West Coast America Road Trip: What To Prepare, Pack, Where To Go

Pack your gears up, list the all-time road songs, and embark on the wild west coast America road trip.

Here at Amaryroad, we love road trips! Researching our Las Vegas to Salt Lake City road trip was a fantastic trip down memory lane, and one of the most fun articles we’ve ever written.

If Southern California or Washington is within your reach, it has been too long! Let’s get going, from the roads of Canadian and Mexican Borders. Lies before you, some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, world-class cuisines, and savvy west coast people who you can meet and greet.

How to prepare for West Coast America road trip: What to pack, how to get ESTA, where to go, what to see, what to eat, safety tips #westcoast #roadtrip #usatravel #traveltips #bucketlisttravel #travelideas #travelguide #amazingdestinations #traveltheworld via @amaryroad
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In this article, we will not just cover all the things you need to prepare, like getting an ESTA, safety tips, maps, and passport. We’ll gladly share some insights on how you’ll be able to get the most experience and memories in a single journey. It will cover liberal ideas and itineraries which focus solely on easing up your organization of the entire length of the trip.


First things first, your safety is the primary concern. But how can we ensure this? It starts by checking up the overall performance of your vehicle. In the course of history, a high percentage of accidents are made throughout the roads. So, be sure to have your safety supplies in check and maintenance tools handy at all times. You’ll never know when bad luck strikes.

Pack accordingly, pack like a pro. Consider having precisely the things you’ll need. This starts with a pair of pants, shirts, dresses, underwear, jacket, toothbrush, and a couple of good old walking shoes. One suitcase can be enough, and start the trip by mapping out the routes you’ve been wanting in traversing. Another essential document to prepare is your ESTA, we’ll talk more about it later.

You can easily map out routes in google maps. The great thing you can do is create your personalized plan with your desired stops. You can add colours, personal notes, and images on each stop using this app.

ALSO READ: Tips on how to travel for cheap in the US

Arrange Your ESTA

If you’re don’t need a visa to enter and travel the US, you are more likely need to get an ESTA. Tt’s advisable to have your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before actually travelling. This card will let you legally transact business and enjoy the pleasure of transit/tourism in the United States for at least 90 days. 

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ESTA application can be done via the internet; all you have to do is fill up the application form. As for requirements, you’ll be needing a valid passport from Visa Waiver Program countries, valid credit card or PayPal for paying the fee of $14 for application, your contact information, and most recent employment information.

It is also mandatory in having your driver’s license, which is valid for the U.S plus the proof of your return flight, hotel bookings, travel insurance, and bank certificate or statement of account. 

Best Time to Go

Spring (March to May) has got to be the best time to go for a west coast America road trip. The temperature in California starts warming up, and when it does. Flowers elegantly blooms, cooler nights, mountains and parks are less crowded, and when you hit for accommodations, it’s usually cheaper.

However, whatever time you wish to visit, it’s no doubt that the region provides immensely exciting fresh experiences.

Essential Things to Pack

Every traveller to the US knows that there always have essentials things you need for packing like passport, ESTA, travel insurance, but you should also include some of the following.

  • Offline and online maps
  • List of emergency numbers; insurance company, and emergency contact person
  • Sunglasses
  • Blankets
  • Proper Clothes for the season
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Sunblock
  • Bathing suit
  • Travel Pillow / Mug
  • UV window shade
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Spare tire
  • First Aid Kit
  • Bug Spray
  • Umbrella
  • Portable Wi-Fi
  • And travel games
  • ESTA
  • Travel insurance for Nomads


Map Out Your Routes

Planning for your routes can a little bit frustrating because you can’t have the beauty of it all. This is where you began to decide on what will likely give you the utmost satisfaction.

There is a myriad of routes to track when planning for your America road trip. You’ll also need to be aware and take into account the days you wish to spend the time sojourning on the roads.


While traversing the west coast of America, you’ll be having different options of what routes to tackle. This may include the pacific coast highway road trip, the basin, west coast’s national parks, and the ultimate west coast road trip.

And of course, you’ll be needing some cash in which the estimated average cost for a road trip in western America will be for approximately $175-$250 daily including all necessities.

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Also known as California State Route 1, it is one of the well known scenic drives in the world. It stretches from California’s northern border until down to San Diego. From every stop, it is known to shift each scenery to a different picturesque landscape of the ocean. Along the way is San Francisco housing the golden gate park.

You can easily traverse the highway for a day, but highway runners suggest not to rush since there are numerous stopovers where you can feel the United States to the finest. You can spend at least ten days on the road while enjoying some surfing, camping, whale watching, and hiking on the Olympic peninsula. Or, if you want to relax and let someone else do the driving, consider renting a party bus from limofind.com.

The Basin

The basins are generally the opposite of highway 101, it’s a more rugged highway, around mountain tops, and have the best wildlife’s encounters. The great scenic basin along the death valleys is another stop in witnessing when traversing in this route. The place is the lowest point in North America, expect some salt flats which stretches a long way.

To relieve from the saltiness, I suggest to make way for the Artist’s Drive and take the colourful hills. You can enjoy the basins road trip for 14 days without getting bored and losing the thirst for some excitement.

West Coast’s National Parks

West coasts don’t have a shortage when it comes to national parks. Put up your expectations high when your planning for an itinerary in visiting national parks along your road trip. Most of them include kids’ activities and hiking.

There are over multiple national parks on each county whether CA, UT, AZ, CO, OR, and WA. Hopping from one park to another will take you 21 days in driving and enjoying it in-between. You will see deserts, valleys, redwoods, lakes, and some of it is in the mountains. Costs can range $170-$200 daily for gas expenses, foods, activities, and short-stay inns.

The Ultimate West Coast Road Trip

The west coast road trip covers almost all routes from national parks, the basins, and the pacific coast highway road trip. You can do this for at least a month or so. This is where it gets fascinating; you’ll get the chance to be bewildered by awe in the amazing San Juan IslandsSierra Nevada, and major cities that made famous by tourism.

The ultimate west coast road trip is one of the best adventures in West America. It’s one of the things that will never be out of your mind upon finishing the grandeur road-trip. There’s no doubt that this trip offers the perfect getaway and finding excellent places for soul searching.


The benefit of having the West Coast America road trip is you get the chance to explore states on the west. Driving miles can often lead you in wanting to speed up in the nearest county and stay for a while and enjoy your vacation.

Especially when you’re on the fine line of California, Oregon, and Seattle, you’ll always be wanting to delve into each state to have an exquisite taste on what may be the atmosphere of these places- and oh, it’s incredibly addictive.


It is always the issue that a first-time backpackers who visit California can’t stop talking and telling stories on how it was truly amazing. Ski, swim, surf, and the hike are just some of the many unmissable activities tourism enjoys.

From historical sites, cities, raw nature, and bumming in the countryside feels like you’ve been bound to remember each moment from the rest of your life.

What to see

California has a unique kind of travel preferences that is extremely enjoyable by all nationalities. It starts with food, activities, booze, and exclusive events. Here’s the list of the stuff you can do in California.

What to eat

  • A fortune cookie
  • Cioppino
  • Rocky Road

Where to stay


You’ll never be disappointed anywhere in Oregon. When you’re in Oregon, it is for sure that your wanderlust will never get satisfied because of all the things you can do in this state. You can also read this Oregon coast road trip guide for more ideas on your itinerary.

WEST COAST AMERICA ROAD TRIP - What To Prepare, Pack, Where To Go
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Crater Lake in Oregon | Photo credit: 12019 via Pixabay.com

What to see

Portland, the most significant part of Oregon. With the motto of “keep Portland weird.” They offer a whole lot of weird activities, and this includes waterfalls hopping, explore around the painted hills, smith rock state park, and the Tamolitch blue pool.

  • Soak nude at Terwilliger Hot Springs
  • Overlook the giant rocks at Cape Kiwanda and Cannon Beach
  • Visit Oregon Caves and preserves

What to eat

  • Voodoo Doughnuts
  • Crafted Beer and Wine
  • Pacific Golden Chanterelle, the state mushrooms

Where to stay


What can you expect in a city surrounded by rich forests, lakes, and evergreen mountaintops? Seattle is famous for nearby waterways, the museum of pop culture, and the Seattle aquarium. There’s no denying that Seattle is no doubt the perfect combination of urban and natural environments.

WEST COAST AMERICA ROAD TRIP - What To Prepare, Pack, Where To Go
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Space Needle in Seattle | Photo credit: Pexels via Pixabay.com

What to see

If you are seeking out a place with advance innovations interconnecting with nature’s beauty, this place is suitable for you. Seattle is one thing you must visit; they are also famous for their large tech industry housing the headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon. 

What to eat

  • Seattle Tacos
  • Brooklyn Pie
  • Greek yoghurt

Where to stay

Each traveller has a unique way of perceiving the world around us while exploring. However, we will always have a common ground on the things that can bring out the uttermost experience on first-timers.

I hope this article has instructed you in choosing your preferred path in your west coast America road trip, and have briefly explained to you the preliminary things one must know before actually traversing the west coast.

If you have more suggestions, insights, or anything you wish I have known. Please feel free to subscribe and comment below! I’d be happy to hear anything from a fellow adventurer.

WEST COAST AMERICA ROAD TRIP - What To Prepare, Pack, Where To Go
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Photo credit: juanwa via Pixabay.com
How to prepare for West Coast America road trip: What to pack, how to get ESTA, where to go, what to see, what to eat, safety tips #westcoast #roadtrip #usatravel #traveltips #bucketlisttravel #travelideas #travelguide #amazingdestinations #traveltheworld via @amaryroad
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Kyle just like any other writer loves every bit of the years that have spent by writing. His thirst for passions makes him writes anything under the sun. A small town in the Cordillera Region had nurtured him, and now he’s on the voyage to be in different places around the Philippines. When he’s not busy writing, he’s at a beach or a mountain embracing tranquillity and solemnity somewhere on the northside of the country, cultivating and finding the strength for his passion.

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