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This Is The Ultimate American Road Trip, According To Science

This Is The Ultimate American Road Trip, According To Science

USA road trip

The great USA road trip is on the bucket list of so many travellers, but without strategic and precise planning, there’s no way to see and do everything. How are you to know you’ve planned the best route possible?

Well, planning is now a breeze thanks to data scientist Randy Olsen, who’s compiled a series of road trips that allow trekkers to cram as many sights as possible in the shortest distance.


Olsen created six separate routes designed to maximise sightseeing while minimising the money spent on petrol. One map takes travellers through an impressive 48 states, with a specific monument, landmark, or theme park in each one.

The perfect USA road trip can begin in any state – east coast, west coast, or somewhere in between – it doesn’t matter. It its entirety, it would take about 215 hours (nine days) and clock up about 21,400km.

“Every major journey begins with a plan: where you’re going, where you’re stopping along the way, and how you’re getting there,” Olson told Lonely Planet.

“When planning a USA road trip and creating a map, I always start with deciding where to stop along the way. Then, the next step is to find the ‘true’ distance between all of the chosen destinations by car. Lastly, I input the routes into a genetic algorithm to reach a near-perfect solution for the best possible road trip.”

If you’re a novice road tripper or are looking for something a little less full on, Olson has also curated five other mini road trips designed around specific states you could try instead.

For his full analysis and list of trips, visit Randy Olson’s website. Then, check out Qantas flights and begin your next adventure.

(Lead image: Roman Romanenko)

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