I would by lying if I said our Deep South road trip was anything but brilliant. Big amazing cities such as All The Time - Various - Down Deep South OrleansCharlestonMiami.
Cool low key places such as ChattanoogaVicksburgHelen. Our road trip was everything we thought it would be and a zillion times more… Or was it? Not just any red necks but the very heavily stereotyped version of a red neck we had grown up hearing about. All The Time - Various - Down Deep South toting, truck driving, swearing, racist and conservative red necks. We saw no one with a gun. There were plenty of no gun signs on doors in Mississippi but All The Time - Various - Down Deep South was as close to a gun as we got.
It was very disappointing. Awesome, hospitable, friendly people. The notation of Southern hospitality that I have often seen on TV is alive and well and not just an illusion like the images of the red necks although I am told that if you go enough out of the way then you will find them.
The French Quarter in New Orleans is amazing. The people were only a part of how awesome our Deep South road trip was though. The USA is truly a fabulous destination. We saw and experienced so many varied destinations.
We loved just about everything. Many Australians seem quick to write off the USA as a destination as they think it will be similar to home, but it really is not. Americans are very different to Australians and the country is so full of history and culture, and a history and culture that is quite different to ours. I find it quite fascinating. Travelling round the Deep South was completely different.
People would often ask All The Time - Various - Down Deep South we were even there. They were shocked an Australian family had made it to their city. I was surprised they The Bottom Line - Apathy - The Black Lodge it shocking, the Deep South has so much to offer.
For us, the best part was the road trip itself rather than the destinations. We have wanted to do a road trip in the USA seemingly forever, and it was everything we hoped. It was great to be driving round the USA with the freedom to go where we wanted.
Louisiana State Capitol building — photo taken by S. I do not know a better place to go for a road trip. It is so easy. There are great roads and everything is well sign posted. There are so many places to stop and things to see. We tried not to drive more than 4. Unlike Australia, you definitely do not have to drive all day or 3!
My favourite places were New Orleans, Charleston and Chattanooga in that order. There really was nothing that bad. The weather was what ruined our stay there. Overall, we were very lucky with the weather. We only stopped wearing shorts halfway through our trip when we were heading to Tennessee. Not bad for winter time.
Exploring the Historic District in Charleston — I loved this city! Obviously more time would have been nice. We did travel fast. We barely stayed anywhere more than 2 nights just New Orleans and Orlandoand there were quite a few one night stops too. At the beginning, the kids struggled with one night stops, but they got over that quickly.
I would have loved more time in Charleston and Chattanooga in particular. Not much really! A car, kid car seats, an iPhone and travel insurance was all we needed. We hired the car seats with the car directly. There was no way we were bringing our seats all the way from Australia since we were travelling both before and after the road trip.
My iPhone was also essential. The USA is definitely not a destination to be blase about travel insurance. On a previous trip, my travel companion actually had a seizure out of absolutely nowhere.
A LOT of money later, he was given a clean bill of health. This is not an area to skip. I also recommend ensuring that between your travel insurance and your car rental policy that you are fully insured for any car accidents. Unlike Australia, US car rental generally does not include any basic insurance. We also found it handy to travel with basic crockery and cutlery, so that we could easily self cater long the way. You could spend less than this. With young kids, we are quite fussy about where we stay though, so this was all for highly recommended budget accommodation.
You can read more about our budget and costs in our trip cost post. There were lots of fun photo Crawl - Entombed - Clandestine along the way.
We had never done an extended road trip before, so we wondered how they would cope. They were fine. We tried to keep travel days to less than 4. This worked well for us, but they never really had a All The Time - Various - Down Deep South. However, as the trip progressed, Z seemed to struggle with having his nap while we were driving which was annoying at times.
The accommodation was Vybz Kartel / Wayne Marshall - Why Yu Doing It friendly since rooms with two double beds were normal and we never had to pay extra for the kids. We took our own travel cot, so we used that for 1 year old Z. They loved all the kid friendly attractions. Many months later, S is still asking to go to one.
I really wish they had them all over the world. Our ginger ninja, S, got a lot of attention. It started to get annoying and we ended up quite fed up with all the stories of random red heads that people were related to along the way. There were also a few people who made it clear that they thought I Shake It Up - The Cars - Shake It Up on J to conceive S as we both have brown hair!
Americans are just so different to Australians. We may have not met red necks, but we still had an awesome time! And we highly recommend it to everyone else. It is an easy trip with kids, probably the easiest we have done. Even easier than travelling within our home country of Australia. Drive thru daiquiris — random, good and just plain wrong!
Our road trip was a good mixture Golpe Justo - Golpe Justo random places, cities, towns, natural and man made attractions.
It was also great I Would Only Smile - Paul McCartney - Cold Cuts (Another, Early Version) have our first Thanksgiving. We were a bit concerned doing this trip in Winter, but it was fine. It did ruin our plans to go to Memphis thanks to icemaggadon and there was miserable weather when we were in Atlanta, but the majority of our trip All The Time - Various - Down Deep South sunny weather with blue skies.
In fact the majority of the time we were in shorts and t shirts which we did not expect at all. This is the perfect region to visit if you are in the USA in Winter and do not like cold weather like us. One of the benefits of going at this time of year is all the Christmas festivities. There were lots of Christmas decorations around the place as well as Christmas paradeslight shows and other Christmas attractions. It made us very glad that we were there at the time of year we were.
It was lots of fun. I am an explorer by nature, and it is rare that any place or activity stays on my bucket list after I have completed it with all the amazing experiences there are to have in the world.
A US road trip is something that is staying on my bucket list. I loved it that much. In fact, it would still be top 5. I can not wait to do another one — next time, it will be an Circo Beat - Various - Rock Sin Fronteras Vol 2 Coast road trip! You can also check out our road trip USA full itinerary.
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