Most searched for road trips

Road trips are one of the best ways to see the world and visit multiple locations in a short space of time. No matter the time of year, with proper planning a road trip can give you the freedom and opportunity to explore new places that you may have missed if you were travelling by train, plane, or coach. 

There are plenty of wonderful routes that showcase the best sights in a local area and to help you get inspired for your next adventure. We’ve put together a list of the top global and UK road trips based on the average number of monthly searches.

The world’s most searched for road trips

1. Route 66, USA — 673,000 monthly searches

America’s Route 66, also named ‘The Mother Road’ and “The Main Street of America”, stretches over 2,400 miles. Drivers start their journey in Chicago and pass through eight states along the way. 

From the painted desert in Arizona to finishing at Santa Monica Pier in California, Route 66 covers many famous American landmarks so be sure to bring your camera.

2. Hana Highway, Hawaii - 90,500 monthly searches 

Hana Highway is perfect if you are looking for a shorter trip than our number one ranking. The 64-mile-long route travels around Maui winding from Kahului to Hana.

Along this route, you can expect to see some of the world’s finest natural beauty from waterfalls to rainforests and views overlooking the ocean. Road-trippers should be aware that due to the popularity of this route they should leave early to avoid traffic and competition for parking spaces at popular spots. 

3. The Great Ocean Road, Australia - 60,500 monthly searches 

The Great Ocean Road was built by WW1 veterans between 1919 to 1932 and is the world’s longest war memorial. Not only is it an opportunity to immerse yourself in Australia's history but it has been ranked one of the top things to do in the country. 

From seeing some of Australia's iconic wildlife such as koalas to taking in the breath-taking views of the ocean and the iconic Twelve Apostles, this route has something for everyone.

4. 17 Mile Drive, California - 49,500 monthly searches 

This popular Californian road trip connects the towns of Pacific Grove and Carmel-by-the-Sea and can be completed in a couple of hours. However, there are lots to do along the way including Stillwater Cove, the Del Monte Forest, and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. 

Drivers can either do this trip as a stand-alone adventure or add it to their Monterey itinerary to make sure they see everything there is to offer. 

5. Pacific Coast Highway, California - 40,500 monthly searches

Another example of California’s picturesque landscapes and rich culture is the Pacific Coast Highway. Stretching 600 miles from San Francisco to San Diego there’s plenty to take in on this road trip. 

Road-trippers can plan their route to visit a wealth of beautiful spots, from the Olympic National Park in Washington to Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles there is plenty to see and hundreds of photo opportunities.

The most searched for road trips around the world, according to monthly searches, are shown in the table below.

Rank Route Country Number of monthly searches
1 Route 66 USA 673,000
2 Hana Highway Hawaii, USA 90,500
3 The Great Ocean Road Australia 60,500
4 17 Mile Drive California, USA 49,500
5 Pacific Coast Highway California, USA 40,500
5 North Coast 500 Scotland 40,500
6 Ruta 40 Argentina 33,100
6 Cabot Trail Canada 33,100
7 Wild Atlantic Way Ireland 27,100
7 The Pan-American Highway USA 27,100

 

Most searched for road trips in the UK

1. North Coast 500, Scotland - 40,500 monthly searches 

The North Coast 500 route in Scotland ranks as the number one most searched for road trip in the UK and is consistently named one of the best road trips in the world.

With its impressive 516-mile stretch of magnificent coastal views, it’s not surprising it’s such a popular route for travellers looking to explore. From castles to distilleries there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

2. Snake Pass, England - 22,200 monthly searches 

(Credit Paul Anderson)

The Snake Pass has been named one of the best drives in the UK. The trip follows a windy road which is located between Manchester, Sheffield and Northern England.

Drivers can expect to see some magnificent views along this route, particularly at the start of the descent where on clear days you can see from Manchester and beyond. This route can be dangerous during wet and cold weather seasons, due to the windy nature of the road, so you should plan your route and time of year accordingly. 

3. Hardknott Pass, England - 12,100 monthly searches 

(Credit Chris Worsley)

The Hardknot Pass is a single-track road which goes through the Lake District. With part of the road reaching a gradient of 33% and lots of turns, drivers have often found it difficult to navigate. 

However, the natural beauty that is on offer on this route is breath-taking and offers an insight into the rich history of the Romans - The Hardknott Roman Fort, founded in the 2nd Century, still stands today on the western side of the Hardknott Pass in Cumbria.

4. Buttertubs Pass, England - 9,900 monthly searches 

(Credit Kreuzschnabel)

Another English Road trip which is hugely popular is the Buttertubs Pass in the Yorkshire Dales. Just 5.5 miles long with steep climbs, beautiful scenery and lots of natural beauty this road trip is perfect for those looking for a couple of hours of escape.

5. The Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland - 3,600 monthly searches

(Credit K. Mitch Hodge

Northern Ireland's Causeway Coastal Route, which stretches 120 miles between Belfast to Derry. This road trip will immerse drivers in the sheer beauty and history that Northern Ireland has to offer.

The top 10 most searched for road trips in the UK, according to monthly search volume are shown in the table below.

Rank Route Region Number of monthly searches
1 North Coast 500 Scotland 40,500
2 Snake Pass England 22,200
3 Hardknott Pass England 12,100
4 Buttertubs Pass England 9,900
5 The Causeway Coastal Route Northern Ireland 3,600
6 Wrynose Pass England 2,400
7 The Coastal Way Wales 1,900
8 Road to the Isles Scotland 1,300
9 Black Mountain Road Wales 1,000
10 The Atlantic Highway England 880

Top tips for preparing for a road trip

  • Plan ahead. The last thing you want is to end up in the middle of nowhere with no idea of where you are. Plan your route before you leave and have a physical map with you in case you have no phone signal. It’s also a good idea to schedule regular rest stops so you don’t get too tired while driving.
  • Carry out maintenance checks on your car. Make sure to check your car thoroughly for any potential issues before you travel to reduce your chances of breaking down, or causing an accident. 
  • Check your car insurance. Road trips don’t always run smoothly. It’s good to know ahead of time whether you have the right level of cover, especially if you’re planning to drive abroad. 

Brought to you by the car insurance experts at Comparethemarket

Methodology

Using Google search data, we were able to find the most popular search term for each of the road trips, and then compare their popularity across the globe and in the UK. Search volumes are correct as of August 2022 and based on a monthly average for the last twelve months (August 2021 – July 2022).