Aussie’s Guide To Road Tripping In The US

As an Aussie visiting the U.S, you will want to rent a campervan to explore the beautiful places to be found and the amazing cities to get to know. It’s the easiest and most exciting way to get to know one of the world’s largest countries. From the historical places to the most happening cities, you can be sure that the U.S is the perfect destination for a fantastic road trip.

To help you to be able to enjoy your trip, we have compiled some tips on road tripping in the U.S., things to do, and places to see.


Be aware of driving rules in the U.S. The U.S. is one of the strictest countries for driving in the world. To ensure that you don’t end up with a stack of tickets at the end of what is supposed to be an exciting road trip, do some research on how the driving laws may differ in the U.S. from Australia.

"Approaching Toll Plaza, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel" BY Ken Lund via flickr.com/photos/kenlund/14423117962 under a Creative Commons attribution CC BY-SA 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Police are very present in the States and they do their best to enforce traffic laws, so make sure you do your best to follow them as much as possible. Speeding, failing to signal, and other simple mistakes can get you some very big fines. Avoid drinking and driving at all costs, as you would in Australia.
Bring tip money for restaurant dining. During your road trip in the U.S, you will most likely want to occasionally eat at nice restaurants. Tipping isn’t required in Australia, but in the United States, it is how servers make their money. The wage for waiters in the U.S is very low, so most people who work in the food and service industry depend almost entirely on tip money. To make sure that you don’t get nasty looks, make your servers happy, and enjoy pleasant experiences, set aside some extra cash to leave as tip while on your road trip.
Filling up your tank with petrol. In Australia, you fill up your tank with petrol and then you go to pay, but in the U.S, you have to pay first and then pump. This is important to know, so you don’t find yourself staring at the petrol pump wondering why nothing is happening.

"filling the tank" BY Bradley Gordon via flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/11811168393 under a Creative Common attribution CC BY 2.0. Full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Whether you use your card or pay in cash, always make sure to pay first. While yes, it may take some calculating of how much you need to spend to make sure that you get a full tank, once you get the hang of it, it will be easy to guess.
Before renting a campervan, do your research about permits. If you plan on renting a campervan for your road trip, research the requirements. While many rental companies will allow you to use your Australian driver’s license, others may require you to have an international driver’s permit to be able to rent it.
Americans drive on the right side of the road. Americans drive on the right side of the road, which may take some getting used to, but once you do, it will be like second nature to you.
Places to See on Your Road Trip
Now that you know the basics of road tripping in the U.S, following are a few ideas for places that you will want to see while on your road trip. Much like Australia, there are fascinating natural destinations to visit which you will want to see at least once.
Here are our top favourites:
– Rocky Mountain National Park
– Yosemite National Park
– Yellowstone National Park
– Grand Canyon
While these parks are gorgeous and will definitely reward you with fascinating views and great outdoor experiences, there are some cities that you will want to be sure to put on your road trip itinerary.
These are our top picks:
– San Francisco
– Austin
– Denver
– Seattle
– New York
– Chicago
– Miami
– New Orleans
Besides taking the time to visit national parks and top U.S cities, you don’t want to miss out on these typical American experiences and foods:
– Eat breakfast tacos in Texas
– Visit thrift stores and find cheap yet stylish vintage clothing
– Try deep-fried chicken and waffles in the south
– Eat barbeque anywhere in Tennessee
– Visit the beaches of Key West, Florida
– Attend a music festival in the summer, for example, Coachella, ACL, or Lollapalooza
– Go hiking in nature
– Attend a renaissance festival
– Visit southern plantations
– Go line dancing
– Go inner tube floating in Austin, Texas
While there are many more things to do and places to see, these are a few things you can do to get started planning and which are sure to help your road trip in the U.S be one that you will never forget.
Make sure to set aside plenty of time to enjoy as much as possible. After all, the U.S is a large country with so much to get to know and see, so you will want to be able to take the time to explore everything you want to.

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