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Travel Tips For Road Tripping Route 66

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Taking a trip on Route 66 or otherwise known as the “Mother Road” is a road trip dream for many. Starting in Chicago, Illinois and ending in Santa Monica, California; Route 66 is almost 2,300 miles long. Route 66 was built to make traveling across country possible. Now the once straight shot is all split up and traveling it is going to take some planning.

TIMING

Before you start planning your road trip you have to decide how long you’ll be gone. Route 66 isn’t a short journey. At 2,300 miles you need a solid 2 weeks, ideally 3 to really enjoy the trip.

2 weeks

2,300 miles = 165 miles a day

165 miles = 3.5 hours driving

3 weeks

2,300 miles = 110 miles per day

110 miles = 2 hours driving

Drive Route 66
Photo credit Alice Daniels

THINGS TO BRING

  • cooler
  • plenty of water
  • snacks
  • map
  • sunscreen
  • hat
  • hydro pack for hiking
  • flashlight (other than your phone)
  • hotel door locks
  • hiking map you can use off line
  • camera
  • selfie stick (for selfies you normally wouldn’t take and for long shots you can’t get)
  • nice broken in hiking shoes
  • fast drying beach towel
  • battery pack for charging your phone, (phone searching for service dies faster, videos, pictures, maps. They are just nice to have)

Plan Ahead

Make sure to plan your Motels in advance. Even if you don’t book make sure you have an idea of where you’ll be stopping because lodging can be limited in areas along Route 66.

Bring a real map, cell service can be spotty and you don’t want to risk getting lost.

Download offline hiking maps before hitting the road, cell reception is never a guarantee.

Don’t risk running out of gas, stop when passing a gas station. It may be awhile before you see another.

Drive Route 66
Photo credit Alice Daniels

COST

What’s your road trip budget? Here is a rough cost outline to give you an idea. These will vary by your traveling standards. Do you pack a cooler, or stay at the best lodging? Our pricing below is for the moderate traveler. Visit our Deals page to find ways to save, here.

2 weeks

GAS – $345 for gas on a one way trip along Route 66. (est. 24 miles per gallon and an average cost of $3.60 per gallon)

FOOD – $690 (est. $7 breakfast $12 lunch $20 dinner $10 snacks.)

LODGING -$2,275 (est. $175 per night)

3 weeks

GAS – $345 for gas on a one way trip along Route 66. (est. 24 miles per gallon and an average cost of $3.60 per gallon)

FOOD – $1,035 (est. $7 breakfast $12 lunch $20 dinner $10 snacks.)

LODGING -$3,500 (est. $175 per night)

Drive Route 66
Photo credit Alice Daniels

States

See 8 states in 1 road trip, if you don’t already have a Scratch Map you’ll need one now! Check out our favorite here

Illinois – about 300 miles

Missouri – over 300 miles

Kansas – less than 20 miles

Oklahoma– over 350 miles

Texas – close to 200 miles

New Mexico – about 400 miles

Arizona – more than 350 miles

California – almost 300

Drive Route 66
Photo credit Alice Daniels

Make sure not to miss a thing with one of these Route 66 Guides!

  • 12 Joyful Christmas Experiences to Gift Instead of Material Gifts
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • St. Augustine, Florida

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