Roadtrips are the best way of traveling! You can disagree with this and remind us that sitting on the deck of a luxury yacht is even nicer, or that you’d rather spend a week staying near a sunny beach somewhere far away, but we’ll never agree with you.
For us, an open road means freedom. Total freedom to go where you like, to do what you want, to see whatever you can think along the way. During our years of blogging we’ve driven hundreds of thousands of kilometres in the US, Canada, the UK and a few other places, and we’re not about to stop anytime soon.
This post is an ode to roadtripping and a look back on some of our most legendary drives. It’s also a loving nod to Hertz, our partner in crime and on the road for the past few months and a tribute to some of the homes-on-four-wheels that we’ve spent a lot of days in during those months.
We’ve been surprised at times by how easy it was to just pick a car from the airport and go. The Hertz staff have been phenomenal! And because everything’s indeed gone so smoothly over the past few months while we’ve (sort of) been their test drivers, it’s very easy to sing praise and recommend the company for car hire.
But here, let us take a look at some of our most memorable roadtrips so far.
Alaskan sceneries – best viewed from a car
In Alaska, we only had four days. But during those days we climbed up to a glacier, watched a bear bathe, spotted wild bald eagles just minding their own eagle business in absurdly beautiful sceneries, ate good food, sat in the sunset waiting for the belugas to come and most importantly, stopped in at least a dozen photographic spots along the way.
We wouldn’t have experienced even a fraction of these things if we didn’t rent a car and head out leaving the city lights behind.
Since Alaska is best explained with photographic evidence, we’ll leave you with a few hilights and a link to a longer roadtrip article.
There is absolutely no doubt in our minds: we’re definitely going back some day for a longer visit. Alaska is a place where you need to slow down and take it all in. Take a few days for just hikes and whale watching on the beach, looking at sunset and the stars after.
It is a destination best served slow and warm, not fast and greedy. Take our word for it.
Beautiful British Columbia
We’ve been to Vancouver three times already, but we’re always hoping to go back. We’ve also seriously considered moving there for at least a little while, just so we could explore and blog about all of British Columbia a little better. Such a stunning place! All the mountains, the forests, the nature, the sea bays and wildlife… it’s simply too much to take in within a week or even two.
We’ve driven up and down the scenic highways that blow our minds every time, we’ve experienced wildlife spotting on a speedy boat in Horseshoe Bay, we’ve followed in our favorite TV stars’ footsteps to many corners of British Columbia. And all this would’ve been practically impossible without — you guessed it: a car.
Although we do love downtown Vancouver and taking a touristy bus ride to Stanley Park…
…but it’s been an absolute joy to explore the sights along the highways and the hidden little filming locations in various locations around BC.
Leaving Vancouver is literally the worst, every time. We’ve shed tears over having to leave and sworn we’d come back as soon as we can. And it seems that we actually always do: our trips to Vancouver have become almost a yearly tradition for us.
(Yes. We’ve even felt sad leaving the car behind as you can see below.)
Exploring Tennessee and Georgia
What happened during our first big roadtrip across the United States was… we got seriously bit by the country music bug. At first, we listened to Luke Bryan and this dude called Eric Paslay, but soon we discovered many, many other talented artists through the radio and Spotify.
And before we knew it, we were organizing a trip to Nashville, Memphis and some other parts of Tennessee with our gracious collaboration partners KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Hertz. We couldn’t believe it! We were finally on our way to the home of country music!
We still have tons of photos and stories to share from this particular trip as it is our latest one (and a big one!), but the most sharp-eyed follower type of you must have spotted our excitement on social media already. It was SUPER cool to get to see the roots of country music!
And of course, home of Elvis. We only had a little peek at Graceland through the gates, but the notes from thousands of fans scribbled all over the fences were quite a thing to behold as well. What a legend.
Exploring 30+ states in the United States
We’ve driven coast to coast in the US. Twice. Satu has actually done it several times, but as bloggers, we’ve basically circled along the USA borders all the way — you guessed it — by car in two parts: first, we started from Vancouver (this was in 2014), drove all the way down to San Diego, then across the southern states and up the east coast.
Next (in 2016) we flew to Boston, visited all the Great Lakes, Yellowstone National Park and eventually, crossed the border and finished the trip in Vancouver. So, that makes it pretty much a full circle.
And whenever we hear a fellow traveler saying stuff like “I’m not really interested in visiting the States, it’s such a cliché and superficial and blah blah blah”, we exchange annoyed, knowing looks when they aren’t looking. Because come on. These guys know absolutely nothing.
In a country this massive and diverse, there’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of things to see and do. More than you could possibly see in a lifetime (or two or five). It’s no use even writing a list of it all: whatever you can think of, the States probably has it, in one form or another. Be it natural or man-made, this is where you’ll find it in practically any shape or form.
And the roads! They’re wide and reasonably well maintained, the signage system is clear and easy to follow, so a roadtrip in the US is mostly smooth riding.
You’ll have to refer to our USA archives to get a better picture of our adventures… although a lot of things are still missing from our archives, such is the amount of memories and photos we have from these trips. But, we’re slowly working on building proper archives of all our best trips & travel tips!
England, jolly ol’ England
Great Britain is a very familiar corner of the world to us. Along the years, we’ve driven east and west, north and south, and seen pretty much all parts of the United Kingdom. There are a few places we’d still love to go, but we consider ourselves pretty lucky to have seen so much already.
A few things to remember about driving in the UK: The “wrong side” traffic (obviously). For someone who’s used to driving on the right lane, driving in the left will be a bit of a weird experience when you do it for the first time. However, Satu swears you’ll get used to it within just a couple of days of extremely careful driving and slight confusion at intersections.
To make things even more exciting, Britain’s roads are very often very narrow and they come with all sorts of surprises and things to look out for. For example, we’ve seen roads that almost touch a corner of a house — like they literally couldn’t fit a safety gap between the house and the cars.
Or there’s just one lane for a two-way traffic, because parking is allowed on both sides even when there aren’t any actual parking spots. There’s hedges, trees, bushes, tall grass practically scratching the sides of your car when you drive in the countryside, but you’ll live. If you drive carefully, you’ll live.
And a roadtrip in the UK is usually worth it. By driving, you’ll get to see the UK countryside, majestic beaches, historical cities and towns, castles and attractions. We have some stunningly beautiful memories from each of our roadtrips in the UK, so it’s totally been worth it.
Ok, if you’re aware of the complicated bundle called the United Kingdom, you’ll remember that Wales is actually a part of it. However, since it’s basically our second home (we lived there for a while!), we want to dedicate a separate section for it.
We’ve traveled around Wales by car a lot, sometimes just to see one specific filming location such as Dunraven Bay (as seen in Sherlock, Doctor Who, Merlin) or the Three Bears Cave (also used in Sherlock, Doctor Who and Merlin because these guys know how to share!) or another of the dozens of cool locations around Cardiff and further up in the north.
We’ve spent a luxury night in a yurt (!) in Bridgend…
…admired the sunset in Portmeirion, a town familiar to many from The Prisoner…
…and we’ve also spent hours looking for just the right spot from the recent King Arthur film by Guy Ritchie in Snowdonia National Park.
Without driving there ourselves, it would’ve been heck of a lot hard to discover all these stunning locations, beaches, mountains and misty valleys that Wales has to offer. Yeah, the roads might be narrow sometimes, but what’s waiting at the end of them is often very much worth the trip.
Who needs a fancy house when you can travel instead?
Since we’re not very wealthy people, we feel very lucky to have seen so much of the world. To be honest, we’ve pretty much given up any resemblances to (what some might call) a “normal life” to do all this, to go and see all these places, but that’s simply our own choice.
There’s a lot of smart and inspiration quotes to be quoted about seeing the world and living your life free like a bird, but to us, it’s this simple: experiences make you richer than things you can own ever could.
Take our word for it. Because we’re living proof.
This is a collaboration post: Parts of the content of this post were created in collaboration with our dear and trustworthy partner Hertz, but all of the photos, opinions and the experience itself are 100% our own. Roadtrips truly are our jam and as amazing as they seem! ⭐