We all feel the urge to get away now and then. We just want to quit on the ‘rat-race’ for a little while and let our hair down, have some fun, listen to our favourite music, and shed the dreaded stresses that come with every-day life in the city. A road trip is the best (and cheapest) way to tap out and begin an adventure that’s responsibility free. All we really want is to be able to sing along at the top of our lungs to those golden oldies that everyone seems to hate, without anyone telling us to shut up. We want to stuff our face with the unhealthiest foods, without being told by the fit freaks that it is, in fact, unhealthy. We just want to be – without any strings attached. It’s like therapy, and possibly the best therapy there is.
Luckily for us, the world is dotted with incredible locations which tickle our senses and leave us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. In a world as beautiful as this we don’t need to fly halfway across the world to be welcomed by unrivalled beauty and feel the strength and comfort of nature. We’re spoiled for choice and we’re fortunate enough to have the world’s greatest treasures, on our doorstep. If only we drop the worries, the technology and all the other unimportant aspects of our busy lives – we’ll have the chance to experience life in all its glory, and feel deeply fulfilled by the simple, yet riveting characteristics that we so easily miss.
Sometimes all it takes is some minor packing of essential items, jumping in the car and going for a long drive, whether the destination is known or not.
Personally, I believe whichever way one decides to shake the blues and relax, by far the most important aspect is not so much about where you end up but rather about the significance of the journey. That’s why road trips are loved by many – it’s a journey that allows one to begin their exciting adventure from the moment they put their foot on the gas. Road trips give one the time and space to think, admire the views along the way, explore interesting stops, sing along to good tunes and just live.
Everyone needs to experience the thrill of an epic road trip at some point in their lives, and if you’re eager to know which ones stir the most intrigue, read our list of the ultimate road trips to take around the world. We’ve detailed the best road trips to take on almost every continent, so that you don’t have to venture too far, to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
Africa – The Garden Route, South Africa
The Garden route is an area in South Africa, made up of small towns, namely; Mossel Bay, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, The Crags and Storms River. It is situated alongside the coast and stretches across approximately 300 kilometers, joining the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It’s perfect as a standalone trip to South Africa, or as part of a longer itinerary. It’s an open road that is fully surrounded by nature, so you may want to ensure your car is in tip-top position to make it through the journey with ease, as there are very limited places to stop for assistance along the way. Unless you are covered by a company who sends out roadside assistance – you’ll be left to fend for yourself.
This stretch of road is known as the N2 and if you’re looking for a scenic drive which boasts sea views, forest drives and cliff passes – this is the road trip for you. The journey will certainly be one filled with picturesque sights, and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to stop along the way and admire your surroundings. Each one of the towns, found towards the end of the journey, are gorgeous in every aspect and have a ‘small town’ feel. Markets, coastal walks, hikes and ocean swims await you in this untouched corner of Africa.
Asia – The Northeast Loop, Phuket, Thailand
Journeying through the streets of the island of Thailand is guaranteed to be an awakening experience, not just for the exceptional beauty, but for the local villages that are scattered along the route. The Northeast Loop travels through the main towns and villages of Thailand, and does a ‘loop’ around, bringing you back to where you began your journey. If you decide to stop, you’re sure to learn a thing or two from the locals themselves, who are always eager to communicate with the tourists. With encounters such as these, your trip will become an enriching adventure that will be less about the open road, and more about learning new things and opening yourself up to understanding, spirituality and contentment. If, however, your aim is to marvel at the beauty; you’ll be spoiled for choice. With rocky cliffs, lush mountains, crystal waters and island-like terrain, it’s bound to be a treat for your senses.
Australia – Great Ocean Road, Australia
On the coast of the Great Ocean Road of Australia, lays the most unusual series of cliffs, with some of the rock formations extending into the waters. You certainly get more than what you bargained for, when you’re welcomed by this hidden gem – and if this is the only sights to be seen for the duration of the trip – it’s worth it! The road spans over 400 kilometers and joins the cities of Torquay and Allansford, both of which are known for their impeccable beaches, with waves that would excite any surfer.
Europe – Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is a magical seaside town that’s positioned in the perfect location – on a mountainous cliff which has a front row seat to the bustling beaches and Mediterranean sea. The gorgeous town is packed with world-class restaurants, sun-kissed tourists, beach-goers and some of the world’s richest clientele. By far the best way to see and experience Amalfi is by road tripping through its winding roads, which pass enchanting beach coves, vibey restaurants, beach bars and small towns. The route offers plenty of variety as half of the trip is along the coast and the other half is inland, passing through wine farms and interesting 12th Century buildings.
North America – Arizona Stretch of Route 66
We have all heard about the famous American highway better known as Route 66. Many songs have made reference to the beautiful stretch, and there have even been TV Shows named after the road. The reason it’s so famous is not only because it was one of the very first highways built in the United States, but also because of the great distance it covers. Stretching over 3000 kilometers, passing through eight states and three time zones, it sure wins first prize for being the ultimate road trip route. Read about my perfect 5-6 day itinerary around Utah and Arizona
However, if you’re a little less ambitious, and are not overly excited to travel the entire distance, we recommend you at least see the Arizona stretch of Route 66. With uniquely shaped rock formations, great open spaces and rich colours, it will undoubtedly be the best place to shake off the stress and feel one with your surroundings.
South America – Interstate 84, Colombia (alongside the River Gorge)
If you’re a waterfall-fundi, you can’t miss this road trip route. East of Oregon, the Interstate 84 winds its way past the Columbia River Gorge which boasts the second longest river in South America and is home to one of the most incredible waterfalls on the continent. The stretch of road is only 112 kilometers, which means you’ll be able to complete the drive in less than a day. However, if you’re eager to stop at each picturesque location, you may need a few days. There’s so much to see and appreciate along this majestic route!
About the guest post author:
My name is Hayden Myers. Mother, dog lover, travel enthusiast and writer. I am a born South African with a passion for writing and sharing my knowledge, experiences, and thoughts. I have traveled alone, with my partner and as a family – all these experiences have given me the knowledge to share tips and advice to others with the desire to travel.