If you’ve tried motorhoming or campervanning around Europe and are ready to tackle some of the best routes around the globe - well good news you are in luck!
In this blog, we are going to be running through just 10 of the best motorhome routes around the world for you to visit whenever you have some spare time and fancy booking a different type of holiday.
It is worth noting that these routes are spread out across the globe so these routes will mean you are travelling further and also mean that it requires a little more time. However, just think of them as long-haul journeys that get you out on the open roads and able to enjoy a certain level of comfort and excitement at your own pace.
So without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?
1. Route 66, USA
Kicking off the list today is arguably one of the most famous roads and talked about motorhome routes in the heart of the USA!
The original Route 66 stretches across 3,941km that takes you all the way from Los Angeles to Chicago. This is one road trip we’d recommend you spend a few weeks on, providing that time and money permits.
On your travels, you will have the opportunity to see the Route Car 66 Museum, Cadillac Ranch, Santa Rosa Town, Santa Monica Pier, and much more. Also, I don’t know if you’re thinking what I’m thinking but this trip will also allow you to feel like an extra from the Cars Movie (providing that is what you’re into I suppose)…
Top tips for travelling in the USA:
- Check if you require an ESTA - Many countries are a part of the USAs visa waiver programme, meaning you will not require a visa to travel to the US. However, even if you don’t require a visa, you will still need an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Do not worry, it is easy to apply online directly via the Homeland Security Website!
- Don’t overpack - Remember you will be spending a lot of time in your motorhome, so only pack what you really need to give yourself enough space as possible to stretch out and have your own space.
- Make friends with people at the campsites - Motorhoming holidays or formally known as ‘RV holidays’ are extremely popular in the US so we’d recommend getting to know the frequent travllers to see if they have any suggestions or tips that can help you along the way.
2. Alaskan Highway, Canada
If you fancy extending your trip, then heading North to Canada wouldn’t be such a bad idea. You wouldn’t need to drive it, especially if you’ve rented a motorhome or campervan for your first trip if you didn’t want to. You could simply drop off your rental, fly, then pick up your next.
Along the Alaskan Highway, Canada is home to some mesmerizing sights. Glistening lakes, luscious woodlands, and coastal mountains. Go here for you a trip by itself or add it onto another – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
Top tips for travelling in Canada:
- Always pack for a variety of weather conditions - Canada has seven different climatic zones and temperatures that vary widely depending on what time of year you intend to visit
- Much alike the US, you will need a visa or ETA - it is worth checking your home government website to make sure you know which documents you will need to enter Canda. If you do need an ETA or Visa it is easy to apply online via ther Canadian Goverment website.
- Be careful when entering forests - while bear attacks are extremely rare, they do happen. Before entering any wildlife make sure you do your research on which animals you should look out for.
3. The Grand Tour, New Zealand
Probably one of, if not the, best destination to travel in a campervan or motorhome. Just as its distant cousin Australia, New Zealand is very much used to and equipped for this type of vehicle as, again, it is the traveller’s choice for many reasons. The grand tour as it’s called is a wonderful journey that is definitely one for the hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Feel the beauty and peace of wide-open spaces, mountains, geysers, beaches, and a few film locations (including a certain village built for Hobbits) along the way as you start on the North Island in Auckland and travel toward the South Island. Once you’ve reached the South, you’ll easily be able to follow the coast from Nelson as you head towards Christchurch.
Again, I’m suggesting 4 weeks for this route. You won’t want to miss any of the highlights, such as whale watching in Kaikoura (depending on the time of year you visit), the majestic Mount Cook, the epic drive through the Southern Alps and so many more that I’m sure you’ll be able to squeeze in!
Top tips for travelling in New Zealand:
- Stay up to date with the latest travel restrictions - since COVID, the world has introduced a wide variety o restrictions that are constantly switching and changing, especially in New Zealand. To check the latest information it is worth checking the New Zealand Goverment run website.
- You will need to pay the NZeTA and IVL or choose a different visa - if you visit NZ on a visitor visa or ou come from a visa-waiver country, you will also need a NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) as well as pay the IVL (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy)
- Avoid busier months November-March - NZ tends to be at peak time udring these months so if you’re looking for a more peacgful and relaxed holiday, it is recommended to travel during the low season from June to August.
*For more on travelling to New Zealand from the UK, head over to the GOV.UK website.
4. Pan-American Highway, Chile
We’ve seen how Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman trove their way across the Pan American Highway on Harley Davidson Livewires in the ‘Long Way Up’, so why not follow in their footsteps and try a section of the same route but from the comfort of a motorhome or campervan?
The 3,364km-long Pan-America runs through Chile, known as the Ruta 5, so it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to get a taste of this beastly route. As you enter, you’ll not only fill up on gas but also on culture.
As you follow this highway through the spine of the country, you’ll find yourself immersed in the desert, colourful towns, seaside cities, and the peaks of the Andes.
Lastly, if it’s expert advice you’re after, make sure you read through Geoff Hill’s Pan American Highway guide. He travelled this route first-hand and his article is packed full of his experiences and what to expect.
Top tips for travelling in Chile:
- Plan out petrol stops - If you saw the Long Way Up series you would know that recharging and refulling sites are very few and far between. It would be worth checking out where you plan to stop to save you the panic of not knowing when the next time you can reful again is.
- Don’t be alarmed when your petrol is pumped for you - surprisingly there are many countries outside the UK where you will find those who work at petrol stations will fill up your car for you.
- When entering Mexico, make sure to carry Chilean Pesos - always make sure to carry some Chilean Pesos with you when entering Mexico as you may have to pay some tolls along the way.
- Try not to veer off the highway - Typically any roads aside from the highway may not be in the greatest condition, so if you are wanting to go off the beaten track then make sure you tread carefully.
5. The Garden Route, South Africa
Next up is quite easily one the most popular and beautiful motorhome route on the globe, thanks its stunning nature and endless camping spots.
This route stretches over 105km and goes all the way from Mossel Bay to Knysna. It is certainly one for those who prefer a slower paced travel with lots of long stops to visit places such as the Knysna Elephant park, as well as the Cango Caves and much more!
Top tips for travelling in South Africa:
- Make sure you get comprehensive travel cover - South Africa is jam packed full of adreanline fuelled activities such as bungee jumps, long hikes, paragliding and much more, so getting an insurance cover that will insure you for these extreme activities will just give you that little bit more added projection and safety.
- Avoid peak periods between December-February and June-July - If you choose to go to South Africa you will have to put up with large crowds and unnecessarily inflated prices.
- Pack Malaria Tablets - when travelling to South Africa it is defintly worth taking these tablets especially during Malaria season to keep yourself safe in the event that you may need them.
6. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
If you fancy visiting the Yucatan Peninsula you will need two weeks to embark on a 1500km journey which is sure to show you the definition of paradise.
Scattered with lagoons, ancient ruins, deserted beaches, historic countryside, bustling towns, and food people rave about for years and years to come, this is an adventure that is set to please all your senses!
To begin, you’ll need to travel to Cancun to Isla Cozumel and cross the Playa del Carmen. From here, you can take it slow and enjoy all that Mexico has to offer, including Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve where you’ll fall in love with Mother Nature, and all things pink, as you take in the sights of flamingos and bright pink lagoons. Your next stop will be Merida, where you’ll see lines of pastel-coloured houses, cobbled streets, and vintage cars. Travel a mere 1.5 hours and be wowed by the Uxmal ruins. Your last stop will see you in Tulum, taking you along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Top tips for travelling in Mexico:
- Remember to carry the local currency (Peso) - Whilst travelling from place to place, you may come across a few toll booths so make sure you carry money with you at all times jyst in case.
- Museums, Restaurants and Boutique shops are closed on Mondays - When travelling around such places as the Yucatan Peninsula, you probably will want to visit some of the local attractions. However, it should be noted that quite a few places will be closed on Mondays so always make sure to double check so you don’t end up being disappointed!
- Mexican immigration officials may ask to see proof of your departure plans from Mexico before allowing you into Mexico - Officials may ask you for prood of your accommodation (eg. hotel booking), as well as proof of enough money for your stay, as well as a letter of invitation if you plan to stay in someones house during your stay.
*For more on travelling to Mexico from the UK, head over to the GOV.UK website.
7. Road to Hana, Maui
If you’re looking for a shorter road trip that is still just as beautiful, than maybe the road to Hana is the perfect route for you!
Stretched over 100km, your trip will kickstart in Piaia and end in Hana. Throughout this trip you will be encompassed in stunning scenery and can venture to some amazing local attractions such as the Twin falls, Garden of Eden and the Hana Lava Tube.
Top tips for travelling in Maui:
- Take advantage of the free entertainment in Maui - Just because Maui is a popular travel destination for tourists, it doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Taking your motorhome or camper is already reducing your costs, however if you visit the Whalers Village in Ka’anapali has free vents such as lei-making classes, hula classes, and arts and crafts sessions, with live music on most weekend nights for all to enjoy.
- Travel to Hawaii in the months of May, October and November - It is advisable to travel to Maui in these months as the weather is still warm, however it tends to be far cheaper in comparison (an added bonus it will be alot less busy too).
- If you’re stopping at the black sand beach, you will need to book - The black sand beach is located in Waianapanapa State Park, and if you intend to make a visit you will need to book your reservation online 14 days in advance.
8. East Coast, Australia
Crossing to the other side of the world now, Australia’s East Coast has long been a route that attracts thousands of travellers every year. From the fresh sea air, coral reefs, wildlife, and sky-high waves, Australia provides an environment different from any other.
With this route I would recommend spending 4 weeks on this route as people seem to forget how big the country actually is, and you don’t want to rush it too much. I’ve narrowed down the sites to plan a route that can be done in this time frame and really highlight what this country has to offer.
Starting in the iconic city of Sydney and ending in the party town of Cairns, this route is no stranger to the wheels of a rolling home as it’s one of the most popular ways to travel here. Get ready to meet new people as you take in the miles and miles of beauty from the sandy beaches of Byron Bay and Surfer’s Paradise to the rooftop views of Brisbane. Chill in the chic town of Noosa as you hit up the Sunshine Coast and move onto Rainbow Beach where you can venture out to Fraser Island for a few days of jam-packed adventure. Marvel at the Whitsundays before moving onto Magnetic Island and your final destination of Cairns.
With it being so popular there are many accommodation options along the way but be aware that the drive time between each place varies, with some taking 9-12 hours, so be prepared and make sure you have a good playlist, plenty of stops planned, and snacks at the ready!
Top tips for travelling in Australia:
- Research and follow the rules of the road - Road rules with vary across each state of Austraila, so it is always worth taking a look before your trip and keeping yourself in the know.
- Plan where you will park your camper for the night - Whilst Australia is typically a very camper friendly country, there are areas that it may be seen as culturally insensitive to park up. A wise idea would be to plan ahead and research the Aboriginal beliefs before you go.
- You will need a visa - Anyone who enters Australia who isn't a resident will need to apply for a visa, you can easily apply online for one, just make sure you do it well in advance before your stay!
9. Ring Road 1, Iceland
The Iceland ring road is stretched across 1,322km of the island. The best part about it though is if you stick to the main road and attractions you should be able to complete this route within a week - and stress-free!
Again, I think it is fair to say that Iceland is one of the most beautiful road trips we have added to this list with every mile encompassed in a landscape shaped by fire and ice.
Some of the best attractions to visit will include the 60m Skógafoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black beach, the small town of Egilsstaðir (excellent for hiking), the Westfjords Nature Reserve, as well as the whale-watching capital Húsavik.
Top tips for travelling in Iceland:
- You do not need cash - alike many Nordic countries, Iceland is famous for their nonexistent cash payments, everything you could ever need to pay for can be done with your credit/debit card.
- Be prepared for ever-changing weather conditions - Iceland is known for their unpredictable weather, and it can change from cold winter to warm summer within a day. It is advised that you pack for all types of weather conditions regardless of which time of year you go.
- Keep an eye on adverse weather alerts and road closures - In winter many roads in Iceland are closed due to snowfall. Before you begin travelling it is well worth checking weather there are any alerts or road closures to ensure you don’t get stuck.
To end out list today I’m throwing this in as a bit of a wild card. Japan is a country full of history, culture, and beauty and whilst it’s definitely an unusual suggestion, it is one that is perfect for the curious looking for an experience like no other.
The highways in Japan will take you through the most diversifying surroundings. Scenic routes featuring snow-capped mountains, traditional villages, temples, forests, and beaches – those who drive this country get a snapshot that others just don’t get to see.
A suggested route that takes around 11 days and mixes big city lights with nature, starts in Tokyo and ends in Nikko. In between, you’ll visit Mount Fuji, Kiso Valley, Kyoto, Nara, and Matsumoto. You may want to extend the time to 2 weeks if possible, so your schedule isn’t too jam-packed.
Top tips for travelling in Japan:
- Make sure you have atleast 6 months on your passport and whether or not you need a visa - As of currently the rules when travelling from the UK to Japan stands that you must have at least 6 months on your passport from the end date of your visit, as well as you do not need a visa if you are staying for under 90 days. It is always advised that you keep up to date with the with the Japanese Embassy for the most recent information!
- Exchange plenty of Yen - unlike ither countries, Japan is still very much a cash oriented society. Many bars, shops and local restaurants will only accept cash, so it is best to carry as much as you think you’re due to spend.
- Rent a pocket wifi - Free wifi is pretty much non existent in Japan and when travelling, having internet connection is an essential for satnavs or handheld devices with navigation systems. Pocket Wi-Fi is a small, mobile hotspot that allows you to connect to the internet from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone pretty much anywhere in the country so make sure to order well in advance of your trip, just in case!
Ready for your next adventure?
So, there you have it…
Get your bags packed and throw yourself into a new adventure! Just remember to do your own research before you set off as foreign rules, regulations, and guidelines can change quickly (and if you need any more convincing check out our 12 Reasons Why You Should Travel in a Motorhome article).