Road Tripping – The World at your (Car) Door
According to Booking.com research, over a quarter (29%)* of US travelers took a road trip in 2021. Not surprising, given the ever-evolving travel restrictions, which meant that hitting the road was the easiest way for many people to take a vacation.
Travel restrictions aside, road trips always have a lot going for them. Even in a pandemic-free world, road-trippers know they’re in control of the duration, the route, the destination (if any), and all the itinerary’s finer details. Whatever its nature, each trip really is a bespoke adventure.
For just over three quarters (77%)* of US travelers, having beautiful scenery and landscape is a deciding factor in their choice of vacation, while 63%* of Americans agree that low costs are the most important factor. Hitting both targets head on, the road trip delivers control and variety in equal measure, leaving trippers free to choose the route that takes in the finest panoramas - and does so without breaking the bank.
While any vacation will benefit from a bit of forethought, it’s even more important when it comes to road trips. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com is sharing a few pointers to bear in mind before hitting the road:
● Take the right tech. From maps to music, cameras to chargers, the right equipment makes it easy to find the sweetest spots - and to make the most of them once there.
● Pack light. It’s a vacation, not a house move. Before hitting the road, have a think about what’s really needed and what can be left behind.
● Plan ahead. There’s no need to plot out every minute of every hour, but any trip will be enhanced by a bit of prepping, whether that means visiting forums, checking out reviews, leafing through guidebooks, or just good old brainstorming.
A road trip that starts at home might be just the ‘toe in the water’ that gets someone hooked. Last year, over a quarter (27%)* of US travelers rented a car as part of their vacation, giving them all the freedom of car ownership - at a fraction of the cost, and pretty much anywhere in the world.
Naturally, car rental companies aren’t keen on handing over such an expensive piece of kit without seeing some ID and taking a deposit. Even so, the process is much the same the world over, and experienced renters rarely struggle to tick the boxes. Universal tips: get the right size car, understand the insurance options, and make sure the main driver has a credit card in their own name.
Now that we know the basics to prepare for a road trip, it’s time to think about a perfect route to explore. To help inspire travelers, Booking.com shares some of the world’s best destinations for would-be road-trippers.
The US of A was made for road trips - the size of the country, the town planning that’s based around car users and the sheer number of car rental pick up locations all go in its favour. So it’s the ideal setting for a road trip, whether north to south along the coast or east to west along Route 66, for example.
Miami to Key West is one of the most scenic routes on the planet - the overseas highway crosses a 113-mile chain of islands connected by 42 bridges! An unforgettable road trip filled with amazing seafood, swimming and fishing opportunities. And at the end, there’s the historic Mermaid & Alligator hotel to rest any tired legs. Once recovered, travelers can explore the local lush surroundings. A good option is the Mangrove Eco Tour, which will take travelers off the road and onto the water for a short while.
With so much to see, any visitor to Australia will soon be crying out for the wheels to get out there and start exploring.The vast majority of the population is along the coasts, but there are so many places inland worth visiting (with adequate supplies and equipment, of course).
Stretching from Melbourne to Adelaide, the Great Ocean Road connects two great cities along the South West coast, with plenty to marvel at in between. Beaches, vineyards, cliff tops - it can take anywhere from three to ten days (or much longer for the truly intrepid traveler). For a unique place to stay, there’s the Cape Otway Lightstation, three hours from Melbourne and offering incredible views of the light station. Adelaide itself is wine country, so it’s a great time to let someone else drive… and explore the Barossa wine region in a show-stopping red London cab.
Known for its panoramic views, South Africa is one of the world’s greatest destinations for road trips. There’s so much to see and explore, along a well-managed, easy-to-navigate road network. Coastlines, national parks, vineyards, a long and fascinating history… covering the entire country would be too ambitious, especially for a first-time visitor, so it’s best to focus on either the East coast or the West.
Taking the East as an example, there’s the famed Garden Route, home to home to Knysa, where the Travel Sustainable property Villa Afrikana Guest Suites offers amazing views of the lagoon - and a great home base for some oyster tasting and a lagoon tour.
Booking.com offers car rental in 146 countries, with 49,000 pick-up locations worldwide and 9,747 in the United States. With countries the size of these three, there’s no way to explore more than a tiny corner without a car. But any trip, just about anywhere in the world, becomes so much more when it has wheels. Rather than staying put or relying on ‘tourist travel’, visitors can jump in a rental car, hit the road - and see the sights that they’d otherwise only hear about from the locals.
For those travelers looking forward to hitting the road again, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travelers to use when booking their next trip. Discounts start at 15 percent at participating properties indicated by the “Getaway 2022” badge, and are valid for stays with check-in from 4 April and check-out on or before 30 September 2022. Bookings must be made before 11:59 pm CET on 30 September 2022. In addition, Booking.com is bringing the great value of its Genius program to even more customers by giving all account holders access to the program’s Level 1 benefits, with no minimum number of previous bookings to qualify, including access to exclusive 10% discounts at hundreds of thousands of participating properties around the world. All travelers have to do is download the Booking.com app, log in and look for the Genius logo to identify associated benefits, discounts and perks.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.