5 things to NOT do on a USA Roadtrip

 

5 things NOT to do on a USA Roadtrip1. Take the fastest route-

The fastest route ain’t always the greatest route. If you are on a road trip through America, chances are you are going to be spending A LOT of time driving along the same mind-numbing highway. Let’s just say even tumbleweed sightings can become pretty dull after a while. Hence, when you have a chance to take the scenic route, you should jump at it! You’ll discover all the greatest vantage points and quaintest towns aren’t found along the obvious routes. Trade google maps for resources such as Roadtrippers, which is an app that helps you plan the ultimate road trip by sharing the best spots to eat, see, stay along the way.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination.”

5 things NOT to do on a USA Roadtrip

 

2. Forget to Tip-

If there is one major faux pas to avoid in the USA, it’s forgetting to tip. Wages in America are particularly low in the hospitality industry, which means staff rely heavily on tips for their livelihood. The plus side to this is the level of service in America tends to be extremely high. Restaurant staff tend to go out of their way to make sure you are very happy with your dining experience. Of course, getting used to the USA tipping culture can be a headache if you hail from a country without this system in place. Avoid the panic of fumbling around your wallet for loose change by familiarising yourself with this quick guide to the tipping system:

  • Fast food/ takeaway- no tip required
  • Restaurants/ table service- 15 to 20% of the total bill, depending on how good you felt the service was. An easy way to work this out is double the total price and move the decimal point to the left.
  • Ordering a drink at a bar- $1 per drink
  • Porter carrying your bag- $1 per bag
  • Guided tours- $5 per person
  • Taxi- $5 per ride

5 things NOT to do on a USA Roadtrip

3. Stop at Taco Bell-

Unless you enjoy the taste of flavourless plastic, avoid Taco Bell and other cheap fast-food joints. There are an abundance of chain restaurants and supermarkets that offer fresh, affordable food- minus the indigestion. Supermarkets such as Trader Joes and Wholefoods are the perfect place to pick up healthy snacks, ready-made salads and organic produce if you fancy yourself a nice picnic lunch. Panera Bread offers an extensive range of sandwiches, salads, soups and smoothies, whilst Chick-fil-a and In-and-out are more traditional fast-food joints that pride themselves on using high-quality ingredients in all of their food.

5 things NOT to do on a USA Roadtrip

 

4. Flock to the popular vantage points-

Most of us share the same sentiment… Tourists suck. Even when you are one, you’ll still spend the course of your travels hating on every other selfie-stick-bearing individual. Fear not! There are ways to avoid the crowds, particularly taking photos outside famous landmarks. Take the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, for example. Flock to Vista Point, and you’ll battle crowds of tour buses to get a half-decent shot of the bridge. Alternatively, you can head to Fort Point on the other side, follow a little path down towards the river and you’ll have an unobstructed view of the bridge, free from the crowds! With most landmarks, you can do a little bit of internet research and scope out the best vantage points, minus the crowds.

5 things NOT to do on a USA Roadtrip

 

5. Skip once-in-a-lifetime opportunities-

Travelling has a sneaky way of eating out your bank account, and it can be a challenge to stretch your cash across the length of your trip. Instead of frittering your money away on tacky keychains, overpriced adult beverages or one-too-many ice-cream cones, save up your pennies for the experiences you will ACTUALLY remember. In the end, a lot of the places you visit you might never come back to, so when you have the opportunity to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, see a show on Broadway or high-wire over Vegas, jump at it!

“You’ll never regret the things you do as much as the things you don’t.”

5 things NOT to do on a USA Roadtrip

 

BONUS TIP: Pay for a hire car-

Here’s a little extra tip for you… Did you know you can road trip across the USA for less than $1 a day? Check out my ultimate road trip hack here!

 

This post first appeared on The Collective by Topdeck Travel

9 Comments

  • Reply
    claireewang
    November 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I’m an American and I love Taco Bell… but I do agree that perhaps it isn’t the healthiest. If you are looking for a quick and healthy and delicious meal, you have to go to Chipotle. Please just go. You’ll thank me later.

    http://ww.adventureatwork.co.vu/

    • Reply
      polkadotpassport
      November 13, 2015 at 5:53 am

      I have been to Chipotle! Definitely tastes a little healthier than Taco Bell :P

  • Reply
    Shelby Vogl
    November 11, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Great article…I’m from the States but unfortunately I haven’t done that much road tripping. I am however in full support of skipping the taco bell and opting for some in n out instead :)

    • Reply
      polkadotpassport
      November 13, 2015 at 5:53 am

      Ah it’s always hard exploring where we are from (especially in your case there is so much to see!). Hahaha I’m glad you agree ;)

  • Reply
    chelseytschida
    November 25, 2015 at 2:05 am

    As an American, I’ve quit lower quality fast food some time ago. Chick Fil A and In-n-Out. Mmmm, my faves. The tipping portion was interesting. I love traveling to other countries, and not tipping like we do in the States, but I didn’t realize it’s a bit of an art form if you’re traveling here from abroad.

  • Reply
    mandi
    December 16, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I am planning a 3 month road trip around the US and have been using Furkot to map out my drive. I know you recommended Roadtrippers but I dont love their layout. Can you recommend any other sites that will help me with the scenic route instead of just the Google Maps route? Thanks so much! Im also trying to find a way to find routes that will take me through fun little tourist stops, largest ball of twine? ummmmm duhhhh please ;)

    • Reply
      polkadotpassport
      December 26, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      I’m going to have to do some more research and see if I can find other apps that do the same thing, I’m sure there are plenty out there! :)

  • Reply
    Lauren Wright
    January 13, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Being from the US this article makes me realize things that are so normal here that aren’t everywhere else (tipping & unhealthy takeaway) but I have been on many a road trip in my life and my other tip would be to stop in the little towns you pass through and try to find an antique shop or locally owned store and strike up a conversation with the local that owns the shop. They often know the hidden treasures of the town or your route! This is how we discovered a delicious Mexican food place in Globe, AZ!

    • Reply
      mandi
      January 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      This is a great idea!

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