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Essex blogger gets her kicks on Route 66 with debut travel book

Vicki Graves

An Essex blogger has published her debut travel guide, sharing a British perspective on driving the great American road trip along Route 66.

Vicki Graves, from Colchester, wrote Brits on Route 66 after journeying the famous highway from Chicago to Los Angeles (LA) and finding a lack of travel advice tailored to those from the UK and Europe.

She said: “When my husband and I started planning our road trip, it seemed that much of the advice we found online and in guidebooks was written for Americans. We couldn’t find one concise resource for British people that covered information on flights, car hire, USA driving tips, motels and attractions.

“Although we used a local travel agent to book our bespoke trip, we researched almost everything ourselves over a two-year period. I wanted to put all that information to good use. I have always wanted to write a book, so decided to share our story to help other people, particularly those who live outside America, to embark on the world’s greatest road trip.”

Brits on Route 66 weaves travelogue with state-by-state tips on iconic accommodation, unmissable eateries and quirky roadside attractions. A trip-planning chapter also offers practical advice on everything from fuel stops to recommendations on what to pack. Readers can discover what the New Mexicans call the ‘Queen’s Tea’ and experience ‘American hospitality’ from an Illinois engineer, all dosed with a healthy British obsession with the weather.

Iconic Route 66 journeys 2,448 miles across eight states – Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California – and is widely regarded as the best road trip on the planet. The bucket-list favourite is famed for its art deco architecture, 1950s retro Americana and vast open landscape. Although the highway was formally decommissioned in 1985, it is still possible to drive much of the original Route 66 path. In recent years, the Chicago to LA road trip has resurged in popularity thanks to restoration campaigns and films such as Disney’s Cars, which tells the story of the road’s resurrection. 

Vicki continued:

“We chose to travel Route 66 because we wanted an adventure. I love vintage Americana and my husband loves driving, so a road trip across the USA combined our passions. However, the more we started reading about the road and its history, the more we became fascinated with its place in American culture. Route 66 symbolises the American Dream; farmers used the highway to escape the ‘Dust Bowl’ in the 1930s and search for a better life, it was a vital supply route for the US Army throughout the Second World War and became the family vacation of choice during the 1950s.

“I want to give a British twist to the Route 66 story and share the tales of the wonderful people I met along the highway. Route 66 will always be my adventure of a lifetime and I want to make it easier for people from across the world to experience it for themselves. I hope my book and blog can go some way to achieve this.”

Brits on Route 66: a Very British Guide to the World's Greatest Road Trip is out now on Kindle and is available in print from 1 October on Amazon. Vicki also runs the www.britsonroute66.co.uk blog, sharing USA travel advice, Americana inspiration and Route 66 recommendations. 

30 year old Vicki Graves is a British travel writer and radio presenter with Hospital Radio Chelmsford with an obsession for vintage Americana, mid-century design, Art Deco architecture and all things kitsch. So when she discovered that Route 66 is still alive and kicking, she found a kindred spirit - in the form of 2,448 miles of road between Chicago and LA. Vicki and her motor-mad husband got engaged on the highway and have been 66 super-fans ever since, passionate about helping people from across the world to drive the ‘Main Street of America’.

For more information, see www.britsonroute66.co.uk

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