Road trip is a great choice for those that are looking for cost-efficient travel options. On a road trip, you are in charge. You enjoy the greatest freedom when traveling by car. You don’t need to wake up according to the plane or train schedule, you don’t need to limit your itinerary according to those, and you can simply stop your car on the side if you see something interesting along the way. You get to pick where you want to stay and what you want to see. If an attraction doesn’t attract you, turn away. If a place you’re staying at really appeals to you, you can stay for more days without throwing off your entire schedule. You can pack everything you need as long as it fits in your trunk. You’re not limited by any airlines about the size, weight, and type of items. You can bring water, soda, batteries, everything you want and you don’t need to pay extra for packing a lot. This freedom cannot be offered by any other type of travel.
Road trip also offers a variety of the world. You can dive deep into your destination by going on your ‘feet’ and into the neighborhoods people live in. You also get to see the amazing views along the road. For a road trip, the process matters as well if not more than the destination. It offers you time to calm down, look at how big this world is, and explore your inner self along the way. For solo travelers, road trip is a great opportunity to connect with nature, throw back all the worldly things behind, and just head in one direction for a while.
Despite all its advantages, road trips do have their own cons. First of all, road trip is a lot of work, both physically and mentally. You will be driving for days and sitting for hours in the car during road trips. Even when you get to stop at a hotel for the night, it’s usually just for one night and you need to take care of packing and unpacking all in that night. In addition, going on a constant road trip means different staying places each night, and that requires detailed planning.
Planning for a road trip can be mentally exhausting. You need to figure out how many hours you’re driving, account for accidents on the road that might delay your plan, and figure out which hotel is close, comfy, and nice around the place you will most likely stop at for each night. On top of that, you have to take care of the car too. If you plan to do road trip in another state or country, you have to first take care of car rental, and the pickup and drop off places. Parking can also get hard at times when there’s no public parking or when it’s crowded and all the curb-side parking has a time limit. As a result, you may need to face the frustration of finding parking after a long, exhausting day of driving and reduce your resting time. It can really become a challenge for your body and mind.
While road trip is known as relatively cost-efficient, traveling by car can get expensive if you count in all the tolls, parking, rental, and gas expense. If you’re traveling with your own car, there will be wears and tears you need to worry about not even mention a possible breakdown.
West Coast Roadtrip Route
In the end, each type of trip has its own pros and cons and its unique features. You can always write down what you’re looking for in a trip, what are your top three factors, and decide whether you want to take a road trip. But if you do, here’s a great road trip that you can start with on the west coast!
The West Coast of the United States is a vast and diverse region that offers many road trip options for travelers. Here is a comprehensive guide to the best road trip on the West Coast, covering popular destinations from San Diego, California to Seattle, Washington.
Day 1: San Diego to Los Angeles (2 hours, 120 miles)
Start your trip in San Diego, California, a city famous for its sunny beaches and attractions such as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. Here you can explore the famous beaches, such as La Jolla Cove and Coronado Beach, visit the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, and walk around the historic Gaslamp Quarter.
From San Diego, take the I-5 North to Los Angeles, known for its iconic Hollywood sign and studios, Sunset Strip, and the Walk of Fame. Stop by the Griffith Observatory to get a view of the city and the stars, and visit the Getty Center, an art museum with stunning architecture and gardens.
Day 2: Los Angeles to Monterey (5 hours, 300 miles)
After spending a day or so in the beautiful Los Angeles, head north along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to Monterey, a historic coastal town known for its stunning scenery, whale watching, and golf courses. Stop at Big Sur, a 90-mile stretch of rugged coastline with breathtaking views and scenic pullouts, and at Hearst Castle, a palatial estate that offers a glimpse into the life of its former owner, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Day 3:Monterey to San Francisco (2 hours, 120 miles)
Drive up the coast from Monterey to San Francisco, a city known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz Island. Walk along the Embarcadero and take a ferry to the nearby islands, or explore the hilly neighborhoods of Haight-Ashbury and Pacific Heights. Check out GlobeSisters’ more detailed San Francisco guide!
Day 4: San Francisco to Portland (7 hours, 430 miles)
From San Francisco, take I-5 North to Portland, a quirky and progressive city known for its food, beer, and coffee scenes, as well as its many parks and gardens. Explore the city's downtown and visit landmarks such as Powell's City of Books, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Japanese Garden.
Day 5: Portland to Seattle (2.5 hours, 150 miles)
Finally, Drive up I-5 to Seattle. In Seattle you can visit the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, walk along the waterfront and visit the original Starbucks, take a ferry to the nearby islands for a day trip, explore the famous beaches, such as La Jolla Cove and Coronado Beach, visit the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, walk around the historic Gaslamp Quarter.
Check out GlobeSisters’ more detailed Seattle guide!
This road trip along the West Coast offers a diverse array of landscapes, cultures, and experiences. From sun-soaked beaches to rugged coastlines, from bustling cities to quaint towns, this road trip is a must-do for anyone seeking adventure and discovery in the Western United States.