- Slow Down and RELAX!
This is so important! Keep in mind everyday on Route 66 or any road trip of this type is an adventure all in itself. This isn't a trip where you have a destination like Disney World to get to, have fun and then get home. So Slow Down and enjoy all that the road has to offer.
- Stop and get out of your vehicle
Take the time to get out of your vehicle and explore the towns and anything else you find interesting or intriguing. Don't just drive on by or you'll miss much of the rich history of the road.
Plan 150 Miles per day
Say what? Well believe me, 150 and not more than 175 miles per day is about right. Remember, you're on a two lane road a lot of the time. In numerous places, you don't want to even go 55. Also, most museums and many Tourist Traps and other businesses have 9 to 5 hours. So, this will give you plenty of time each day to explore.
- Take Lots of Pictures
This should almost go without saying. But it's real easy to just drive by or walk by things and not take a picture. If you end up with pictures that you don't want, throw them away. That is much better than saying "Oh I should have taken a picture of that", after you get home. Then it's too late ! The other thing that happens many toimes when you stop to take pictures of things is you end up exploring them further. So, use lots of film or if you have a digital camera make sure you take enough memory cards.
- It Takes Two
What do I mean? I mean it takes two people. First, it's not nearly as much fun to travel alone. Secondly, in many places it's a challenge to navigate Route 66. Remember there are none of the old Routte 66 shield signs to mark the way. In some places the Route 66 associations and states have put up "Historic Route 66" signs. But they are not consistant from state to state and in some areas there are no signs at all. So you need One to drive and the other to continuously read the maps and directions and help watch for road signs etc.
- Take a Compass
You say what? Yes, go to your local auto parts store or discount store and buy one of those compasses you mount in your car. Numerous times on our trip, particularly when it was over cast with clouds, the compass in our car helped keep us on track. The reason is, all of the directions on the maps refer to N, S, E, W, NE, SW, etc. When you are in unfamiliar territory it makes navigation much easier.
- Trust the Maps
I'm bringing this up because a number of times we thought we were off track or lost. This happened mostly when we were going through some of the bigger cities on Route 66. But the directions an the maps are correct! so, don't doubt them. Now, the possibility does exist that you may run into detours due to road maintenance construction. That of course can't be avoided. One other note here is, if you have the "Route 66 Travelers Guide" by Tom Snyder and you are using the "Route 66 Map Series". DON'T use the directions from both the book and the maps! Although the book is an excellent guide to Route 66, we got off track a couple of times when we tried to use the directions from both for the same stretch of road.
- Take a Microcassette recorder
If you plan to keep a journal of your trip one of these little devices is indespensible. We started out our trip with a spiral notebook to make notes in on what the pictures we took were of, details of what we say, our thoughts, etc. It very soon became obvious that it was just too clumsy for the navigator to be reading maps, looking at the books, trying to write in the notebook and still enjoy the trip too! These little devices let you put all your thoughts and notes on tape and at the end of the day if you wish to keep a written journal just playback the tape. We also kept the tapes, because we knew some of our family would enjoy listening to them.
- Take your Car
The point here is, for the best experience leave the Big behemoth motorhome at home. There are stretches of Route 66 that can't be driven in a motorhome. Really, the whole point is to experience the road and to do that you have to be on it, not on the Interstate. Plus, somehow it seems to me that you lose something staying at a KOA instead of the the many motels that have been a part of Route 66 history for many years.