In a world of luxury resorts and guided tours, people seem to have less time for a road trip. The road trip has been a stalwart member of the vacation family for decades, but in recent years it has dwindled in popularity. In fact, even before cars were invented people explored the world using horses and carriages. Before cheap flights came into existence, road trips were the best way to travel. You could visit far-flung parts of your own country or cross into a neighbouring country if you lived near a border.
But, the road trip is not dead – indeed, it is thriving. Nothing beats cruising through stunning landscapes with the freedom to stop and explore whenever it takes your fancy. Best of all, you don’t miss a single thing like you do when you’re in a plane. So, if you’re ready to travel along the world’s most beautiful roads, here are five incredible road trip destinations to get you started.
Perhaps the most beautiful country in the world, Canada is the road trip destination of your dreams. Starting from the West Coast, you will drive through lush forests and past dramatic, snow-capped mountains. Head North and you’ll hit vast swathes of sparkling snow and if you make it all the way to the East coast you will be greeted with gorgeous coastlines and the spectacular Bay of Fundy.
One of France’s greatest charms is its tiny medieval villages that can be found in every region. Some of these villages are little more than a few cobbled streets, but they are guaranteed to have outstanding architecture around every corner. You might even stumble across a crumbling castle perched on a hill or a gorgeous vineyard if you’re lucky.
Known as the filming location for Lord of the Rings, New Zealand is utterly breath-taking no matter where you are in the country. Hop in your car and explore the diverse landscapes that spread out to the horizon. Sparkling lakes, rolling hills, glorious coastlines – what more could you want? And, from the comfort of your own vehicle, you can drink it all in at your own pace.
South Africa gets a bad rap in the press for being dangerous. While there are certainly parts of the country that you are better off avoiding, there are also places that are both safe and supremely beautiful to drive through. The Garden Route is South Africa’s most exhilarating stretch of road. It runs along the coastline past exceptional scenery and you might even spot some cool wildlife as you go.
Last but not least is the ultimate road trip destination: the USA. The American road trip was popularised in Kerouac’s On the Road and has been a staple of American culture for as long as cars have been around. Not only is the USA enormous, but it has just about everything you could want to see. From the great lakes to the rugged coastline of California, there is natural beauty everywhere you look. For a particularly spectacular drive, head over to California and cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway.