence explore the best scenic stops in the country.

  • Duration: 2-5 Days
  • Highlights of the Cabot Trail: Skyline Trail, Alexander Graham Bell’s house, Uisge Ban Waterfall Hike, North River Kayaking, Ingonish Beach, Middle Head Trail, Boat Tours, whale watching and wildlife.
  • Read More:  11 Not to be Missed Stops on the Cabot Trail

13. Sea to Sky Highway – British Columbia

sea to sky highway train wreck trail

Canada is known for its multiday road trips since the country is so massive, but the Sea to Sky Highway is an excellent short road trip from Vancouver. The Sea to Sky drive is only about 90 minutes from Vancouver to Whistler, but there are many sights to see along the way this mountain road.

We suggest taking at least two days and spend the night in Squamish. Squamish has some of the best rock climbing in the world at Big Chief, there are world-class kite surfing and backcountry hiking. It also has fantastic dining options.

On the way to Whistler (home to the 2010 Olympics), there are scenic lookouts, waterfalls, hiking trails and adrenaline sports like bungy jumping, skydiving and scenic flights) Read more at Sea to Sky Highway Stops – What to See From Vancouver to Whistler

14. Sunshine Coast – British Columbia

british columbia sunshince coast

A 90-minute ferry ride from Vancouver takes you to the start of the Sunshine Coast drive at Gibsons Landing. The beloved Canadian TV Series, The Beachcombers was filmed here for 20 years! You may also like These Best Places to Visit in British Columbia

The Sunshine Coast takes you through a gorgeous coastal drive, historic towns, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has some of the best mountain biking and hiking in the country with well marked trails and few crowds.

It’s a wonderful road trip taking you on several ferries, over bridges and along the coast. The entire loop goes through the towns on the Sunshine Coast to Vancouver Island.

  • Duration: 1 week Highlights of the Sunshine Coast: Gibson’s Landing, Smuggler’s Cove, Historic Powell River, Rockwater Resort, Secret Cove, Lund, Desolation Sound
  • Watch our video of our Sunshine Coast Road Trip

The Best European Road Trips

5. wild atlantic way – ireland.

best road trips mizen head ireland

It’s the longest Coastal Route in the World and Ireland has done an incredible job at marketing it as the best road trips on earth. During our many trips around Ireland, The Wild Atlantic Way is a standout. Starting in Dublin , we made a b-line for the west coast of Southwest coast of Ireland from Cork to the  Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal .

The Wild Atlantic Way runs 2500 km up the Western Coast of Ireland. There are so many things to see and do on this route. Every day offers spectacular views of enormous sea cliffs, incredible beaches, and unique culture . This is a road trip that packs a huge punch with a road that goes along the entire west coast of Ireland. Read more: 23 of The Very Best Things to do in Ireland

  • Duration: 2-4 weeks
  • Highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way: Cliffs of Moher, Skellig Michael, Mizen Head, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Slea Head Drive, Aran Islands
  • Read more about this Road Trip :  Tips for Driving the Wild Atlantic Way 

16. North Coast 500 – Scotland

road trip ideas north coast 500

The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66. With legendary castles, extraordinary coastal scenery, and famous whisky distilleries lining the winding single track lanes, the North Coast 500 is the ultimate drive for travel lovers.

At 500 miles long it is a touring route around Scotland’s northern coast, starting in Inverness. A Highlithg was most certainly Duncansby Head’s Seastacks

  • Duration: 5 Days to 2 Weeks
  • Highlights of the North Coast 500:  Inverness, Duncansby Head, Loch Ness, Distilleries, Dornoch Castle, Smoo Caves, Ullapool, Klinlochewe Viewpoint, Applecross, Baelnabach. Eilean Donan Castle
  • Read More:  The Essential Guide to the North Coast 500

17. Amalfi Coast – Italy

best road trips for couples europe amalfi coast

I think the best road trip in Europe is the Amalfi Coast . We fell in love with that drive from Sorrento to Ravello. There is a reason this drive along the most stunning sea cliffs on earth has been used in so many movies.

The towns and lookouts along the coast are something out of a fairytale. They are just gorgeous. We pulled off to the side of the road to look at the luxurious island of Capri. We saw yachts sailing along the coast, and we were ein awe at the height of the seacliffs. It is truly spectacular.

  • Duration:  2 days to a week
  • Highlights of the Amalfi Coast  – Positano , Amalfi Town, Ravello, Sorrento, Beaches, Grottos, Capri, Hiking and Waterfalls. 
  • Watch it:  Watch our video of our Amalfi Road Trip
  • Check out our post :  The Best Things to do on the Amalfi Coast

18. Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland

road trip destinations | northern ireland dark hedges

Northern Ireland is so amazing for driving and its star attraction is the Causeway Coast. The Causeway Coastal Route is filled with stop after stop of amazing sights and scenery.

It’s a much shorter route than the Wild Atlantic Way and it can be done in just a couple of days, but we recommend giving at least 4 days to explore this coast because there is so much to see.

We actually took 9 days to drive around Northern Ireland and it was perfect. Highlights include the Giant’s Causeway, Carick a Rede Bridge, The Dark Hedges and Belfast

  • Duration: About a Week
  • Highlights of the Causeway Coast – Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Belfast, Game of Thrones. 
  • Read more:  Best things to do in Northern Ireland

19. Bavaria – Germany

travel tips | Neuschwanstein Castle things to see in Bavaria

Driving through the Bavarian Alps will take your breath away. Our road trip through the Alps started in Munich where we made our way to some of Germany’s most iconic sites.

Take a trip through fairytale castles and the highest peaks of Germany for one of the most memorable drives on earth. Go to the Olympic town of Garmish-Partenkirken, tour the world’s oldest monastery and brewery and hike through the picturesque landscape filled with rivers, valleys, lakes, and mountains.

  • Duration: 2  Weeks
  • Highlights of Bavaria : Neuschwanstein Castle, Berchtesgaden ,  Weltenburg Abbey, Danube Gorge, Munich , Nuremberg, Volkach wine region, Alpspix
  •   The Best of Bavaria  
  • Things to do in Garmisch Partenkirchen
  • Things to do in Munich

20. Ring Road – Iceland

road trip ideas ring road

The Ring Road Route 1 of Iceland circles the entire country offering drivers the chance to explore every nook and cranny. People normally drive the route in 10 days to 2 weeks, but to really explore Iceland properly you should take longer. We drove around the island in a counterclockwise directly from Reyjavik Vik and then turning north to see the rest of Iceland.

You can camp or stay at hotels along the way. We drove counterclockwise around the 1,322 km (821 miles). With magnificent glaciers, mountains, hot springs, an untamed coastline, and fascinating culture, The Iceland Ring Road is definitely one of the best road trips in the world.

  • Duration: 2 Weeks
  • Highlights of the Ring Road:  Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Skogafoss waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, Vik, Horseback Riding Skagafjörður Region, Myvatn Geothermal Area, Kirkjufellsfoss
  • Read more:  18 Photos of Iceland’s Mind-Blowing Beauty and 30 of the Best Places To Visit In Iceland

The Best International Road Trips

21. south island – new zealand.

road trips of the world new zealand pancake rocks

The best way to get around New Zealand is by driving independently. We traveled the South Island two ways, on a bus with the Flying Kiwi which was affordable and a great way to see the highlights, but once we took more time to explore with our own camper van, that’s when the true road trip in New Zealand began.

Just follow the roads in a circle around the South Island island to explore all there is to see and do. New Zealand has a diverse landscape in a very little area. You’ll be mesmerized by the changing landscape before your eyes at each and every turn. Be sure to drive the Milford Road to see the incredible Milford Sound.

There are glaciers, mountains, lakes, and amazing adventures to be had. Read all about it on 46 Top Things to do in New Zealand

  • Duration: 4 Weeks
  • Highlights : Queenstown, Milford Sound, Abel Tasman, Lake Tekapo, Kaikoura, Pancake Rocks
  • Read more about New Zealand:  33 Reasons to Visit New Zealand

22. Great Ocean Road – Australia

road trips australia

Australia is an amazing country to take a driving tour. The Great Ocean Road is probably the most scenic road trip in the country. The route is more than 600km (400 miles) and drives along sea cliffs, jungles, and out to amazing beaches. Some of the top beaches for surfing are located along this route.

If you can, get out and hike because that is where you really get to witness the spectacular coast. We did the Great Ocean Walk – A Beautiful Way to Experience the Twelve Apostles and it was truly a memorable experience.

  • Duration:  1 – 3 days
  • Highlights  – Twelve Apostles, Bells Beach, Koalas of Kennet River, Otway National Park,
  • Read more:   Great Ocean Walk to the 12 Apostles

Overland Europe to Asia

23. mongol rally – 12 countries/2 continents.

roadtrips round the world mongol rally

It’s the mother of all road trips and the most epic road trip we have ever taken. We hit the open road for six weeks traveling overland from England to Mongolia. iI you are up for the adventure of a lifetime, this is a must.

The Mongol Rally is on many a bucket list and it lives up to the hype! The Mongol Rally is a charity rally starting in London, England and ending in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Read more: 38 Best Things to do in London, England In 2023

You choose your route and take as long as you want to get there. Take your time to get to know the people, and to experience some of the most remote regions on earth.

You just have to raise a certain amount of money for charity and buy a car that used to be donated to the country, but now must be shipped back when you finished.

Or if you have loads of time, return in back around in a different route!

  • Duration – 3-8 weeks
  • Highlights – 15 countries, 2 continents, endless possibilities – Siberia, The Mongolian Steppe, Prague, Brussels , Kyiv, Kazakhstan, it all really depends on the route you choose to take.
  • Countries include England , France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Tip of Austria, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia.

Africa Road Trips

24.  garden route – south africa.

best road trip ideas garden route south africa

I always thought the Garden Route of South Africa sounded a little tame, the name sounds like we’d be driving through Botanical gardens. I had visions of sipping tea in manicured gardens as we overlooked the ocean, but this road trip is filled with amazing adventure, striking coastlines, wild animals, incredible nature, and world class wine and dining.

The Garden Route is the southern half of the Durban to Cape Town road trip that we took, and we highly recommend doing the entire thing. South Africa has it all in one of the most exotic and beautiful places on earth. From Gorgeous coastal views, whale watching, jungles and caves. There is so much to see. This is a year round route so hop in your car and go any time.

  • Highlights – Great White Shark Diving, Cango Caves, Big 5 Safari, Ostrich Farm, Microlight over Durban, Cape Town
  • Read More:  Awesome Things to do in South Africa

25. Cairo to Cape Town –  Entire Coast of Africa

Eastern Africa | best road trip

We said early that road trips take many forms, so we wanted to include this one as well. This is more than a cross country road trip, it’s a cross-continent road trip!

Even though we did it by bicycle, you can drive an SUV or motorcycle down the Eastern side of Africa. 12,000 km takes you through some of the most fascinating countries on earth.

Landscapes and cultures vary drastically as you start in the desert landscape of Egypt’s Middle East and the Islamic culture of Sudan. It’s then into the great plains, jungles, and wildlife of Eastern and Southern Africa that takes you all the way down to the Southern point of the continent. Wow!

You can drive this epic route down Africa going through 9 countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa.

  • Duration: 3 – 4 months
  • Highlights : 10 countries, 3- 6 months, the possibilities are once again endless…Pyramids of Egypt, Blue Nile, Victoria Falls, Safaris, Chobe National Park, Addis Ababa, Nubian Desert of Sudan, Cape Town South Africa
  • Read more:  We cycled the Continent of Africa

Road Trip Planner Apps

road trips california map

  • Road Tripping Apps – Going on a Road Trip Check out these driving route planners and travel apps to make the most of your trip.
  • Apple Maps:  We used Apple Maps recently from Florida to Toronto and found it to be better than Google Maps. It offered more options for avoiding traffic than Google.
  • Road Trippers:  Road Trippers is a popular one that is free for shorter road trips offering 7 waypoints. If you upgrade to the paid subscription you get 150 points to pin on your route.
  • Waze:  Dave os a huge fan of Waze, even for daily commutes. It’s a social-riven app that lets you know of collisions, traffic, police radar and gas prices.
  • Spotify:  Okay, this isn’t a route planning app, but it is a must for road tripping. We have our tunes for each part of the day sectioned on playlists.
  • To get started we use our  Ultimate Road Trip playlist  and then as the day goes on we end with our mellow mix.

Travel Tips for Road Trip Planning

We have taken a lot of road trips, and the best times we have had were when we were prepared.

We aren’t saying that you can’t stray from your route, but have what you need ready in case of an emergency or any unplanned hiccups.

I know a lot of this is common sense, but if you go through the checklist, it will make for fewer headaches when you are on the road.

Route Planning and Maps

Plan the route on your road trip planner,  but have a hard copy map with you as well. In many places, you are going to drop cellular coverage and will have to rely on good old fashioned map reading.

Have car chargers for your electronics . Most cars have a USB charger, but we find we need more than one. We love the dual USB charger, we have even charged our drone in our car while on a road trip.

Car Insurance

Insurance : If you are renting a car, check with your insurance company to see if it covers rentals, if not make sure you get insurance.

Our American Express Platinum Card also covers all insurance if we rent our car through our credit card in the same name that the rental is in. Check with your credit card company to see if you are covered for everything.

We nearly always get the extra coverage because we don’t want the hassle of having to go through our insurance should something happen.

If there is a fender bender, we just hand over the keys and don’t worry about a thing. but it is more money, so be prepared.

If you enjoyed this post, save it to Pinterest for future travel planning. 

best road trips in the world

So there you have it. The best road trips ever! (that we have taken) There are other road trips on our list. Like Let us know if you have a suggestion, we are always adding to our list.

Read other road trip itineraries destinations around the world

  • Tasmania Road Trip
  • Ultimate Arizona Road Trip Itinerary
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Road Trip
  • Tips for Driving from England to Mongolia
  • Mongol Rally Gear Guide

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine , the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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72 thoughts on “25 Best Road Trips in the World – That We’ve Taken”

I was very excited after reading about Road Trip. I like this part “It’s the longest Coastal Route in the World and Ireland has done an incredible job at marketing it as the best road trips on earth” very much because I have never here about it. Thanks for writing about road trip. I also write a blog on it but it is nothing in front of your Article.

I would have never thought about the Mongol Rally until I saw this. That is an awesome trip out of so many I honestly don’t know how to pick a favorite. Thanks so much for all this good information to have.

I loved reading about your road trip experience around the world. Your descriptions really made it come alive for me. Happy travels!

Arizona is my one of the favorite places. hope, i’ll go there in future. thanks for sharing this amazing post with us.

So many fantastic road trips – so much to be discovered! We have done a lot in the USA, and especially loved our California road trip that included 5 national parks and we REALLY LOVE Colorado – you two would love a southwest Colorado road trip !

The view of the Arizone road 66 is awesome.It stars attracting me,haha

OMG! These places are really so amazing. I always love to travel whenever I’ve chance to visit. Also, I want to say that these roads are beautiful to see. You’ve counted the most beautiful place from all over the world. In this article all pictures are mindblowing. Thanks

When i “grow up” i want to to atleast half of this 🙂 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

Really a great list of road trips. Love to do one of these road trips. Thanks for sharing.

Amazing post! I’ve only been to a few of these road trips in past four years. Now it looks like I have many more to add to my bucket list. Pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for the list.

Wow, what a great list of the trips. It is nice and informative.

Can any one give me a perfect travel plan to visit Amalfi Coast – Italy. May i know the monsoon time of Amalfi Coast.

You can check out our blog here. We are planning on updating it with more information, but it gives you the highlights here.

Thanks for sharing a great post!

Great post, we have to go back to Canada for a while next year and planning a few road trips out west. We’ve seen much of the world the last 5 years but really haven’t seen much of Canada.

We did our own version of the Garden Route a few years back, crossing the mountains into the Karoo and then across the Swartberg pass to Prince Albert. The best road trip we’ve done.

Fantastic list of imagination I love road trips very much. I feel more close to nature Maybe in my next trip I’ll think about one of them and over time I’ll try it all Thank you I’m constantly following up on your advice

Looks like you have not traversed the entire Route 66 so let’s do it. When do you want to go?

Thank you all for your responses. Greatly appreciated.

I’ve done the road 66 with my best friends and laugh a lot, I really need to make much more road trips it was so a good experience, loved it! I’ve written an article also about Road trips

I’d add the Corniche, the drive along the French Riviera coastline from St Tropez to Cannes, past and then on to Juan Les Pins, Antibes and Nice, a really brilliant drive.

Awesome article and inspiration, thanks Dave and Deb! I agree with you on the South African Garden Route (also the trans-Karoo is spectacular…and many more in our beautiful country). One more to try out if you haven’t is Namibia – that country was MADE for gravel travel roadtripping! From south to north, the desert scenery turns to bush and lush riverine country in the north – and NEVER gets ugly, boring or repetitive. An outstandingly beautiful and safe country to travel. PS our names are also Dave and Deb 🙂

hey Dave and Deb, In search of freedom and liberty, I quit my job and started my business. Hope this venture of mine goes successful. If that happens, the first thing that I am gonna do is spend a nice and a long vacation with my family. you guys are amazing. keep travelling and keep sharing.

regards, Dhruv K. Mangukia

Amazing photos, great list of Road trips. You guys done a great job. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Thabks sharing the awesome travel Skills

I think Ireland will be one for us soon ? Headed to the US soon but no roadtrip one this trip!

Another nice but short road-trip is from Lisbon to Faro at the west-coast of Portugal. I did this last year with a friend and it was awesome! Although the weather wasn’t that good we saw a lot of beautiful bay areas. forests and hidden cliffs!

Wow these are all epic, I would love to do some of these road trips – fantastic post!

really a very good list.. thanx for sharing

Great list! I’d love to take one of these road trips one day. Thanks for sharing..

Love your site!!! We me and my wife are getting ready for a European roadtrip in a mobile home do you have any expirience or tips of that? All our best Annika & Daniel Majak

We haven’t done a European mobile home trip, but we did have a campervan in New Zealand. just have a great time, be flexible and enjoy the campgrounds. We’ve stayed at a few campgrounds in Europe and they are excellent! They’re often close to cities and some even have shuttles.

I have almost finished 2500km walk around Ireland, doing both the Coastal walk, and the Wild Atlantic way, the published distance is a bit missleading, you would have to go back and forth on every sign poated road for the WAW to be 2500. That said , it is spectacular.

That is great that you have walked nearly all around Ireland. The official Website for the WAW also says 2500 km. That’s their claim to fame, the longest coast driving route int he world. Pretty awesome. I didn’t measure the exact km we did from bottom to top, but it was pretty much 2500 km as well. We definitely did a lot of back and forth and around different bays and lochs, so that probably explains. If you go in a direct line, it definitely cuts km off:)

Awesome and interesting post.

Massive list!! You guys have done on a lot! Currently doing a massive road trip to Mongolia, inspired by the mongol rally. But i like to take some more time then 3-8 weeks 😉

One good roadtrip that you guys ‘should’ do is the Transfagarasan in Romania. 90 km both ways and very scenic!

Love your website!!! Arnoud

That’s a good idea. We’d like to do it again but take a few months. There’s so much to see and so many different routes. The Mongol Rally was a blast, but longer would be better. Thanks for the suggestion about Romania. We drove through Romania during the Mongol Rally, but I’m not sure if we went that route. Cheers!

Would do any of these at the drop of a hat. Road trips are such a fun, classic way to see the world 🙂

They are a great way to see the world aren’t they?

Some incredibly beautiful places…… all the pics in this post are worthy of becoming wallpaper on my laptop……. I will make at least a couple of these my laptop wallpapers!!

Some of these are still on the bucket list, and while the LA to SF is one of the shortest it is one of my favorite! So many people think California is just LA and don’t take the time to spend the extra couple days to enjoy the AMAZING drive up the coast. Carmel might just be one of my favorite little towns on Earth!

Great list! I’d love to take one of these road trips one day. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you Sanjana. You would love any one of these road trips. We definitely did.

Amazing photos, great list of Road trips. Though I’m a hiking lover but you did succeed in encouraging me to try road trips. I don’t know how to drive and my parents never taught me. Maybe I can ask my parents to drive for me and explore all of this area.

Glad we could entice you to give road trips a try. We love hiking too. The great thing about a road trip, is you can take time off to go for a hike. The car gives you freedom to do whatever you like. I think your parents would love a road trip too!

Taking note, as a few of these are in the works. And guys, Norway has fabulous road trips, especially along the long coast. Just sayin’. 🙂

Thanks Sophie! Have a great time road tripping! I would love to go to Norway, hopefully one day soon, that is one long coas.t We’ll be sure to rent a car!

The Cairo to Cape town trip looks exciting. Is the route generally safe?

Dave & Deb, having just made the legendary road-trip along California’s Highway One, I’m eager to do more, and like the look of the drives that you included here. Another one of our favorites has been exploring the Dalmatian coastline in Croatia, and then crossing into Montenegro and Albania too. Love your captures, particularly those from Hawaii and Dark Hedges,.

They sound like awesome road trips, thanks for sharing! WE havne’t been to Montenegro or Albania, I smell another road trip on the horizon! Thanks for the compliment regarding the photographs. It’s pretty easy to be inspired by such beautiful destinations.

Some great exciting road trips, im from New Zealand and have yet done a South Island road trip, although many of my friends have and say it is amazing!

Thank you! You’ll definitely have to get that South Island road trip in, it’s amazing!

I have done a few of these road trips that you mentioned, but nothing to the level that you guys have done. The pictures are fabulous. Your mention of the Route 66 road trip brought back memories to me. I made a cross country road trip of the USA where most of it was on Route 66 when they were still building the interstate highway system, so most the the route was still there. I am so glad that I did because a lot of that is gone now and I have memories that cannot be duplicated today. I am intrigued with Canada and would love to take a trip across the southern portion. I would also enjoy such a trip by train and leave the driving to them. I heard there is such a great trip available.

Hey Bob, that would have been amazing. We only gave it an honorable mention because we haven’t done the entire thing. We felt that we couldn’t properly say we’ve done Route 66 when we’ve only done portions. Now to do the whole thing, that would be amazing. I’d love to do it on a motorcycle. You would love visiting Canada, In the summer, it’s beautiful. A road trip through the Rockies is outstanding.

Loved doing road trips in South Africa and in South Island New Zealand where the blues are the most gorgeous hues we have ever seen! Next time, do try the Route 62 from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in South Africa – the towering cliffs just come at you! Also you two will love the east coastal drive in Sri Lanka – although hugging the east coast, the route also takes you inland through some rugged terrain with elephants. Lovely images – thanks for inspiring us.

Sounds fantastic! Thanks for the recommendations. You could spend a lifetime doing road trips around the world and barely scratch the surface. We didn’t get to explore much of the Eastern Sri Lankan Coast, another reason to go back!

South Island, New Zealand is very beautiful place in world. Really I like this place very much. Anyone can be more delighted to come here.

These all look amazing. I was on the Hana Highway many years ago, and would love to go back. Having lived in Alberta in the 70’s (and dating a couple of cowboys!), I’d love to go back and do the Cowboy Trail

thanks for this compilation. It will now be on my bucket list before I turn 60. 10 years to go. Keep exploring guys !

Fantastic photos guys. Very sharp! I’ve done a road trip from LA through to Arizona, Utah and Nevada. It was our first time in America and I did this with my husband and young son. Also, we drove from Berlin to London. I’m not sure that you would call it a road trip per se, but I think driving through 5 independent countries and then crossing the British Channel should surely count LOL! Nice post guys. 🙂

Hi Victoria, Thanks for the compliment. Sounds like you’ve done some awesome road trips. I call Berlin to London a road trip for sure. Anytime you drive and travel, it’s a road trip to me! Love it!

Wow, what a great list of road trips! Some wonderful photos too. Really like the bamboo forest. I’ve only done a couple road trips that you have listed…Page to Antelope Canyon being one of them. I actually did a little video if your readers are interested:

Thanks Mike, that bamboo forest is pretty incredible eh? I’ll definitely check out the video, thanks for sharing.

Would love to do every single one of the road trips you mentioned above. Especially the Mongol Rally would be something I´d love to do. My aunt and uncle did it a couple of years ago and they fell in love with the landscape in Mongolia. If you have a chance you should do a road trip in Southern France. The Lavender Route is a great route where you will drive along one of the largest canyons in Europe and you will drive past the famous lavender fields.

Your Aunt and Uncle are right. The landscape of Mongolia is so beautiful, we both really want to go back. We’ve actually done Southern France, I should have included that one! We went from Paris through the South of France, into Spain and then over to the Cinque Terre in Italy. You’ve reminded me that I will have to add it to this list when I get a chance.

Great list!! We are currently driving the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland! Also headed to the Causeway Coast. Love the Lake Superior Circle Tour (Duluth/Superior is our home town!!!) and loved the Road to Hana. Nothing like a great road trip.

Have an amazing time on the Wild Atlantic Way! It’s incredible isn’t it? And enjoy the Causeway Coast,try to stay over night at the Giant’s Causeway to see it in the morning or at sunset without all the tour buses there. Totally worth it.

Great post with amazing photos!

Thanks Johnny! And thanks for the inspiration it was #TravelSkills that got me thinking about putting all the road trips together!

I’ve only been to a few of these road trips, looks like quite a few more I would need to add to my bucket list – gorgeous pics!

Thanks Noel, I’m glad we could inspire you with a few ideas:)

Fantastic list of imagination I love road trips very much. I feel more close to nature Maybe in my next trip I’ll think about one of them and over time I’ll try it all Thank you I’m constantly following up on your advice

Thanks Noel even I am glad to know this Thank You very much

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9 Best International Road Trips, According to Travel + Leisure's A-List Advisors

Exploring new places by car gives you flexibility and freedom to go at your own pace.

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One silver lining of the pandemic: a new era of road tripping has begun. Travelers have taken to the open road across the U.S., exploring scenic routes from northern California to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But these four-wheel adventures aren't limited to domestic trips – in fact, driving through countries that aren't our own can be a fantastic way to glean insights into local culture and less-visited destinations. To help you brainstorm, we asked Travel + Leisure's A-List of travel advisors for their favorite international road trips – including the best stops for snacks and sites along the way.

"This naturally diverse and culturally rich country is often overlooked, but would make a wonderful road trip adventure. I'd suggest an eight-day itinerary that starts on the Istrian coastline in the town of Portorož, known for its restorative salt-water baths and health resorts. Another stop is the Goriska Brda wine region in the western part of the country to taste wines, olive oils, and fruit. In Lower Carniola, visit the Lipica Stud Farm, the original home of Lipizzaner horses, and then, to finish the trip, arrive in the capital of Ljubljana. No trip to Ljubljana is complete without taking a tour of the Ljubljanica River in a handmade wooden boat, and riding the funicular up to see the Ljubljana Castle." — Jessica Griscavage, Runway Travel

"On a two-week solo journey, I picked up a car in Lisbon and drove down to Sagres, one of the most stunning and unpopulated areas in the Algarve. Then I drove up Costa Vicentina (the Vicentine Coast) where I stayed at a country estate in the middle of a protected nature reserve. After heading north to Porto, the country's second-largest city, I headed out to the gorgeous Douro Valley for 48 hours of hiking, boating, and of course, wine. My next stop was the peak of Serra da Estrela, the tallest mountain in continental Portugal. This was a challenge for me as it was my first major mountain drive — 4,101 feet high with no guardrails! Eventually I headed down to the coast where I spent my last two days at Areias do Seixo , a chic eco-friendly property on the beach, just an hour's drive from Lisbon." — Sheree M. Mitchell, Immersa Global

"On a three-week self-drive circumnavigating the country of Namibia, I stayed at the best lodges amid dramatic, ever-changing scenery. It's totally safe, doable, and highly recommended if you have the time to slow down and allow the journey to unfold." — Tesa Totengco, Travels with Tesa

Northern Italy

"The Trentino-Alto Adige region in northern Italy is a wonderful option to beat the oppressive summer heat on the Padana Plain. Driving around the mountains provides a chance to enjoy a slower pace with wholesome pleasures, like enjoying the crisp air on a chair lift (and pausing at the top for a snack of strudel). Other hallmark foods in this region: sparkling Trentodoc spumante wine, apples, speck, and pasteurized mountain cheeses served with hearty brown bread." — Joyce Falcone, The Italian Concierge

South Africa

"Here's a must-do: driving South Africa's Garden Route in the Western Cape Province–it's beautiful, with great food, nature, sweeping beaches, and activities ranging from tanning, to safari game drives, to golfing." — Kent Redding, Africa Adventure Consultants

Cornwall, England

"Cornwall in the Southwest of England! Because it is its own micro climate, the area has especially beautiful gardens (which is saying something in Britain) that bloom several weeks ahead of the rest of the country. The stately homes there are gorgeous, the food is five-star level, and the coastline views spectacular." — Ellen LeCompte, Travel Experts

South of France

"It's hard to beat and easy to do: Rent a nice convertible and drive along the coast of the south of France, visiting small gems like Les Baux de Provence commune, exploring the Camargue nature area outside Marseille, seeing the cultural highlights of Arles or Avignon, hitting the race track of Le Castellet or the beach in Antibes, and dining in fantastic restaurants at every stop. There are so many places to include — Cannes, Monaco — no wonder they call it a "route du bonheur" (a route of happiness)." — Rob Clabbers, Q Cruise + Travel

Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

"Definitely Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. You can't do it all in one trip, but you can break it into a couple different vacations. There are wild, rugged coasts, villages and towns full of character, and the best seafood, plus hiking, kayaking, and fishing. Four national parks exist within just a few miles of the ocean!" — Jonathan Epstein, Celebrated Experiences

Ladakh, India

"The best road trip I've ever taken was in India's Ladakh region, from the city of Leh to the Nubra Valley. It's a mountainous road that reaches over 18,000 feet and is primarily used by the Indian army for military training. The road winds up to the peak and then meanders slowly down into the valley — it was an amazing experience." — Carole Cambata, Greaves Tours

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The World’s Best Road Trips For Your World Travel Bucket List

Denali National Park Road

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies .

We love heading off on grand adventures. But, in the years since 9/11, it seems like the entire process of air travel has become much more of a hassle.

For us, it’s become a LOT more fun to load up our Hyundai and head out on the open road. Which probably explains why we’ve driven on family vacations to New York City , Asheville , the Outer Banks , Mobile, and Tennessee in the last 18 months alone.

What follows is the World’s Best Road Trips from our World Travel Bucket List .

READ MORE: List of National Parks by State (America’s Best Idea)


Storseisundet Bridge on Norway's Atlantic Road

The Atlantic Ocean Road (Norway)

Named “The World’s Best Road Trip” by  The Guardian ,  the Atlantic Ocean Road  is an 8.3-kilometer long road running through a picturesque archipelago.

Connecting the western fjord islands between Molde and Kristiansund, the road zig-zags across numerous small islands connected by causeways, viaducts and seven low bridges that jut out over the often dramatic Norwegian Sea.

There are four rest areas offering panoramic views (which often include whales and seals), but the road itself is a thing of beauty often used in automobile ads.

READ MORE: Driving Norway’s National Tourist Route through Jotuheimen Mountains 

Scenery along Spain's Basque Circuit

Basque Circuit (Spain to France)

Stretching 300 miles from Bilbao in northern Spain to the French coastal town of Biarritz, the Basque Circuit is another of Europe’s iconic road trips .

For culture lovers, suggested stops along the way include Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum and Euskalduna concert hall, the historic architecture of Vitoria-Gasteiz (the region’s second-largest city), and the Asiatica Museum in Biarritz.

But nature lovers will be equally impressed by the spectacular scenery as they make their way along the historic Roncesvalles pass through the Pyrenees , the gorgeous mountain range separating France from Spain.

Black Balsam Knob from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina to Virginia)

Running 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway  ranks among North America’s most iconic roadways.

With construction starting in 1935 (when it was known as the Appalachian Scenic Highway), the road was built to connect Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Shenandoah National Park.

It’s been the National Park System’s most visited attraction almost every year since the mid-1940s. It’s easy to see why: With stunning scenery (particularly in Autumn), historic landmarks, and thousands of wildlife species, the parkway offers a taste of unspoiled Americana at its finest.

READ MORE:  Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

Denali National Park Road (Alaska)

With six million acres of pristine wilderness and only one 92-mile road through it, Denali National Park  is a nature-lover’s paradise.

To drive it yourself, you literally have to win the lottery , as the Park Service only opens the (mostly gravel) road to a limited number of private vehicles four days a year.

Instead, take a shuttle bus, which stops for wildlife viewing and bathroom breaks and allows you to get on and off anywhere along the road.

Paralleling the Alaska range, the road offers lovely landscapes, exceptional wildlife (bears, moose, caribou, and even wolves), and– if you’re lucky– breathtaking views of massive Mt McKinley.

READ MORE: Denali National Park, Alaska

Australia's Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road (Australia)

Stretching 151 miles along Australia’s southeastern coast between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford, the Great Ocean Road  was built between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I (making it the world’s largest war memorial).

The route encompasses Australia’s “Surf Coast” as well as the Shipwreck Coast, a formidable stretch of coastline that has claimed more than 600 boats in the last two centuries.

Along the way, the road passes through ecosystems ranging from rainforests and beaches to sheer cliffs, including natural rock formations such as The Grotto, London Arch and the Twelve Apostles.

READ MORE: Top 10 Australian Road Trips

Pakistani Truck on Karakoram Highway

Karakoram Highway (China to Pakistan)

Also known as the Friendship Highway, Karakoram Highway  traces one of the paths of the ancient Silk Road, running 810 miles from the Chinese city of Kashgar to the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

Built between 1959 and 1979 by the governments of China and Pakistan, Karakoram is the highest paved international road in the world, crossing the mountain range through the Khunjerab Pass at an elevation of 15,397 feet.

Emerging in  recent years as an eco-adventure hotspot, the highway provides access to ancient petroglyphs, rivers, lakes, glaciers and mountains, including K2 and Nanga Parbat (the 2nd and 9th tallest in the world).

The Pan-American Highway

Pan-American Highway (North America to South America)

Though we’ve visited many of the countries along what the Guinness Book of World Records calls “the world’s longest motorable road,” driving its 15,000+ miles is widely considered the ultimate epic road trip.

Created in 1937 with the signing of the Convention on the Pan-American Highway , the road system officially passes through 17 countries (the Canadian section doesn’t count, apparently), with some sections passable only during the dry season and the 60-mile Darién Gap constituting the only break.

Our friends at Trans-Americas Journey are currently on a lengthy slow-travel quest to navigate its entire length.

Iceland's Ring Road, by Jennifer Dombrowski

Ring Road (Iceland)

Iceland was on our bucket list long before Game Of Thrones started filming there,  but the dynamic landscapes pictured on the hit show have certainly added fuel to our fantasy’s fire.

Officially known as Route 1, the 832-mile  Ring Road  circles the entire island, from snow-capped mountains and volcanic craters to fertile green valleys and vivid blue fjords.

Completed in 1974 to celebrate 1100 years of human settlement in Iceland , the route takes travelers to some of the country’s finest attractions, including the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Quiver Trees in Namibia's Skeleton Coast Park

Skeleton Coast (Namibia)

One of my fondest travel memories involved driving 500+ km through South Africa’s Kruger National Park and into the Drakensburg Mountains.

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is said to be equally stunning, with arid, windswept landscapes, rugged coastlines shrouded in fog, and a remarkable array of wildlife ranging from baboons and giraffes to lions and rhinos.

The 6200 square mile Skeleton Coast National Park is also home to one of the world’s largest Cape fur seal colonies. Our ethical issue with the country’s stubborn refusal to end its annual, brutal seal slaughter is the only thing that has prevented us from visiting thus far. 

Satellite Photo of New Zealand's South Island

South Island Circuit (New Zealand)

New Zealand for us feels a bit like Mordor must have felt for Frodo Baggins in The Lord of The Rings (which was filmed there)– almost impossibly far away and difficult to reach.

But when we get there, I imagine we could spend two weeks just exploring the natural landscapes of South Island , venturing from Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park, the Southern Lakes region, the wildlife of the Otago Peninsula, Fiordland National Park, and the gorgeous glaciers along the West Coast.

It all seems like some distant dream at this point… but then again, isn’t that what world travel bucket lists are for?  –Bret Love

Special thanks to Jennifer Dombrowski of JDomb’s Travels , Larissa Milne of Changes in Longitude , and Talon Windwalker of 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure  for their suggestions.

If you enjoyed our post on the World’s Best Road Trips, you might also like:

10 Ancient Archaeological Sites For Your World Travel Bucket List  

10 Best Waterfalls For Your World Travel Bucket List

10 Dangerous Travel Destinations For Your World Travel Bucket List  

10 Most Threatened Rivers For Your World Travel Bucket List

10 Off The Beaten Path Ecotourism Destinations For Your World Travel Bucket List  

The Best Coffee in the World: A Gourmet’s Guide

About the Author

Green Global Travel is the world's #1 independently owned ecotourism website encouraging others to embrace sustainable travel, wildlife conservation, cultural preservation, and going green tips for more sustainable living.

We've been spotlighted in major media outlets such as the BBC, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Washington Post and others.

Owned by Bret Love (a veteran journalist/photographer) and Mary Gabbett (business manager/videographer), USA Today named us one of the world's Top 5 Travel Blogging Couples. We were also featured in the 2017 National Geographic book, Ultimate Journeys for Two, for which we contributed a chapter on our adventures in Rwanda. Other awards we've won include Best Feature from both the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Magazine Association of the Southeast.

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The Scenic Route: A Guide to the World’s Best Road Trips

The 10 best road trips around the world, a mix of classic and unexpected, coastal and countryside..

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There’s something about seeing a country or a region on four wheels that lets you feel immersed in a place. The roadside restaurants, the freedom to pause and linger, the exhilaration and pain of getting lost in an age of constant Google Mapping... Isn’t half the fun of travel the detours, anyway? In this package, we pick the 10 best road trips around the world, a mix of classic and unexpected, coastal and countryside. You’d be remiss not to drive California’s Highway 1 at least once in your life—but what about South Africa’s Garden Route?

For a road trip in South Africa, drive the Garden Route.

For a road trip in South Africa, drive the Garden Route.

Photo by Andrea Willmore/Shutterstock

Garden Route, South Africa

Hugging the eastern coastline of South Africa , the Garden Route takes you through the nation’s hits. There are farm stalls brimming with local produce, reserves with wildlife like elephants, ostriches, and monkeys, and memorable scenery throughout. Hiking, swimming, and surfing are all on offer, and you can finish days with a local glass of wine from one of the many wine farms along the way.

Ready to hit the road? Read more here.

These Wild Places in South Africa Go Beyond the Traditional Safari

North America

Road trip through Alaska.

Road trip through Alaska.

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A Loop out of Anchorage, Alaska

This seven-day journey that starts and ends in Anchorage is an outdoorsy road-tripper’s dream. You’ll be awestruck by Denali National Park , as well as the less-trafficked and equally beautiful Wrangell—St. Elias. You’ll meet sled dogs and sample Alaska ’s bountiful produce at organic farms along the way. If you’re really adventurous, take a detour on a bush flight and enjoy Alaska’s small-town delights—and its famous salmon. You’ll want to make time for a glacier trek, so don’t forget your fleece and hiking boots.

Alaska, Mountains, Forest, Glacier

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Perhaps the most iconic of road trips, California ’s Pacific Coast Highway takes you all along the state’s picturesque coastline. Winding through beach towns, big cities, and miles of untouched coast, PCH is the perfect way to see the Golden State. There are aquariums, a castle, and, of course, jaw-dropping scenery on this route. Be sure you plan enough time to take it slow, watch for whales, and, when you’re at the car rental, spring for the convertible.


San Juan Skyway, Colorado

This quick jaunt among the 14,000-foot peaks of southwestern Colorado has no shortage of dramatic vistas. The roads are not for the faint of heart—10,000-foot passes beckon. Stomach-churning heights give way to sprawling pastures and waterfall-flecked canyons. Hot springs and tiny mountain towns also make this road trip an irresistible stunner.


Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

A five-day journey along the Parkway from Charlottesville, Virginia , to Asheville, North Carolina, showcases the wonders of Appalachia. You’ll sample local cheeses, seasonal, farm-to-table cooking, and barbecue. Down-home bluegrass music plus local crafts make for a truly authentic trip into this scenic, mountainous region. There’s no shortage of hikes, ranging from easy to difficult, including an opportunity to set foot on the storied Appalachian Trail.

People on the summit of Stony Man Mountain and view of the Shenandoah Valley, in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.; Shutterstock ID 492044659

South America

Go fishing on a road trip in Patagonia, which is known for some of the best fly-fishing in the world.

Go fishing on a road trip in Patagonia, which is known for some of the best fly-fishing in the world.

Photo by Peter Bohler

Patagonia Lake District, Argentina and Chile

Outdoor adventures await throughout the Lake District in northern Patagonia in Argentina and Chile . From white-water rafting to heli-skiing to hiking, there’s something for everyone no matter the season, all amid charming, European-style towns. National parks, volcanoes, and the eponymous lakes dot the route, offering arresting views and more places to stop and explore than you’ll have time for. Locally sourced steak and trout will keep you fueled up on this weeklong journey.

6 Essential Stops Along Chile’s Epic Route of Parks

Epic waterfalls are just one of the things you will see on an Iceland road trip.

Photo by Smit/Shutterstock

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

A drive along Ireland ’s windswept coastline brings endless opportunities for nature walks and hunkering down in cozy pubs. You’ll encounter live traditional music and plenty of chances to get on the water, from boat tours to kayaking. Dolphin and whale-watching tours, too, are on your route. Castles and colorful villages also take center stage on this trip. Although our itinerary covers five days, you could easily take two weeks to discover this massive, 1,600-mile route.

How to Get an International Driver’s Permit

North Coast 500, Scotland

This 516-mile loop out of Inverness showcases the rugged beauty of northernmost Scotland. Cathedrals, historic sites, and distilleries abound here, and you’ll need at least five days to wind your way around the scenic drive. Accommodations range from rustic to country luxury to castle estates, so there’s something for every type of traveler. Fill your plate with loads of seafood and game, then burn it all off with hikes, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.

Ready to hit the road? Read more here .

5 Tips for Planning (and Surviving) a Mega Road Trip

Diamond Circle, Iceland

This less-traveled circuit in northern Iceland showcases the highlights. Waterfalls and colonies of puffins await alongside opportunities for whale-watching. Days filled with delectable seafood, ancient rock formations, and soaring views create the kind of trip that will have you stopping every few miles for a photo op. No trip through Iceland would be complete without geothermal baths, so a good soak is on your agenda as well.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

Drive the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

Photo by Robert Blackburn/Visit Victoria

Great Ocean Road

Spend at least three days on a leisurely tour of Australia ’s Great Ocean Road, a spectacular coastal route that runs south out of Melbourne . There are pristine beaches, yes, but also a stunning national park with waterfall hikes and zipline adventures. Add beachfront hotels and restaurants and you’ve got the makings of a truly special road trip, particularly if you take the time for a beach day or two as you explore. On this drive, you’ll want to remain beach-ready. Pack plenty of sunscreen.

A tub with a view: Pier One overlooks Sydney Harbour and its iconic Harbour Bridge.

most popular road trips

The World’s Best Road Trips: What Places Do People Want to Visit?


Where are the most popular road trips in the world?

Once you pass your driving test , you are free to travel the open road and really get the best out of your new found freedom. Whether you’re a new driver or have decades of experience, these road trips are some of the best adventure ideas you can experience. The possible journeys are endless.

Using Google search data we have been able to establish which road trips are the most popular across the globe, and which ones interest residents of different nations the most. We have listed the best road trips across the world, the best in the UK, and the best in the US.

Updated for 2023, this report details the most popular road trips across the world, UK, and US, and how our road trip preferences have changed over the last year. 

The World’s Most Popular Road Trips 2022

global road trip

1 – Route 66 – 6 ,523,000 Global Annual Searches

Moving from second place last year to the top spot this year is Route 66. Bobby Troup cemented the legacy of the world-famous Route 66 with the lyrics “Get your kicks on Route 66” . Route 66, located in the US, stretches almost 4,000 kilometres from Santa Monica to Chicago. The road was once the main route across the country, however, it has more recently become a quieter, more scenic way to cross America due to the development of other main roads.

2 – Big Sur – 4,625,000 Global Annual Searches

With over 4.6 million searches, the second most popular road trip right now was 2021’s most popular. Big Sur Coast Highway, California, USA, is a section of road on California’s ‘State Route 1’ and is breathtakingly stunning. Expect to experience a windy coastal cliff edge flanked by the bright blue Pacific Ocean on one side and the towering Californian mountains on the other.

3 – Dolomites – 3,337,000 Global Annual Searches

In northern Italy, we find some of the greatest driving roads in the world, and the Dolomite mountains are no exception. The Great Dolomites Road is a road trip between Bolzano and Cortina d’Ampezzo that travels right across the mountain range and allows road trippers to take in some spectacular Italian views along the way.

4 – Salar de Uyuni – 2,575,000 Global Annual Searches

Salar de Uyuni is one of the most striking and spectacular landscapes on the planet. Home to the largest salt flats in the world, the Salar de Uyuni sits amongst the Andes mountains in Bolivia. In total over two and a half million people searched for the Salar de Uyuni in the past year, making it one of the world’s most searched for road trips.

5 – Blue Ridge Parkway – 2,046,000 Global Annual Searches

Blue Ridge Parkway finishes our top five most popular global road trips with just over two million annual searches. The parkway is America’s longest linear park, running for 469 miles, and has been the most-visited part of the National Park System every year since 1946, except for four. Blue Ridge Parkway is a new entry to the top five most popular road trips in the world.

Every Country’s Favourite Road Trip

global road trip

Route 66 is the road trip location that is the most searched in most countries with 46 nations having it as their most popular road trip. The second and third routes which came top in the most countries are the Dolomites and Big Sur, being the most popular in 21 and 19 countries respectively.

The Most Popular British and Irish Road Trips

global road trip

1 – NC500 – 739,700 National Annual Searches

Maintaining its number one spot as the most searched domestic road trip by British citizens is the North Circuit 500 (NC500) in Northern Scotland, achieving over 150,000 additional annual searches compared to last year. This beautiful and majestic road trip has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it is no surprise as to why, with beautiful driving roads flowing through spectacular mountains and coastline.

2 – Ring of Kerry – 57,300 National Annual Searches

As the name suggests, the Ring of Kerry is a circular route around the southwestern Irish county. Kerry is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland and this road trip takes you out to the coast from Killarney, where visitors will find fantastic views of the breathtaking Skellig Islands. Movie fans should note these islands were featured in the Star Wars movies. The Ring of Kerry was third place last year.

3 – Glasgow to Inverness – 32,400 National Annual Searches

Knocking the Wild Atlantic Way (last years second place) out of the top three is Glasgow to Inverness. From Scotland to Ireland and back again, our third most-searched-for UK road trip is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, spanning incredible roads from Glasgow over to Inverness. This trip takes you past Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, Ben Nevis, and many other must-see Scottish landmarks.

The Most Popular US Road Trips

global road trip

1 – Big Sur 2,729,000 National Annual Searches

Big Sur is the most searched US road trip by Americans with over 2.7 million annual searches. While still the most searched, Route 66 saw over 500,000 less searches this year compared to 2021. One of the more spectacular aspects of this route is the exquisitely engineered bridges that span rivers and gorges where they meet the ocean, with the Bixby Creek Bridge being one of the finest examples.

2 – Route 66 – 2,277,000 National Annual Searches

With over 2 million annual searches in America, Route 66 comes in second for the US’ most searched for road trips. Although it is no longer possible to drive the original Route 66 uninterrupted, due to decommission all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles, much of the original route and alternate alignments are still drivable; some original stretches are quite well preserved.

3 – Blue Ridge Parkway – 1,925,000 National Annual Searches

National Parkway and All-American Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway rounds off our American top three road trips. This trip covers part of the Appalachian mountains and the road through them has spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The US top three is unchanged from last year, cementing these road trips as America’s favourites.


  • We looked at multiple online articles listing popular routes to create lists of global, US, and UK road trips to reveal 80 global road trips, 25 UK trips, and 25 US trips.
  • By using Google Ads Keyword Planner we were able to find out the number of annual searches globally and domestically for each road trip, taken on 01/04/2022.

The 2021 World’s Best Road Trips Report

If you want to read our previous report you can download it here:


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The World’s Most Popular Road Trips

Whatever the location of your next adventure, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve analysed just under 47 million #roadtrip hashtags across Instagram to discover the very best routes and locations anywhere in the world.

Now you can find your next life-changing experience.

Explore the Routes for Yourself

The first step begins now. To help plan your next road trip you can take an interactive tour of the top 20 most popular road tripping countries on the planet. Which one is next on your bucket list?

{{#each route}} {{name}} {{#each stops}} {{}} {{this.description}}

Where are the most popular #roadtrip hot spots?

These are the countries, cities and global routes where the road trip revolution runs and runs. They are the most popular spots for the #roadtrip hashtag. Check them out and dream of your next drive.

Most Instagrammed #roadtrip attractions

Wow. This is it. This is what those trailblazing travellers that have gone before you have shown to the world. These hotspots and attractions are hashtagged the most alongside #roadtrip . Just look at them!

global road trip


The World’s Most Popular Roadtrips has been brought to you by Europcar.

Images used in this piece have been published by; Tbennert, Alexander Blecher,, Jeremy Thompson from Los Angeles, California, Lienhard Schulz and Todd Dailey, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 International and Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 International .

The list of road trip hotspots was compiled by analysing over 47 million social media posts from across Instagram that used the hashtag “#roadtrip” between 2016 and 2017 and was sourced via Crimson Hexagon. The locations of these posts were then ranked by volume at a country level, state level and city level to show where in the world the ‘roadtrip’ hashtag was most popular.

To discover the most popular road trip routes, the most mentioned locations were analysed to map popular routes between two or more locations over five markets (USA, UK/Europe, France, Australia and Worldwide).

In order to understand the most Instagrammed hotspots and attractions, a sample of posts were taken from the most popular regions and mentions of attractions were then weighted with the volume of posts from that region to create a list of the most popular attractions to visit on a road trip.

Rudderless Travel


The best global day trips, road trips & weekend getaways.

Ready to break free from routine? Are you keen to escape on a spontaneous adventure? Join me as I share the best ways to see the world in a weekend — or even a day. Back home in Toronto, Weekend Getaways and day trips are a regular thing!

I created this website for travellers who are looking to redefine their experiences. With a focus on quick getaway trips around the world, my aim is to inspire and educate you on the best places for a weekend getaway, day excursion, and road trip journey.  If you’re asking yourself, where can I go for a quick weekend getaway?, you’ll find the best answers below.

About This Rudderless Traveller

My name is Christopher Rudder, a videographer & editor, podcaster, freelance writer based in Toronto, Canada and owner of Rudderless Media.

Together with my partner Gordana Grubor, we are experts in day trips and road trips who, with our team, write high-quality, search-engine-optimized travel articles, itineraries and reviews for this site, Road Trip Ontario  and other online publications. Plus, as an audio editor (with a sexy voice), you can find me co-hosting the  Road Trip Ready Podcast  with my co-host and long-time friend Danille Desir Corbett. As well as hosting the Highway Highlights Podcast .

day trips

What Is Rudderless Travel?

Unlike traditional travel, rudderless travel is the idea of surrendering to the unknown. Discover hidden gems. Stumble upon local treasures. But above all, trust the journey. 

And I get it; this all sounds great, but being prepared before you travel is important. Especially when you’re venturing into new territories where perhaps you don’t speak the language and aren’t familiar with the landscapes. This website is all about finding the sweet spot between the unknown and having some guidance. 

To ensure your travels are both fun and informed, I’ve loaded this platform with helpful suggestions and travel guides. Think of them as your friendly helpers, giving you key details like the best backpack to use , quick itineraries (like this 48-hour trip to New York ), and guides on what to do in Naples , Portugal, and all the different corners of the world. 

Imagine yourself in a bustling city across the ocean from your home, not sure which street to explore or where to even grab a coffee. RudderlessTravel is here to be your go-to travel pal, offering tips to help you navigate these destinations confidently. 

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One-Day & Weekend Trips Around the World

How much can you really see in one day? Even 36 hours seems like a short time to discover a new place, right? But you’d be surprised. Whether you’re staying in the city and needing to escape the bustle for a day or looking for somewhere to visit on a tight schedule, day trips are ideal. And extending your stay for the weekend only makes it better. 

From charming towns to breathtaking natural wonders, these guides offer a world of exploration in bite-sized adventures. There’s no need to stay home just because you don’t have extended leave days to travel. Pick one of these exciting day trips, quick weekend getaways, or mid-week road trip vacations close to you and set out to discover impressive sights and scenes. 

I know first-hand that life’s best moments are often found in the unscripted, the unexpected, and the unplanned. So, let go of the ordinary, embrace the extraordinary, and let our day trips be your passport to a world of discovery. Life is too short for the mundane—immerse yourself in unforgettable day adventures.

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Global Road Trips

Craving the open road? Great. Pack a few snacks, pick out a groovy playlist, and learn the rules of the road in the country you’re planning on driving through. There’s something fantastic about jumping into a car (whether your own or a rented one) and taking control of your travels. 

Road trips offer so much more out of your travels, allowing you to stop at landmarks and charming towns that you might have missed if you were travelling another way. You don’t need a week or longer to make a memorable road trip, either, as you’ll see in my short travel guides below. 

Whether it’s the iconic Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, or a winding mountain pass, I share the joys of the open road, ensuring that every pit stop becomes a cherished memory. So, rev up your engines, hit the road, and let me be your companion in exploring the unparalleled thrill of the great road trip.

Game of Thrones Northern Ireland

Featured Destinations: Best Weekend Getaways & Day Trips

The world is your oyster! And I encourage you to see as much of it as you can in your lifetime. But I do happen to have a few favourite destinations (don’t tell the others). These just work so perfectly when it comes to weekend getaway ideas.

These diverse countries offer an array of experiences, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re drawn to cultural explorations, gastronomic delights, or the allure of natural wonders, our featured destinations promise a rich tapestry of activities, sights, and flavours.

Let the journey unfold as we delve into the heart of each destination, bringing you a global variety of moments that will ignite your wanderlust.



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Quick Getaways, Tips, & Latest Posts

Can you feel that wanderlust bug but aren’t quite sure where it’s leading you yet? Check out my latest posts to help spark the weekend vacation ideas. 

Work With Me

When I’m not uncovering hidden gems for great weekend getaways or sketching out exhilarating road trips across the globe, I channel my skills toward a passion project – assisting others in their creative endeavours. Alongside my dedicated partner and our team of creative masterminds, we extend a spectrum of collaborative opportunities for fellow enthusiasts in the travel world.

Our mission is simple: to foster a community where creativity knows no bounds. Whether you’re a fellow wanderer, a travel blogger, or someone with a unique vision, we’re here to collaborate and bring your ideas to life. Together, we can craft compelling narratives, design captivating visuals, and curate experiences that resonate with audiences around the globe.


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A Little Adrift Travel Blog

How to Plan an Around the World Itinerary in 8 Steps

Last updated on January 5, 2024 by Shannon

You’re planning an around the world trip . Congrats! My one-year trip turned into a decade of wandering and it transformed my life . My own one-year trip itinerary took me through 15 countries and countless experiences—but narrowing down my dream countries to just 15 was hard.

In my world travel route, I planned the itinerary to pass through Agra for the Taj Mahal.

After so many years on the road—and after several round the world trips since that first one—I have some hard learned advice for anyone planning their own route and building their own trip around the world. If you’re planning a world trip, it’s usually a long-term route of at least a few months and up to a year around the world, or more.

These are eight ideas—eight steps really—to help narrow your travel itinerary down to those stops along your route that will fit your budget, highlight the most memorable places to you, and make sense for the trip you’ve always dreamed of taking.

Table of Contents

1. Make an itinerary bucket list for the entire world.

Great Wall of China on RTW trip itinerary

The inspiration phase of planning your round the world trip itinerary is one of the most fun. Maybe you already have a laundry list of places you hope to cram into your world trip itinerary. Or perhaps you’ve nailed down a few key experiences but you’re open to more inspiration. You should absolutely start with a long bucket list of locations all over the world, because weather and route might automatically strike a few off the list for you.

If you’re curious for more travel ideas, browse the  best travel books sorted by destination , or search for long-reads and podcast recommendations on my Destination Travel Guides . Use these books and resources for inspiration on not only places to add to your round the world route, but activities, too.

Perhaps you read The Devil’s Picnic and subsequently add Paris to your list for that stinky but toothsome Époisses de Bourgogne cheese, or you add Bhutan because of its intriguing portrayal in The Geography of Bliss (that’s what has it on the itinerary for my next around the world trip!).

Books and podcasts are a phenomenal way to expand your idea of what is possible on your trip.

Once you have a list of dream destinations for your travel itinerary, highlight up to five that are your absolute priorities—these will become the bedrock of your around the world trip. The rest of the places on your list will slot in around those stops based on timing, weather, and more.

How granularly you plan is personal—some travelers leave with a precise list of destinations and timelines, while others plan the first couple of months of their round the world trop.

My three key travel destinations:

For my first year, I had three key activities on my list. The first was diving the Great Barrier Reef —that’s why my trip started in Australia . The second was meeting my cousin in India and backpacking north from Mumbai together for two months before ending our time together at a volunteer placement in Nepal . The third was time-sensitive as I had always dreamed of attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival , which takes place every August in Scotland.

Later, when I traveled with my 11-year-old niece for six months in Southeast Asia , I led her through some basic Google searches so that she could see what was on offer. We planned our joint world trip itinerary together centered around her three biggies: an ethical elephant encounter , ziplining somewhere, and visiting Angkor Wat .

2. Pick a direction around the world.

Napping on long-term round the world trip

From your home country, your travel itinerary will take you either east to west, or west to east around the world. Backtracking is not ideal—it’s expensive, causes more jet lag, and is bad for the environment. Use this strategy whether you use a round the world ticket (which requires this stipulation) or if you book flights as you travel.

Pros and cons of traveling east:

  • Science says this direction is harder on your body and produces more jet lag . The short of it is because you are losing time when you fly through time several zones, but your body actually prefers cycles slightly longer than 24 hours, not shorter.
  • You’ll need to become a pro at minimizing jet lag so you don’t lose several days to it in each new location.
  • If you’re planning a very long RTW trip, perhaps 18 months or more, and your itinerary creeps around the world, then you will likely not notice the difference much.

Pros and cons of traveling west:

  • As noted, your body actually prefers days that run longer than 24 hours, so your internal clock has a much easier time adding hours into your day. This means fewer nights adjusting and staring at the hotel ceiling at 3am.
  • Your body can do at least two hours of time zone jumping in this direction without having a noticeable effect on you, so it’s ideal to slowly hop west around the world. And if you’re crossing the Pacific from the U.S., your largest time zone change will likely occur at the beginning of your trip, so you can then enjoy more relaxing travel for the many months afterwards.

How I decided my world trip direction:

I was lucky that two of my key experiences could bookend my trip. Scotland and Australia are not close, so it was easy to plan many of my other dream destinations to fill the space between these countries.

Since I planned to leave the U.S. in November, it was easy to surmise that starting my trip in Australia, which was entering summer, made the most sense. Then I would make my way west toward Scotland for Edinburgh Fringe, handily skirting both winter in Europe and summer in Asia.

3. Find creative overland routes.

taking a train on my trip around the world to get around thailand with my niece

Whew, you now have a list of dream destinations for your world trip and a direction of travel. Now it’s time to fill in the space in your itinerary. And you’ll do that by using local transportation, which is a lot more fun than flying—you’ll see more of the country and culture, and you’ll have richer travel experiences .

Go back now to those handful of key destinations from your bucket list that. These are the foundational bedrocks of your world trip itinerary. These dots on the map should lend a rough overview of a route. If they don’t, if one is just an outlier that makes it hard to see logical jumps, narrow your list down to four, and see if that helps—if you truly love the idea of an experience, but it doesn’t fit this trip it might make a great trip on its own in a couple years time.

Now, your world trip itinerary needs the details, and those usually come from visiting clusters of bordering countries—you’ll be crossing overland among many of these destinations. (For that to work, however, check visa restrictions for your nationality as some countries require visas in advance, or don’t allow crossings at certain borders).

Popular routes ( backpacking Southeast Asia , for example), have only a few restrictions and those are easily handled online, or in the days before your border crossing.

Start dotting the map with the countries that are very close to your bedrock destinations. That looks like this: If trekking in Nepal is a bedrock item, and India’s Golden Triangle and Sri Lanka were both on your dream list, then it makes sense to add them into your route, since you’ll definitely be in the region.

My creative overland routes:

As I planned my itinerary, a dear friend announced she wanted to meet me in Florence, Italy in June. That became another bedrock item with a firm date, so I now had a time I had to leave South Asia and head to Eastern Europe.

Nearby Croatia was on my tentative list, and I had a friend in Bosnia , so both of those became stops on my itinerary that helped give it shape. Prague hadn’t been on my list, but I decided to move north through Eastern Europe after leaving Bosnia.

I filled in adventurous stops that would take me from my friend in Italy in June to Scotland in August—plenty of time for rafting in Slovenia , finding charming towns in Czech Republic , biking Amsterdam like a local, and walking through the Lake District of England first!

Research activities in countries you’re considering.

If there are countries nearby your “must-visit” locations, use a site like GetYourGuide to research the types of activities you could see and do if you visited these adjacent destinations as well. I like checking out the day tour sites more than a guidebook at this stage because it’s a very quick overview of the must-dos in each location.

4. Research festivals in your favored locations.

Festivals are an important part of your round the world trip planning itinerary

Local festivals around the world are amazingly full of life, culture, and fun. It’s a huge letdown when you learn too late that you missed a major religious and celebratory festival by just a few days. And it’s also a shock if you arrive thinking it’s shoulder season but you really arrived during Brazil’s carnival.

Plan your route to coincide with the dates of festivals that seem most fun for you (this is especially important for trips with kids, because they love the excitement, colors, and foods at these types of events. You’ll need to book accommodation early depending on the event, so that may take some flexibility from your world travel route, but it’s worth it.

Here are a few favorite annual festivals that many travelers plan around: La Tomatina in Spain in late August; Holi the Festival of Colors  in India around early March; Thailand’s Songkran Water Festival often falls within April and its Loy Krathong Lantern Festival falls in late October or early November.

Festivals around the world I sought out:

When my cousin told me should could only meet in India in February, and I knew we’d be there for two months, I went into planning mode to decide where we should celebrate Holi the Festival of Colors . It was a real highlight of my trip and I am so glad our world travel itinerary allowed us to experience this incredible Indian festival.

Then, of course, was the Fringe Festival —that was one of my bedrock destinations so it was definitely on the planned route.

5. Play Tetris with locations to fit your travel budget.

plan a RTW itinerary that fits your travel budget

I stuck to an amazing year-long world travel budget that came in under $20,000. The only way I could do that was by carefully planning my time to favor budget-friendly countries, and then add in high-cost countries in smaller supply.

Research each of your dream destinations ahead of time because some places you might assume are budget actually cost more than you imagine (a safari in Africa is not cheap, nor is accommodation in much of Africa, but visiting a dream destination on the continent is worth it). Japan may be in Asia, but it’s pricey, too. Central America and Mexico are easy on your budget, as are parts of South America.

How I made my RTW travel budget work:

Australia , England, Scotland, and Ireland were mega expensive and represented three of my eleven months on the road. India and Nepal were, by far, the cheapest places (even cheaper than backpacking Southeast Asia ), and it was actually difficult to go over budget during the three-and-a-half months that I backpacked South Asia.

I spent the other months in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, two regions that are in the discount to mid-range. All told, I was able to easily average $50 a day, even though some days in Europe topped $100.

6. Plan around weather trends.

planning my rtw trip to start in Australia, where i could dive and swim

On your trip, research destinations ahead of time and plan according to your own weather preferences. While it’s not likely you will hit every destination in your preferred season, you should know when monsoon season makes a paradise island unenjoyable, or when blizzards will thwart a planned ski trip.

Research using this great rundown of shoulder season locations around the world, and this European shoulder season list , and this very cool map of a a sample round the itinerary featuring perfect weather in every location.

Why I chased summer around the world:

I planned my trip itinerary to chase summer around the world. As a native Floridian, my tolerance for heat is higher than most others, and I deeply enjoy warmth. A year of summer was lovely.

Whether your around the world trip chases summer or snow—and note it’s way easier to pack for long-term travel when you can leave behind thick jackets and boots—you’ll want to pack effectively using packing cubes .

I have probably 20 packing cubes after 15+ years of travel—cubes of all shapes, sizes, and uses to fit every trip. This eight-pack starter set is well-priced, durable, and will give you a worthy introduction into the sheer magic of packing cubes.

7. Consider how you will fly.

Flying on a RTW trip can make your itinerary more doable but more expensive.

When planning your itinerary, you have to consider more than just major long-haul flights. On my travels, I research local budget airlines too, and I always have a good idea of which regions of the world offer affordable puddle-jumper flights. If you’re considering buying round the world tickets , read my insider tips and advice first!

Southeast Asia has AirAsia and Vietjet, among others. Europe has many budget carriers: Vueling, Ryan Air, and EasyJet. And JetStar has good flight deals in South Asia. By checking for budget airline routes, I know that I can easily visit more countries in a region if there are sub $100 flights around the area. (Tip: this is an amazing interactive map of low-cost airline routes ).

My transportation choices:

I priced out my year on the road and found it was cheaper to combine overland travel with local carriers than it would have been to buy a RTW ticket up front. I also have a guide to how I find good flight deals , since I never buy round the world airfare.

Generally, flights are likely necessary unless you plan an entirely overland route around the world , but flights are harmful if you solely rely on this form of transportation, so truly consider how you can incorporate other options, such as buying a Eurail ticket in Europe, or a Greyhound bus ticket to travel down the east coast of Australia.

Don’t forget to  book travel insurance for your trip —a great policy provides coverage in case of medical emergencies, lost or stolen gear, adventure sports riders, and more. I’ve used  IMG Global  for more than a decade  highly recommend it !

8. Remove some destinations from your world trip itinerary.

Remove some destinations on your trip itinerary.

There is no wrong way to plan your route around the world, and there is no perfect number of places that you can visit in a year—it all depends on what you’re looking for on your trip. And no matter how carefully you plan, you will love some places, feel mediocre toward others, and perhaps even leave early from a few. You won’t know until you set out which type of places and experiences best fit your long-term travel style.

But please keep in mind that the pace of short-term travels is very different from a multi-month trip. Create a route that travels slowly, avoids the dreaded travel-fatigue , and includes destinations you have long dreamed of visiting. To do that, you now need to take a critical eye to your trip and trim the fat.

Is there something you added it because it seemed fun and was moderately close, but it wasn’t a bedrock item? Or perhaps it’s a location you love the idea of so much that you know you will plan a trip there in the future if you skip it now. Snip those from your world travel itinerary right now and you will be shooting me an email of thanks once you’re on the road.

The countries I cut from my around the world trip:

The best advice other travelers gave me when I asked for itinerary advice in a travel forum was to remove an entire leg of the trip. I had hoped to backpack Scandinavia between my time in the Czech Republic and Amsterdam, but long-term travelers assured me that I would be grateful for wiggle room in my itinerary by that stage of my trip (nine months into it).

Plus, they accurately pointed out that I just couldn’t swing these very expensive countries on my limited travel budget.

Turns out that I burned out a month before reaching Czech Republic and camped out in Slovenia for an extra two weeks—if I had been dead-set on Scandinavia, I would have never had time to do that while still making it to Edinburgh Fringe in time! (And let’s not even think about what Scandinavia would have done to my travel budget!).

If you’re overwhelmed about planning the nitty-gritty details on a months-long trip around the world, know that a rough route suffices. All you truly need before you leave home is logistics for the first couple of weeks—you can easily sort out the rest on the road. I promise.

Really, I promise. It seems scary but I swear to you that you will be grateful for flexibility once you land, and that it’s completely possible to plan the smaller details as you go. Moving between countries and regions was infinitely easier than I had anticipated before my first round the world.

Your Next Steps for Planning an Around the World Itinerary

Research places around the world and assemble a dream list of locations. That’s really the first step and should be a lot of fun.

While my travel books selections are a starting point, you can also peruse guidebooks for inspiration. I always buy a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide for my first planned destination (and then I swap it along the way for each new country), and before my first round the world trip I checked out a stack of 25 guidebooks from my library. Do your research and dream big before you even begin selecting an itinerary and paring down your list of destinations.

This is my core page compiling resources on How to Travel the World and here are a few other pages sharing advice specifically for long-term travel planning.

  • How Much Does it Cost to Travel the World
  • How to Save for Travel
  • Free Destination Travel Guides
  • Best Credit and Debit Cards for Travel
  • How to Pack for Long-Term Travel
  • How to Pick the Right Travel Insurance

How to Travel the World

Free resources and first-hand advice on how to plan long-term and round the world travels.

Essential Travel Planning Resources

❗ Yes, you need travel insurance . IMG Global is the travel insurance I’ve used for well over a decade of traveling solo, and with kids. Here’s why .

🧳 Smart packing can save your trip. Shop my favorite travel gear , including all of the packing essentials for world travel , gear to keep you safe on the road, my favorite travel books , and more.

🛏️ Find great accommodation . is essentially the only hotel booking site that I use. It has a wide and affordable selection of traditional hotels, but also hostels and vacation rentals, too. Use these pro tips to find the best travel accommodation .

📍 Navigate more effectively. Rome2Rio is super handy to assess the full range of transport options between two cities—shows everything from flights to trains, buses, minibuses, and more. If you’re booking a rental car, I’ve always found the best deals on .

✈️ Book affordable flights. Expedia is one of the first places I look for low-cost flights .

☕ Peruse all of my tips for round the world travel , or learn how to move and live abroad .

Virtual Road Trip


View Featured Routes

Virtual Road Trip lets you experience road trips through highways, interstates, and cities from around the globe.

  • 47 minutes San Jose San Francisco View Drive
  • 2 hours Philadelphia New York City View Drive
  • 4 hours New York City Boston View Drive
  • 2 hours Chicago Indianapolis View Drive
  • 1 hour Hamburg Berlin View Drive
  • 1 hour Meaux Epernay View Drive
  • 1 hour Paris Meaux View Drive
  • 1 hour Chicago Milwaukee View Drive
  • 1 hour Key West Tavernir View Drive
  • 2 hours Genova Portofino View Drive
  • 2 hours San Francisco Santa Cruz View Drive
  • 1 hour Miami Ft Lauderdale View Drive
  • 1 hour St Petersburg Saratosa View Drive
  • 1 hour Porto Lisbon View Drive
  • 5 hours Glascow London View Drive
  • 4 hours Istanbul Izmir View Drive
  • 2 hours Istanbul Ankara View Drive
  • 43 minutes Amsterdam Waardenburg View Drive
  • 20 minutes Copenhagen Birkerrod View Drive
  • 1 hour Brisbane Gold Coast View Drive

Let others take roadtrips from home.

Click the button below to head to the homepage. After that, you'll be prompted to view more modes of travelling. We currently support, walking, driving, flying and live video. Choose wisely! The choice is yours!

Monument Explorer lets you experience the wonders of monuments around the world. For example, take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or even experience a 1,070 foot skyscraper building!

Take a stroll in over 50 cities around the worold! As you watch, admire and celebrate the differences of each culture. While taking in the sceneary, be reminded of how each nations culture and leadership affects the well being of the people.

View the city of your choice from above and enjoy a magnificent sightseeing adventure. As you watch, think of the differences in culture, wealth, and prosperity in each country you view from above.

Click the box to Go Drive footage from around the world. While viewing, you'll be able to see the true face and culture of people around the world. Have fun and admire the scenery!

Here’s a list of some of the best road trips in the world.

Route 66 in arizona: the iconic road trip of dreams immortalised by nat king cole's ballad., pacific coast highway in california: embark on an epic drive from monterrey, weaving down highway 1 to los angeles., san francisco to la - national parks route: explore the best of america's national parks and cities on this epic cross-state journey., icefields parkway in alberta: one of the world's top road trips, alberta's scenic route boasts breathtaking landscapes at every turn., dempster highway in yukon: for the ultimate adventure, the dempster highway promises an unparalleled road trip experience., sunshine coast in british columbia: begin with a ferry ride from vancouver and enjoy the picturesque drive starting at gibsons landing., amalfi coast in italy: drive along the world's most stunning sea cliffs, a route famed for its cinematic beauty., bavaria in germany: immerse yourself in fairytale castles and the highest peaks for a memorable drive through germany., south island in new zealand: explore new zealand's beauty independently, circling the south island for a road trip adventure., great ocean road in australia: australia's most scenic road trip, the great ocean road offers breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences., thanks for reading. up next.

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World Trip Planner

Plan your next round-the-world trip.

Use PlanYourTrip to prepare for you next Adventure. With this page you can try out this application to find out about it's advantages. After registration your Trip can be saved. Have fun planning your next World Trip with the PlanYourTrip Planner.

You still need some inspiration for your personal travel planning? Just take a look at our sample trips!

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The Global Road Trip Index - Header

The Global Road Trip Index

A road trip is the perfect way to see the world, allowing you to explore a country (or continent) at your own pace and see areas that you may not normally have the chance to visit on a traditional holiday. We wondered,…

Kate O'Brien

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A road trip is the perfect way to see the world, allowing you to explore a country (or continent) at your own pace and see areas that you may not normally have the chance to visit on a traditional holiday.

We wondered, however, where is the best city in the world to road trip around?

We’ve ranked the world’s more economically developed countries on factors including the cost of 2 weeks car rental and accommodation, the price of fuel, Instagrammability and road safety to reveal where you should consider taking your next road trip.

The World’s Best Countries To Road Trip Around

Road trip rankings, short-term cover

When we take all of the studied factors into account, it’s Italy which comes out on top as the best country for a road trip, scoring particularly highly for its Instagrammability and road safety.

From coastal fishing villages to snow-capped mountains and amazing lakes, Italy has a lot to offer to those road tripping around the country, so it’s no surprise to see it perform so well.

Other countries which ranked highly include the USA (with famous road trips such as Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway) and Japan, which despite being among the more expensive countries, scored highly for road safety and even took the top spot for Instagrammability.

1. Italy 2. United States 3. Japan 4. Spain 5. Canada 6. Australia 7. United Arab Emirates 8. Germany 9. France 10. Mexico

Global Road Trip Rankings

Wondering where your favourite country ranks on the road trip index? Below you’ll find the data for the world’s more economically developed countries.

The Global Road Trip Index - Rankings

The World’s Cheapest Road Trips

If you’re looking to road trip on a budget, where should you consider heading?

Combining the costs of both car hire and accommodation for two weeks, all five of the cheapest countries to take a road trip were found in Europe, with Latvia coming out on top.

Not only can Central and Eastern Europe be extremely affordable, but they’re also packed with gorgeous natural landscapes, magnificent architecture and rich histories.

In fact, you could even take a road trip right through four of these five cheapest countries, starting in Latvia, crossing into Lithuania before going all the way through Poland and finishing up in Slovakia. How perfect does that sound?

Cheapest road trips, short-term cover

The World’s Safest Road Trips

While it’s good to head off the beaten track once in a while, when you’re travelling abroad it’s good to know that the roads are safe and well-maintained.

With this in mind, one of the key factors which we studied was road safety.

Thankfully, the countries with the lowest casualty rates in the world also happen to be some of the most beautiful, including Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The Global Road Trip Index - The World's Safest Road Trips

The question is; where will you take your next road trip?

I'm the social and content executive at Veygo and have been driving for 5 years. I love driving and the freedom it gives you!

Global Gallivanting

How to plan the perfect 3 day great ocean road trip itinerary.

global road trip

Travelling the Great Ocean Road is an unforgettable experience that should be on everyone’s Australia bucket list.

Starting from Melbourne , the iconic Great Ocean Road Trip is one of the best coastal drives in the world , famous for the magnificent Twelve Apostles and its constantly changing dramatic coast line, lush rainforest, quaint fishing villages and famous surf beaches.

My 3 Day Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary

Driving the Great Ocean Road was one of my favourite experiences in my year living in Australia. So to help you plan your trip and get the most out of this beautiful route I’ve put together this 3 day Great Ocean Road trip Itinerary to show you all highlights and hidden gems the iconic road holds along the way.

Why You Need 3 Days To Drive The Great Ocean Road

The best way to travel the Great Ocean Road is with a road trip and there’s so much to see and do that it’s worth planning a 3 day Great Ocean Road trip itinerary so you can take your time, stopping often to really soak up all the sights and enjoy the surprises along the way.

While you can drive the 243km of Australia’s Great Ocean Road trip in a day and speed back to Melbourne but there is so much more to the Great Ocean Road than just the 12 apostles. 

global road trip

While it’s possible to do the Great Ocean Road trip on a day tour like this one from Melbourne, you’re not going to get the full effect of one of the greatest coastal drives in the world by sitting in a tour bus!

So don’t be tempted to rush it and try to tick off the Great Ocean Road in 1 day – if you have more time I highly recommend hiring a car , or even better renting a campervan,  and spending a few days soaking up the scenery and discovering all the other secrets the route holds along the way.

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The Perfect 3 Day Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1: melbourne to apollo bay – 3 hours driving 187 km/116 miles.

Most people start their Great Ocean Road Trip itinerary from the cool and cultured city of Melbourne . From there drive about an hour to Torquay , a town famous for surfing, its the home of the Australian National Surfing Museum, Surf City Plaza and Bells Beach which hosts many surf competitions.

Torquay is also the official start to the Great Ocean Road, after that the road continues to Anglesea which is also worth a look. It’s a good place to learn how to surf, have fun on the river and spot kangaroos on the golf course!

Airey’s Inlet and Memorial Arch

Next you’ll reach Airey’s Inlet, home to the 1891 Split Point Lighthouse and many nice walking trails. You’ll also want to stop and take a photo before you pass under the famous Memorial Arch and sculpture that commemorates the returned WWI soldiers who, from 1919 – 1932, built Australia’s Great Ocean Road using only hand picks, shovels and crowbars in what must have then been a very challenging environment.

A photo with the famous arch must be part of your Great Ocean Road trip itinerary.

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Next, take your time and enjoy the drive and soak up the magnificent coastal views as the road hugs the coast line and rises above the sea to give some of the most spectacular views of the Great Ocean Road as you drive the 30 kms towards the beach town of Lorne.

The roads around here pass through rolling countryside and diary farms, snake over valleys, rugged windswept beaches and over limestone cliffs eroded into fascinating shapes by the crashing waves.

Lorne is a beautiful seaside town which makes a perfect lunch break. There are nice walks and waterfalls nearby or you can just chill with a picnic, BBQ or fish and chips on the beach. There is also a new purpose built permanent exhibition telling the construction story of the Great Ocean Road in Lorne.

About 20 minutes after leaving Lorne make a stop at Kennett River , and follow the ‘ Koala Walk ’ a great place to spot Koalas.

When you get back on the road take it slowly again as you head towards Apollo Bay, the views from the cliffs are spectacular along this stretch and there’s also wild beaches so you’ll probably want to stop at the lookouts to take some photos and explore or take a walk on the beach.

You can spend the night at Apollo Bay You can also take a tour of the oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia, don’t miss climbing up to the top for the views.

Where to stay in Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay   makes a great base for the night. There are plenty of campsites, hotels, stops and restaurants. Marengo Holiday Park  has cabins and powered and unpowered pitches and plenty of facilities just outside Apollo Bay in a lovely beach front location.

If you don’t want to camp check out Apollo Bay Eco YHA  – its affordable and in a fantastic location and is great not just for backpackers but they also have private double rooms and family rooms and plenty of communal facilities including 2 kitchens. If you’d rather stay in a hotel check out the Sandpiper Motel or for modern, spacious, beach front apartments check out The Apollo 

We found a free campsite near the Aire river and Cape Otway in the  Camps Australia Wide book . It’s picturesque (and free!) but has very limited facilities.

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Day 2: Apollo Bay to Port Fairy – 3 hours driving, 189 km/117 miles

After leaving Apollo Bay follow the Great Ocean Road for about an hour, turn off to the Cape Otway light station and visit Otway National Park where you’ll be able to enjoy the rainforest in a unique way with the Otway Fly Tree Top Adventures!

You can enjoy the lush rainforest greenery strolling along the treetop canopy walkway, which is the tallest and longest in the world, or if you want more action try the exciting zip line tour.

Afterwards get ready for one of the highlights of the Great Ocean Road – the famous 12 Apostles! The coastline leading to Port Campbell and the 12 Apostles is simply spectacular coastline so make sure you have your camera ready!

global road trip

The 12 Apostles

The most famous and iconic site of the Great Ocean Road, and one of the most famous sights of all of Australia, is the 12 apostles .

These magnificent rocky stacks of limestone cliffs that rise up out of the ocean are constantly being eroded and carved up by the ferocious, crashing waves, so much so that  there aren’t actually 12 apostles and possibly never even were!

In fact, one 70 meter high rock stack did collapse in July 2005 and the double arched London Bridge fell down in 1990. It’s exhilarating standing on these windy cliffs seeing centuries of history and geography in action, slowly but surely changing the shape of the coast line forever.

From the viewing platform I counted 7, from a boat or helicopter you can see more, but whichever you look you can see the incredible forces of nature in action as the waves lick hungrily around the soft rocks, undercutting and teasing them away from the mainland until they stand, precariously wobbling alone amongst the turquoise sea, only to be eroded even more until they eventually crumble and completely collapse!

Take plenty of time to explore here and don’t miss heading down the Gibson Steps that are cut into the side of the cliffs and walking along the soft sandy beach to appreciate the 12 apostles from the ground level as the sheer limestone cliffs and rock stacks tower over you.

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The 12 Apostles are just the jewel in the crown of the delights of the Great Ocean Road. There are many more interesting rock formations to discover all along the appropriately named ‘ Shipwreck Coast’ of the  Port Campbell National Park;  including the Arch, the stripy coloured Razorback, Loch Ard Gorge and the legend of the shipwreck and the serene Grotto, and, just beyond Port Campbell, the hauntingly beautiful Bay of Islands.

If you want to splash out on a really unforgettable experience and see the landscape in all its glory take to the skies with a helicopter tour ! 

After enjoying the 12 apostles, continue west along the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool where you can explore the city’s history as a maritime capital – visit Flagstaff Hill Martime Village  which brings the history of the Shipwreck Coast to life.

If you visit in Winter, don’t miss the viewing platforms at Logans Beach where you might be able to see the awe inspiring sight of whales and their calves passing by and anytime of the year you can meet penguins on Middle Island.

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After Warrnambool its a short (15 min) drive towards Port Fairy for the Tower Hill State Game Reserve.

Visit the Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre to learn about the reserve’s Aboriginal and geological history and explore the walking tracks that cross the hills and lake filled craters of this extinct volcano and look out for wildlife like kangaroos, koalas, emus and waterbirds. Nearby Port Fairy is the best place to stop for dinner and to stay for the night.

Where to stay in Port Fairy

Gumtree Caravan Park is a nice, spacious and friendly park 4 kms east from Port Fairy with camping, powered sites, cabins and a well equipped camp kitchen and amenities. There is also a backpacker hostel Port Fairy YHA  .  

The Victoria Apartments make a good mid range pick, or for the perfect way to finish off your Great Ocean Road Trip, check out Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel. This is a lovely waterfront property with plenty of character and a warm welcome.

Also consider the  Drift House Apartments , which are just 5 mins from the beach, have an outdoor pool and even won the ‘Best Luxury Accommodation’ in the Victorian Tourism Awards 2014.

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Day 3: Port Fairy to Melbourne

Spend the last morning of your epic Great Ocean Road Trip exploring cute historic fishing village of Port Fairy. Take the walking trail to wander along the river, see the historic buildings like the old whalers cottages and grand public buildings. Or relax on Port Fairy’s beaches and taking a cruise out to the seal colony by Lady Julia Percy Island.

The Great Ocean Road ends here but you could add a few more days on to the trip and carry on driving and take the Great Southern Touring Route north. This route visits the stunning Grampians mountain range and the historic goldfields on your way back to Melbourne.

You could also carry on driving all the way to Adelaide and then up through the Red Center to Uluru – but thats another post!!

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To head back to Melbourne you could go back along the Great Ocean Road and enjoy it all over again or take the shorter inland route.

The inland route back to Melbourne

Foodies will enjoy taking the inland route where you can visit some of the regions top restaurants, wineries and craft breweries en route back to Melbourne.

The inland route, via Colac, is about 140 kms. After about an hour’s drive stop at Camperdown to enjoy 360-degree views from Mt Leura and Mt Sugarloaf.

Then continue to Colac where you can quench your thirst at the Otway Estate and the Forrest Brewing Company craft breweries, enjoy a gourmet meal at Brae, near Birregurra or Gladioli, near Inverleigh, before driving the last hour back to Melbourne.

I hope this 3 Day Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary has helped you to plan your own amazing road trip and that you can see that this scenic route offers so much more than the 12 apostles.

What really makes one of the world’s best road trips is the diversity of the landscape and stunning scenery and all the little surprises along the way.  Take your time and enjoy the drive!

global road trip

How to Plan your Great Ocean Road Trip

Best time to travel the great ocean road.

It’s possible to take a Great Ocean Road trip anytime but I found the Southern Hemisphere’s Winter (June – August) surprisingly cold and it was quite cold sleeping in a campervan. Summer can be boiling hot but Spring and Autumn are perfect.

How long does it take to drive The Great Ocean Road?

Many people don’t realise just how huge Australia is. The distance between Cairns and Melbourne on the popular  East Coast Australia coastal route is over 3,500km which is about 40 hours of solid driving time.

The Great Ocean Road is 243 kilometres (151 miles) long. Many people ask if one day is enough to do the Great Ocean Road Trip from Melbourne. While it is possible to rush through ticking off the highlights of the Great Ocean Road in 1 day,  I would recommend a minimum of 3 days to enable you to take the time to do this beautiful route justice and to enjoy the views, wildlife and nature and discover those off the beaten track surprises.

What is the best way to travel the Great Ocean Road?

There are day tours from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road but the absolute best way to experience everything this scenic drive has to offer is with the freedom of your own set of wheels with a motorbike or car, or even better, a campervan by taking a Great Ocean Road Trip!

If you can’t drive you can or can really only spare a day you can still see the highlights on a small group tour from Melbourne like this one .

global road trip

How to hire a car or campervan in Australia

But the absolute best way to travel Australia is undoubtedly with the freedom of your own wheels so you can explore and stop whenever you like – its also often cheaper to drive yourself.

It’s up to you if you hire a car or campervan – a campervan has the added benefit of being your accommodation as well and you can also cook in the camper so you can save you a lot of money on hotels and eating out as well as having the fun of campervanning.

To find the best campervan hire deals I use  Motorhome Republic.  As they are the largest campervan and motorhome rental site in the world they compare all the leading campervan rental companies to get you the best deals and save you money.

If you prefer hiring a car and then staying in the hotels en route then check out Discover Cars – the world’s largest and most competitive site for renting cars. You can book accommodation along the Great Ocean Road on – I’ve recommended some places in stay in the post.

If you plan on traveling Australia for longer (perhaps on a  working holiday visa ) then  buying a campervan  offers the ultimate freedom and flexibility and can be a really cost effective way to explore Oz if you can sell it at the end of your trip.

Be aware that, contrary to popular belief you can’t just camp up and sleep anywhere . I used the   Camps Australia Wide book to find free and low cost campsites all around Australia. See more of my tips for traveling Australia by campervan here.

There are also many affordable  backpacker hostels , some of which will let you park up for the night and use the facilities for a small fee.

I also used the Lonely Planet Australia Travel Guide   – its packed with loads of useful maps, tips, info and things to do.

I hope this post has made you see that there is much more to this beautiful route than just the 12 apostles and that it has helped you to plan your own epic great ocean road trip!

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CrushGlobal road trip guides: Making road-tripping more inclusive by promoting Black-owned, women-owned businesses

global road trip

With Americans looking more to road trips  amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristin Braswell wanted to create a new way for people to approach their routes when the outbreak turned the travel world upside down.

It didn't take her long to find a path for her company, CrushGlobal , which before the pandemic had focused on international travel.

"(I was) trying to find a way to provide services to clients being mindful of safety protocols," says Braswell, who has contributed to USA TODAY. She says that when she saw RV travel and road trips trending, she had her answer. 

And in taking her company on a new route, she decided to make the road trip more inclusive.

"I think there is a sort of romanticized idea of the great American road trip," she says. "(We're) making it more inclusive in a way that I feel like past American road trip marketing has not done."

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Braswell's CrushGlobal Road Trip Guides aim to highlight primarily Black-owned and women-owned businesses for travelers to visit on jaunts in the Northeast, South and other parts of the country. The itineraries focus on a variety of themes, with features including private cabana wine tastings, tours shining a light on lesser-known Black history in the South, bespoke cocktail classes and outdoor adventures among other experiences.  

►Travel guides: 'Green Book' inspires new generation of Black travel guides, podcasts

►10 great places: How to visit Green Book sites where Black travelers once found refuge

►A look inside the Green Book: Guiding Black travelers through a segregated and hostile America

She tapped into her background as a travel journalist and started reaching out to connections at different tourism boards to see what was open and what COVID-19 safety precautions were being taken. 

And then she sought to highlight diverse businesses in her guides, putting those businesses on the map – literally – for her clients.

"Another element important to me, particularly as a Black woman, was I wanted to support women-owned and Black-owned businesses," Braswell says.

The guides, published last fall and updated monthly with the latest COVID-19 restrictions and other time-sensitive information, range from $30 to $60. They're delivered to the buyer in a mobile-friendly PDF format.

Each guide has its own flavor and geographical track ranging from a seven-day, food and wine-focused route traversing Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Oakland and Napa/Sonoma to a four-day Georgia trek through Atlanta, Macon and Savannah focused on local stops and the coast. The trips highlight national parks, "the South's greatest gems," notable culinary experiences and more.

CrushGlobal also offers a customized option that lets clients tell Braswell and her team what kinds of activities they hope to engage in and where they'd like to go. The custom guides are based on on individual interest and budget.

If travelers are interested in a personalized guide, CrushGlobal asks them to fill out a questionnaire with their ideal budget for daily spending and the kind of route they're interested in. After they do, the company provides a quote for services to create the guide and handles the itinerary, including bookings.  

And the requests for customized guides run the gamut, Braswell has discovered. She is working on a guide for a couple interested in a magic-focused trip around Route 66.

When it comes to the pre-made guides, CrushGlobal provides recommendations, and it's up to the traveler to book.

"There are so many places in America that are worthy of traveling to," she says. "I think with social media, people have this idea that you have to flex and have a passport and go to the Amalfi Coast."

But that's simply not the case, she adds, noting her guides will be of value to travelers in a post-pandemic world as they explore stateside.

And the guides will help businesses recover, too, she believes.

"So many people have suffered economically because of the pandemic, so a lot of the guides connect people to local hotels and restaurants and tour guides. ... (They will) help bring back money to various parts of the economy affected by the pandemic," she says.

Braswell isn't the only one hoping to highlight diversity in travel

Braswell told USA TODAY that one of her inspirations while creating the guides was " The Green Book ."

“The Negro Motorist Green Book” was an essential guide to safe spaces published by Victor Hugo Green annually from 1936 to 1966. " The Green Book " helped Black travelers in the Jim Crow period find hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other businesses that would serve them. 

Braswell stressed that her guides are not only for Black travelers – they are for every traveler. Whether they be "people who want to support diversity initiatives or they just see the guides," she says, "the road trips are for everyone."

And with her guides, Braswell is one among many looking to highlight diverse businesses for travelers to support.

Martinique Lewis , president of the Black Travel Alliance , created her own, modern version of Green's travel guide. Her book,  " ABC Travel Greenbook: Connecting the African Diaspora Globally ," catalogs Black-owned businesses and Black-focused experiences such as tours, among other resources for international travel.

While things have changed since the Jim Crow-era when the "Green Book" was so indispensable, the possibility of a violent encounter still gives Black drivers a reason to be wary when on the road, said Maira Liriano , the associate chief librarian at the  Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture , a division of the New York Public Library. The center holds an extensive collection of "Green Book" editions.

While the new efforts pay tribute to Green's original vision, they're also a reminder that the books' original mission remains a work in progress. 

"Safety was a top priority in creating the CrushGlobal Road trip guides because so often, traditional road trip guides don’t consider the concerns and needs of people of color and the LBGTQA community when traveling," Braswell says, noting she wanted to create routes that celebrate more diverse regions of the country with stops the reflect the diversity of her clients.

"We have created guides for people from every walk of life, and at the heart of this initiative is making sure that all people feel safe and seen in their particular needs during their road trip."

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“The landscape of the American West has to be seen to believed and has to be believed to be seen.”- N. Scott Momaday

America is incredibly vast, diverse, and beautiful.

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Dotted Globe is a USA Travel Blog that helps you explore America through Road Trips & City Breaks.

We also cover outdoor travel to US National Parks & National Monuments as well as unique American roadside attractions.

Our detailed guides provide recommendations for must-visit roadside attractions, day trips to national parks, and essential foodie pit stops.

Our mission? To help you explore America!

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Explore the best USA city breaks and plan your next weekend getaway in the USA using our detailed city guides and itineraries.

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Find the best USA road trips and plan your next vacation in the USA using our detailed road trip itineraries.

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Take a road trip around the Sunshine State

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Be charmed by the food, history, and culture of the Crescent City

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Enter the Architectural Revolution


6 Days 405 Miles

Chicago, Oak Park, Rock ford, Geneva, Plano, Kankakee, Springfield

world-class architecture by world-famous architects

Beautiful architecture inspires awe whenever you encounter it.

Climbing the stairs at the oldest skyscraper in the country. Viewing one of the most iconic skylines ever built. Touring a home designed by an architectural legend. Visit and you'll see why Illinois' architecture is second to none.

See The Skyline

Chicago is known for its impressive skyline and storied architectural past. To kick off your itinerary, start at the Chicago Architecture Center and get yourself booked on an architecture boat cruise along the Chicago River. Then, stroll The Magnificent Mile north for an abundance of shopping destinations and impressive structures. For a view, the 360 Chicago + Tilt experience is sure to leave you speechless as you look out (and down if you’re brave) over the city.

Take it all in

Enjoy some time in the sun as you check off Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) before admiring the vast Pritzker Pavilion . Then, walk The Nichols Bridgeway to the third floor of the West Pavilion of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago . 

Next, head south to Hyde Park where you’ll find the Frederick C. Robie House , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the most innovative and forward thinking of all Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie houses.

Chicago & Chicago's North Shore

Finish your exploration of downtown Chicago at The Rookery , one of Burnham and Root’s masterpiece buildings which is considered the oldest standing high-rise in the city. Next, head to Chicago’s North Shore where you’ll find the Baháʼí House of Worship , the oldest surviving Baháʼí House of Worship. While you’re in the area, check out the symbolic design of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and stop by Hewn for delicious artisan breads and baked goods.

Oak Park, Bartlett, Rockford

The Wright Path

Oak Park, just 30 minutes outside the city, features both the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio and Unity Temple , another UNESCO World Heritage Site . His home and studio have been restored to their 1909 appearance, the last year Wright lived there with his family. The Little Gem Cafe is a great relaxed choice for upscale fare after your visit. Continue the journey onwards to Bartlett where you’ll find the Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir , a traditional Hindu place of worship.  Finish the day in Rockford.

Rockford, Geneva, Plano, Kankakee

More Admirable Architecture

Start your day with the famous Swedish pancakes at the Stockholm Inn , then head over to the Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent House . Continue on to Geneva to the Fabyan Villa Museum , which was remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. In Plano you’ll find Farnsworth House , designed and built by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1949-1951, one of the most widely-studied structures built in the 20th century. Continue on and stop to see the Finding Frank mural series in downtown Kankakee before getting to Springfield.


Explore the land of Lincoln

You’re truly in the Land of Lincoln now! Explore and compare the Illinois State Capitol and Old State Capitol . Take some time to look out for Lincoln-related photo ops while you’re admiring these structures. And finally, cross off the last FLW stop on your list with a visit to the Dana Thomas House .

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Going on a road trip? These games will help you pass the time 

From classics like Scrabble and Uno to newer hits that prioritize conversation and connection, these games will appeal to everyone in the car.

No matter where you’re going on a road trip, games can be a great way to pass long hours in the car and create lasting memories.

The best travel games should be small and light enough to pack with you. They should appeal to a wide range of ages and interests. And of course, they should provide hours of entertainment.

With that in mind, the classic card game Uno is our top choice for best overall travel game. It’s compact, fun for everyone, and easy to pack and pull out when the mood strikes.  

But it’s not the only one. We considered portable games in several categories too. From classic board games to Ping Pong-inspired matches, here are the best travel games to take on your next road trip.

The best travel board games

Purple cow magnetic backgammon  .

One of the best travel board games is backgammon, considered the national game in many countries across the Middle East and the Mediterranean. This portable version of the classic board game is magnetized so the pieces don’t slide around. Simply open the case, roll the dice, and play. The board may be smaller, but the strategy remains the same.  

Keep in mind:   The magnets on the pieces aren’t the strongest but do a good enough job of staying mostly in place.  

Product details: Number of players: 2 | Ages: 5 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 |   Size: 6 x 3 inches  

Portable Puck Shot

Sturdy wooden pucks and a Baltic birch wood case make this portable hockey board game ideal for car trips, camping, or spending a cozy evening in a cabin. You don’t have to be a hockey lover to enjoy this fast-paced game either. It involves a simple sling that fires wooden pucks across the board at your opponent’s goal.  

Keep in mind:   The Portable Puck Shot game is a bit large and heavy, making it more suitable for a road trip than for carrying onto a plane.  

Product details:   Number of players: 2 | Ages: 6 and up | Minutes to play a round: 5 | Size: 17 x 10.25 inches  

Scrabble to Go

global road trip

Buy it now on   Amazon

It’s not hard to see why Scrabble is one of the most popular board games around. It appeals to players across generations, stimulates the brain, and can spark fun debates. This miniature version comes with snap-in tiles that make it easy to play on bumpy car rides or pick up later, after a break.  

Keep in mind:   The tiles on this mini version are small, which may take some getting used to for some players.

Product details: Number of players: 2 to 4 | Ages: 8 and up | Minutes to play a round: 25 | Size: 10.63 x 2.50 x 10.63 inches

Best travel card games  

Song survivor.

global road trip

This travel card game is a great way to kick off singalongs in the car or hotels after a long day of travel. Developed by Black-owned small business Doin’ The Most, the game involves drawing cards with one word, prompting each player to sing a song containing that word. If a player messes up the lyrics or can’t think of a song in time, they’re out. This card game is designed for players (and crooners) 13 and up, with easy and hard modes to help make the game as challenging as you want.  

Keep in mind:   Not everyone is into singing outside of the shower, so consider your audience of fellow players before bringing this one along.  

Product details: Number of players: 2 and up | Ages: 16 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 | Size: travel size  

52 Essential Conversations

global road trip

The premise behind this intriguing travel card game springs from the idea that the art of engaging conversation never goes out of style. It’s a “social-emotional” learning game designed to get players thinking and talking about topics that can help people—including kids—open up, improve social skills, and spark creativity. The cards come in a small tin box, making them easy to keep organized and bring anywhere.  

Keep in mind: Although this travel card game is designed for players 5 and up, some questions lean more adult. If you’re playing with a multigenerational group, you can skip the questions better suited to adults or take them out of the deck before you play.  

Product details: Number of players: 2 and up | Ages: 5 and up | Minutes to play a round: NA | Size:   3 x 2 x 1 inches

global road trip

This popular family card game is equally fun to play while traveling. You can go head to head with just one other person or as many as 10. The objective is to be the first person to get rid of all your cards. But achieving that goal depends on the luck of the draw. Just don’t forget to shout “Uno!” when you’re down to your last card. We love that this version comes in a sturdy tin for safekeeping.

Keep in mind:   This version of Uno incorporates graphic symbols on the cards so players with colorblindness can play too.  

Product details: Number of players: 2 to 10 |   Ages: 7 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 | Size: 3 x 2 x 5 inches

Exploding Kittens

global road trip

Easy to learn and loads of fun, Exploding Kittens is a cheeky card game loosely based on Russian roulette. Players draw cards, but use strategy (plus special “immunity” cards) to avoid drawing an “exploding kitten” card. With its compact size and lack of any additional game pieces, this card game is a hilarious way to pass the time while traveling.

Keep in mind: This card game is available in English, but other languages (German, Spanish, Italian, and French) are in the works.  

Product details:   Number of players:   2 to 10 | Ages:   7 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 | Size: ‎4.41 x 6.38 x 1.5 inches  

Best travel games for adults

Pepper pong.

global road trip

This portable spin on ping pong and pickleball is one of the best travel games for adults. About the size of a shoebox, the game sets up virtually anywhere in a matter of seconds. Place the foldable net (called a Fence) on a picnic table at the park or any other relatively flat surface, and you’re good to go. The game’s three ball sizes (called Peppers) give you options for how aggressively you want to play. You can also feel good about purchasing this portable travel game—the makers say they donate a set to a recovery center or addiction-focused homeless center with each set they sell.  

Keep in mind:   There’s no official age minimum for this game. If you can swing the racket you can play. You’ll need a flat surface to set up.

Product details: Number of players: 2 to 4 | Ages: 3 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 | Size: 12 x 7 x 4 inches

The Hygge Game

global road trip

Buy it now at   Uncommon Goods

Hygge is the Danish word for coziness and the basis for this 300-question portable travel game. The questions are designed to foster meaningful conversations among friends and family members. Play it during long car rides, in a candlelit, hygge-inspired restaurant, or anyplace where you want to spark fun and thoughtful connections.  

Keep in mind: Some of the questions go pretty deep and might surprise people who prefer more superficial lines of interrogation.  

Product details: Number of players: 2 and up | Ages:   14 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 |   Size:   5.70 x 5.70 x 1.80 inches

Parents Are Human

Like the Hygge Game, Parents Are Human is a card game that fosters understanding and connections. This specific deck (others are designed for friends, romantic partners, and siblings) focuses on immigrant families, making it a great game for family road trips. Each set includes 50 question cards and 20 action cards in English on one side and another language on the other ( Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, and Thai).

Keep in mind:   Some reviewers say you can’t play this card game many times with the same people.  

Product details:   Number of players: 2 and up | Ages:   13 and up | Minutes to play a round: NA | Size: ‎3.81 x 2.81 x 1.44 inches

Where Should We Begin

global road trip

This traveling card game stems from relationship therapist and author Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin podcast and is ideally suited for adults. Cards with topics like “A dream I’ve never shared” and “One of the things that is keeping me up at night” help travel companions learn more about each other in an approachable way.

Keep in mind: Many reviewers prefer not to use the dice and pull randomly from the deck of cards instead.  

Product details: Number of players: 2 to 6 players | Ages: 18 and up | Minutes to play a round: NA | Size:   9.4 x 4.9 x 2.6 inches  

Best travel games for kids

Nex playground.

This compact game console works as a portable travel game that the whole family can play while on the road. The colorful cube uses motion sensors (with controllers or wearable gear) for family-friendly competition. Just plug Nex Playground into a TV and tap the library of more than 20 games and experiences ranging from dance-offs to sports competitions and activities like jumping in puddles with favorite cartoon characters.  

Keep in mind: You’ll need floor space of about 8 feet by 8 feet to play, since the game requires moving around. If you’re in a small hotel room or other tight space, that can be challenging.  

Product details:   Number of players: Up to 4 | Ages: 5 and up | Minutes to play a round:   5 | Size: 2.83 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches

Kanoodle Ultimate Champion

global road trip

Popular on TikTok, this puzzle game can easily pack up and go with you on your next road trip. It comes with over 500 puzzles and a timer, challenging family members to use problem solving and spatial reasoning skills to beat the clock in time.  

Keep in mind:   This game requires two AAA batteries to operate.  

Product details: Number of players:   1 | Ages:   7 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 to 30 | Size: ‎5.75 x 2 inches  

Play Monster Take ’N Play Bingo

global road trip

Kids can spend hours playing this traveling bingo game. The animal-based bingo cards are built into a metal case that closes for easy storage and transport. Two players take turns spinning the spinner and placing magnetic markers on the matching animals.

Keep in mind:   The magnet is built into one side of the marker pieces, so they’re not the strongest at staying put on the board. However, this game is hard to beat for an affordable and fun option.

Product details: Number of players:   2 | Ages:   4 and up | Minutes to play a round: 5 | Size:   1 x 6.50 x 6.50 inches

Pass the Pigs

global road trip

Families will get a kick out of this adorable dice game that involves rolling a pair of pig-shaped pieces to score points. The first player to score 100 points wins. It’s also a great game to play anywhere while traveling, since it only requires a flat surface to play, plus the pigs, scoring pads, and pencils fit in a small plastic storage case that easily tucks into a backpack.  

Keep in mind: Small parts could pose a choking hazard for younger kids.  

Product details: Number of players:   2 | Ages:   7 and up | Minutes to play a round: 15 | Size:   1.63 x 4.25 x 9.25 inches

Our Review Process  

The best portable travel games are compact and light enough to take on a road trip or flight, can be contained in a case, and are still fun after multiple rounds of play.

Size:   Travel games shouldn’t be large and heavy. They should be small and light enough to fit easily into suitcases and carry-ons.

Multiplayer: Games for two or more players are best, since the whole point of travel games is to keep everyone entertained.  

Fun-factor: Travel games can help stave off boredom between activities, while you’re in transit, or during travel delays. So make sure you choose games that appeal across ages, interests, and have enough variety for the long haul.  

Tips for buying games for travel

Size of the game

When it comes to the best travel games, size matters, whether you travel with just a carry-on suitcase or don’t want to bulk out your checked baggage. Look for games that are contained in a case small enough to fit into a backpack. On road trips, you can get away with larger games, especially if you’re driving your own vehicle.  

Game ratings and popularity

A game’s ratings and popularity can give you a good idea for whether or not it will work for your needs. A sure-fire tip is to look for reviews by customers with similar travel styles and companions as your own.  

Players’ ages

It goes without saying, but you’ll maximize fun by packing travel games that are appropriate for everyone in your group. Consider bringing a couple of games–one for spending time with the kids and another for adults.  

Time it takes to play a round

When shopping for the best travel games, keep in mind that some people can take longer to finish a game than others. Consider your travel companions’ attention spans and choose accordingly.  

Frequently asked questions

Are there travel-sized board games?

Yes, many classic and unique board games come in travel sizes. Some even have travel-friendly modifications, such as magnets to prevent pieces from sliding off the board and carrying cases that keep everything contained.  

How do you know if a game is good for traveling?

Some games are better suited to travel than others. Card games with a carrying case and board games that don’t have too many loose parts (or are magnetized) tend to be good options for the road. Consider the size and weight of the travel game’s carrying case too. Make sure there’s enough room among everything else you’re packing for your trip.  

What are the best travel games for an airplane?

Since space is limited on an airplane, look for games that don’t take up more room than a typical airplane tray table. You’ll also want travel games that can handle turbulence and that you can quickly and easily pick up, in case you need to get out of your seat for a neighbor.  

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