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A road trip across the USA is on the bucket lists of many camping enthusiasts. But for most, this trip has been a dream that has been difficult to realise. It doesn't have to be!
With Campstar, it's easy to rent a Campervan in the USA and make that long-awaited road trip a reality.
The diversity of the different regions is unique in the USA. In the north-east of the country New England with its deep forests, sun-drenched Florida in the south-east, the wild Rocky Mountains in the mid-west or the "Golden State" California on the Pacific, each region of the USA impresses with different geographical features.
Getting to know all this diversity in a two-week holiday does not do justice to the diversity of the country. If you are planning to rent a Campervan in the USA, you should pick a few destinations that interest you the most and plan your tour in these regions.
With a Campervan, you are of course mobile and flexible, but you must bear in mind that an east-west crossing of the USA alone covers around 4,500 km and four time zones. So that you can really enjoy your road trip and have enough time to admire the exciting natural spectacles and landscapes, you should not plan too many kilometres per day.
One of the great advantages of renting your Campervan through Campstar and travelling the USA is that you have the option of renting your Campervan in different locations. For example, you can travel by plane to New York, pick up your Campervan there and take a road trip along the East Coast to Florida. Drop off your camper in Jacksonville or Miami and fly to San Francisco or Los Angeles, where your next Campervan is already waiting for you. This way, you can visit exactly the regions that interest you personally, without spending time in areas that are a lower priority for you. The great flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of renting a Campervan on your holiday.
As different as the regions in the USA are, so is the climate:
When planning your road trip through the USA, be sure to find out in advance about the exact climatic characteristics of your destination and rent a suitable campervan. Depending on where you plan to travel, other features may be important when choosing the camper you want to rent. A four-wheel drive is not necessary everywhere, in some places you will appreciate a very good air conditioning system and in others a parking heater in your Campervan.
When planning your trip to the USA, anyone you ask will probably give you different tips. But some names will come up more often. The famous Route 66, for example, is listed in every guidebook for road trips and camping trips with Campervans, and has not lost its appeal even after decades. It is probably impossible to list all the sights in the USA, so here is just a small selection of possible itineraries through the land of opportunity.
Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica in California was one of the longest highways in the USA, covering almost 4,000 kilometres. It was opened as early as 1926 and was one of the first continuously paved roads to the West Coast. Due to the construction of the multi-lane Interstates, several bypasses and many alterations to the route, Route 66 is no longer continuously passable today and is also designated differently on some sections. Nevertheless, the magic of this historic route remains in many places. If you want to rent a Campervan and drive the entire Route 66, you should plan at least ten days for each direction, better two or even three weeks. However, you can also choose to drive only a part of the route.
The starting point of Route 66 is Chicago. You can travel here by plane. You can rent your Campervan in advance through Campstar and arrange the ideal place and time for the handover. From the metropolis on Lake Michigan, you start your road trip south through bright green Illinois. Green corn and soybean fields stretch as far as the eye can see to the right and left of the road. You already pass the first lovingly restored petrol stations, motels and diners in the style of the 1940s and 1950s with the elaborate neon signs that are so typical of Route 66.
Crossing the Mississippi River, you will reach St. Louis. Here you can make your first major stopover, rent a place for your Campervan at the campground and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife and the wide range of cultural institutions. A visit to the legendary Gateway Arch, which symbolises the gateway to the West, is a must when visiting St. Louis. The course of Route 66 leads you further through Missouri to Oklahoma. The further south and west you go, the more the landscape changes along the road. The green fields gradually recede to make way for the vast desert landscapes of northern Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The endless expanse and the dead straight course of the road make Route 66 so unique.
In northern Arizona you will reach the city of Flagstaff, which is considered the gateway to the Grand Canyon. You can also reach Flagstaff by plane. If you don't want to drive the entire Route 66 by camper, you can start here and rent your Campervan in Flagstaff. From here you can take your Campervan or caravan on a trip to the Grand Canyon and marvel at the majesty of one of the deepest canyons in the world. The bizarre shapes, seemingly endless dimensions and the unbelievably many colours of the different rock layers make the Grand Canyon one of the most popular tourist magnets in the USA. To experience the national park in all its diversity, you should plan several days for a visit to the Grand Canyon. There are several campgrounds around the canyon where you can rent a site and park your Campervan.
After visiting the Grand Canyon, you can decide whether to return to Flagstaff to continue along Route 66, or whether you want to make a detour to Las Vegas. The largest city in Nevada is famous for its numerous casinos and shows. The world-famous casinos on the Strip almost all have their own theme in which they are built and furnished. For example, the "Luxor", which is shaped like a pyramid and decorated in Egyptian style, or the "Paris", for which an Eiffel Tower was built.
A visit to Las Vegas is an unforgettable experience, even if you don't plan to bet your entire holiday budget on gambling. Besides the Strip and the sights in downtown Las Vegas, the city also has scenic highlights to offer. The Red Rock Canyon National Park a few kilometres west of the dazzling desert metropolis is worth a visit for nature lovers. You can hike, climb or mountain bike in the bright red rocks. South of the city lies Lake Mead National Park. There are several large campsites here where you can rent a pitch for your Campervan and go swimming, on boat trips or hiking.
From Las Vegas you can drive south in your Campervan and from Kingman follow Route 66 all the way to California. In Santa Monica, after about 4000 kilometres, you will reach the bright blue Pacific Ocean. Here you can rent a campsite and end your road trip on the magnificent Pacific beach. A detour to Los Angeles is also worthwhile. A photo of the gigantic Hollywood sign, a tour of Beverly Hills or a walk along the Walk of Fame are very popular excursions.
Of course, you can also extend your road trip a little further. California offers visitors so much more than just Hollywood. If you want to concentrate your trip on the "Golden State", you can also travel by plane directly to Los Angeles or San Francisco and rent your Campervan or caravan from here. This way you can start your dream holiday with a camper right away on the sun-drenched Pacific coast.
California's diverse landscape includes, among other things, Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the USA (outside Alaska) at over 4000 metres, in the middle of the Sierra Nevada. Only about 100 kilometres to the southeast is Death Valley, the lowest and hottest place in the USA. The Sierra Nevada mountain range stretches for 650 kilometres parallel to the Pacific coast. On its western foothills lies the world-famous Yosemite National Park. The huge, centuries-old redwood trees, impressive waterfalls and granite rocks attract around four million visitors every year. If you're planning a stopover here with your Campervan, be sure to rent a site in advance. Spaces at the nearby campgrounds are limited and book up quickly.
Even beyond the famous Route 66 or versatile holiday destinations like California, the USA is a very diverse travel destination. Especially for nature-loving campers, Yellowstone National Park in the state of Wyoming is an exciting destination. Not only are the big wild animals like grizzly bears at home here, there are also many geysers and other springs to marvel at. The Yellowstone volcano is the largest volcano on the entire continent and is still active today.
Other popular attractions in the USA include the Great Lakes in the north-east of the country. If you are planning to rent a Campervan in the USA, you can also enjoy the incomparable landscapes around the lakes on a road trip. If you are travelling with your children, a tour that takes you through Florida is a good idea. A visit to Disney World in Orlando, Florida will not only make children's eyes light up. This excursion can also be combined with a tour through the Everglades and to the Florida Keys. The diverse nature of the subtropical wetlands extends over more than 5,000 square kilometres in southern Florida and can be explored on a hike or on an impressive boat tour.
If you are planning to rent a Campervan in the USA, it is important to know that you need a tourist visa ("Visitor B Visa") or must participate in the "Visa Waiver Program" to enter the USA. To participate, you must first register in the electronic travel authorisation system "ESTA" with your electronic passport and provide proof of a return ticket. You should find out about the exact requirements, procedures and costs in detail online as part of your travel planning, as these may change.
You do not need an international driving licence to rent a Campervan in the USA. Your German Class 3 or B driving licence is also recognised in the USA.
Wild camping is prohibited almost everywhere in the USA. The only exceptions are in some national parks. Some supermarkets or gas stations allow campers to spend a night in their car parks. Farmers also sometimes offer RV sites for rent on their property. To be on the safe side, you should always check with the owner before you park your Campervan or caravan on a site.
However, there are also numerous beautiful and well-maintained campgrounds in the USA. The state campgrounds are usually located in the immediate vicinity of national parks or popular sights and are often cheaper than privately run campgrounds. That's why they are booked up quickly during holiday periods. If you know in advance that you want to stay at a special place, it is best to book early and reserve a place.
When planning to rent a Campervan in the USA, you don't need to worry about food and fuel supplies. There are no standard opening hours in the USA, so many supermarkets, especially in the larger cities, are open around the clock. In more rural areas this is rare, but smaller shops are open until 6pm. When shopping, you should note that the prices listed are often net prices, which means that the VAT is calculated at the checkout. The amount of VAT varies from state to state.
Speaking of paying: You should change a small amount of cash into US dollars before you leave. You can then get more cash in the USA at ATMs with your credit card. When shopping, you can also pay with your credit card. In some shops you can round up the amount and get the change in cash, so there are no withdrawal fees. You should check with your bank before your trip whether your credit card is suitable for your trip to the USA.