Summer may be half over, but with 85 percent of Americans choosing to vacation domestically, it’s not too late to plan the perfect holiday. Opting for a domestic road trip instead of an overseas holiday often requires less money, planning and packing, and you can find inspiration for the perfect adventure right on your bookshelf. Some of the greatest American novels have been written about road trips, so why not follow in your favorite characters’ footsteps and take an epic journey of your own?
Jack Kerouac’s classic, On The Road, offers the perfect example of a cross-country adventure. All you need is a reliable vehicle, a map, and a copy of the novel, which focuses on a group of post-WWII era pals traveling from New York to California while living life to the fullest in a haze of debauchery and jazz music. Passtime and music preference optional, of course. Travel time will be approximately 100 hours on this 5,529-mile route.
This novel by Hunter S. Thompson was popularized in the 1998 film of the same name starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. However, the original 1970s novel offers the perfect road trip route that not only includes the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Joshua Tree National Park, but can also be done in a day. It’s a perfect option if you’ve only got a spare Saturday and can get yourself to the starting point in Los Angeles. This trip takes approximately 6.5 hours and is 346 miles long.
For a more family-friendly option, take inspiration from Robert M. Pirsig’s novel about a father and son motorcycle trip from Minneapolis to San Francisco. The book contains plenty of philosophical revelations and moments of self-reflection, so this option could also be the perfect fit for the solo road tripper. This trip takes 44 hours and is 2,539 miles long.
With more and more Americans opting to travel, even if they only have a few days to do it, a domestic road trip has become increasingly popular. After all, there is plenty to see without needing to leave the country. Taking vacation inspiration from one of the American classic novels is an even better way to ensure that not only will your road trip be one to remember, but it’ll also provide for some pretty great water cooler talk once you get back to the office.