The continental United States of America is more than 2000 miles across at its shortest points, which would still take you a full seven days to cross driving at a steady 60 miles an hour for the whole journey!
The great American road trip is a hugely popular choice for adventurers Stateside. However, there are many other ways to get around the USA and these will let you see even more of this amazing country.
There is nothing more romantic than arriving in the United States on a stately ocean liner or cruise ship. Sailing past the Statue of Liberty in New York as so many millions have done previously is a fantastic way to arrive (though you can get the same great views much cheaper too!). Or how about pulling into any of the famous ports on the Eastern seaboard from Boston and New England in the north to the Carolinas and Florida in the south. If you cruise and stay in Florida at the beginning of your journey then you can plan the best ways to get around while your body and mind adjusts to the new time zone.
If you have become accustomed to life on the ocean wave then there are several sailing trips that you can take depending on where you are visiting. The east and west coast cities have stunning bays and landmarks for you to discover and explore from Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, Spectacle Island in Boston down to the Hilton Head Island off the coast of Georgia; Trips around Key West, Key Biscayne and Miami Beach; a trip up the Potomac River to Washington DC or out to Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay or to watch the whales off the coasts of Oregon or Seattle.
If you are staying in Florida you can explore the Everglades on a specialist airboat or hovercraft to whizz along in comfort and relative safety or if you like to remain high you can go on a swamp buggy tour!
Of course if you want the genuine all American experience then you can head to the seamy, steamy port of New Orleans, enjoy some fun and games in Bourbon Street and the French Quarter before boarding a genuine historic paddlewheel driven Riverboat for a trip up the Mississippi river.
Stopping along the way at historic plantations and other breathtaking sites including Vicksburg until you reach Memphis, Tennessee, the capital city of country music and Gracelands, the home of the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Aaron Presley.
Once you’ve had enough of the Blues and southern hospitality you can speed things up a little bit by hiring a car or motor home and heading out west to the wide open spaces of Texas or the majesty of the deserts and plains of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.
Car hire in America is relatively straightforward and you will have an enormous choice of vehicles to use but some general rules of the road remain. You should stick rigorously to the speed limits both on interstate highways and local main roads. American traffic cops can be just as fearsome and humourless as their reputation on TV and the movies and it is important you follow their instructions if you do see the flashing blue light in your rear view mirror. You will be asked for your driving licence and insurance documents so make sure to keep them together.
Sadly they do a dangerous job and are used to some potentially fatal situations so if they are aggressive towards you please stay calm, don’t argue and be sarcastic. No police officer will ever let anybody off with a warning if they have been disrespectful or sarcastic towards them. If you are polite, helpful and fully comply with their instructions then you might even get the benefit of the doubt.
If you are travelling long haul then you can stop at any of the many overnight rest stops for touring vehicles which contain food, drink and washing facilities so you can freshen up before heading out on the road again. You can even stop in at one of the famous truck stops where the long haul drivers rest and see the huge rigs, some with more amenities than a modern house!
Of course, if you are travelling between cities that are too far apart to realistically drive to, then you can fly and America has the best internal flight network in the world. You will be able to get to any major city or area from any of the local airports. Intercity air travel in the United States is similar to a UK railway or bus station and passing through is very formulaic and straightforward and you will be escorted to and from your flights with efficiency and a minimum of fuss.
Of course some cities and sites need to be seen from the air so you could consider helicopter flights and tours of the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, or even Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York City itself.
You might even want to see the country closer up and take a train along the east coast or cross country. The AMTRAK system allows you to traverse the whole country or from city to city but be advised, this is a more leisurely approach and a trip from Atlanta to New York which is a three hour flight will take at least 17 hours.
However you want to travel across this great country remember to plan your journey in advance, pay attention to times, be safe and sensible but also enjoy yourself and try to see as many sights as you can. Many of the best ones are free – just look out of your window!