Every trip, or lets say the preparation of a one, has more or less the same steps to be organized perfectly! But what happens in the case of a roadtrip? What’s the difference? Is the preparation easier or more difficult? What do you need to know? These and many more questions will be solved below through practical tips to avoid any bad surprises when you plan a roadtrip in the Us!
As you may already understood we did a lot of preparation and came up to a very strict itinerary for our roadtrip in California, of course thats not something you all have to do when travelling but we guess it depends on where you travel and when! To be more specific… US is considered to be an expensive country especially for low budget travellers, so the more informed and prepared you are the less money and time you ll get to spend! This idea of travelling doesnt fit all your trips but surely worked out for us (also has to do with how many days you travel, we only had two weeks available…)
There are various prepaid companies in America (eg. T-MOBILE). We did not locate these companies at any airport but found a lot in the streets of the cities we visited but we had it all done in a different way! US Mobile! Enter the website, ask them to send you a starter kit with SIM cards in one of the places you plan to stay in Usa! When you arrive ask for the package and activate in simple steps the package that best suits you! You won’t find a cheaper way than this one, honestly! Of course, in rough and desert areas there is no signal but don’t worry because there are tourists and locals everywhere for any help you may need!
For those of you who ll rent a car, you will definitely be concerned about the parking lot. This is because while parking is available everywhere, the time allowed for parking is limited, eg. For two hours on Monday between 9.00-10.00 in the morning. Always consult the signs on every street! So either you move it all the time or you put it in a public parking lot! By saying public parking we mean $20 a day with extra charge for nightly parking! Do not risk it, they are constantly municipality patrols who lift the illegally parked vehicles!
Here we laughed a lot, as you will laugh too trying to understand the self service system while you see that no one will try to help you! What you need to know is that you leave the car next to the pump of choice, go inside the store to pay and exit to start the filling process! You will be surprised that there is a really slow mood at the gas stations, where you can stay even for a whole quarter, because nobody is in a hurry! So arrange your times!
In USA, the use of Uber is widespread! They use all the services that Uber provides at very low cost, easily, quickly and without the stress of finding any parking, etc. You’ll see Uber-crowded cars going to work while taking care of the environment after sharing the route with other fellow travellers! Car pooling applies perfect to travelers like us! We’ve been able to discover whole cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami with the use of Uber with incredible ease and absolutely no stress, while enjoyed the sightseeing along the way!
Tolls? What tolls? There are no such things in Usa, or rather there are.. but don’t worry about it because everything is automatically charged in the car when it passes eg. from bridges, etc. (read your agency’s rules while renting a car!).
We chose the agency Alamo car, which has a free shuttle bus that picks you up from the airport, takes you to the parking lot and there after you complete the process of declaring your data you choose one of the huge cars that are parked there and you just take off for your roadtrip! At the end of your trip you leave it at one of the cooperating car rentals that are available in almost all the cities and you still leave with the same ease and the corresponding shuttle bus!
Red street lights
More generally, the driving consciousness of Americans is enviable! Do not rush, do not run, follow the rules and respect the other drivers! Your experience on the streets of USA will definitely be enjoyable and relaxing! If you have a red street light in front of you and you want to turn right while you are free from your left, just pass slowly!!
- Credit card everywhere (but keep some change too)
- Do not be confused with different time zones from city to city
- Only stop at vista points-specially designed points on motorways to enjoy views
- Download a good app with maps like maps.me and offline Google Maps
We hope you find our tips useful and follow them when you are having this dreamy roadtrip in California!