Wedding plans changed? How about a romantic New York Weddingmoon….

Everyone has had to adjust their plans in some way, shape or form…. If you were planning to get married but now your budget has changed, or if the pandemic has made you realise who you want to spend the rest of your life with; then perhaps a trip to New York City will bring out your inner Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City

We can arrange everything so there is nothing to worry about and we offer group booking discounts so you can ensure you can share your special day. You’ll need to apply for your marriage licence from the Office of the New York City Clerk (located at 141 Worth Street, Manhattan). The fee is $35 for the license and you need to hold this for at least 24 hours before you can legally marry. You can apply in person or online but you will still have to attend the City Clerk’s Office to complete your license and make payment.

As a UK Citizen, you will need to get the extended certificate in order for the marriage to be valid in the UK. The extended certificate can be applied for the same day that you get married but why not enjoy the day and then take a trip around the City – it does take a little time but we will cover this in your personalised literary so you don’t run out of time. You can get married right at City Hall and celebrate with a meal afterwards at The River Cafe, Dumbo Restaurant – we will ensure all reservations are taken care of. Or we can arrange a wedding officiant to get married any number of iconic locations such as Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station or as in Sex and the City – New York Public Library – just off Bryant Park.

You may need a permit from New York City Department of Parks & Recreation so just let us know and we will pull everything together so you don’t need to worry. There are a number of options including Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Prospect Park; Central Park offers the popular Loeb Boathouse, Conservatory Garden or The Pond; Central Park Zoo also offers a beautiful setting with all proceeds going towards conservation society programs.

Alternatively there is the more opulent Plaza Hotel, featured in a number of films, also the American Museum of Natural History is another great option. Or for something totally different- The Foundry in Long Island City or Studio 450 is an industrial space once the home of a chocolate factory. You can have an intimate setting along side the Statue of Liberty thanks to Manhattan Sail or hit a home run at either the Yankee or Met’s stadiums. All you have to do is let us know your budget and we will discuss the options with you, planning everything so you can enjoy your wedding and Honeymoon in one trip – a Weddingmoon.

Not only can you save thousands on tying the knot but we also offer a personalised service where your guests or loved ones can contribute. You’ll receive a dedicated webpage with secure login details and cards to include in invitations (should you require), explaining how guests can contribute towards your special trip. New York really is a romantic place and as it is on the East coast the flight time is roughly 7 hours, the Autumn is beautiful with good temperatures or enjoy a winter wonderland with the famous skating rink and Christmas tree as the Rockefeller Plaza. You could still get married in 2020 and have an amazing holiday – who says you need to chose!

Something to look forward to

When booking your holiday it is always something to look forward to, but with the changing environment regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 it can be difficult to even think past the next Government update!

If you have already booked a trip with RouteTrip USA, you are in safe hands! We are keeping abreast of the updates and will be able to advise you based on your specific circumstances. But we are a small business, trying to keep tourism alive. Our business grew to keep Route 66 going and the only way we can do this is by keeping people visiting the USA. Whilst it is not possible to travel right now, this will inevitably change. So before you panic and cancel the trip you have been dreaming about for a while now – let’s see if we can re-book your trip. If you are travelling later in the year, this should not affect you.

Thinking about booking a trip but not sure? We are keeping tourism alive and you can help support small businesses like us too – secure your trip now for 2021 departures! You will still have an amazing trip to look forward to and your bank balance will thank you too with just a £99pp deposit and prices secured. You will have longer to pay and all our packages are ATOL protected giving you full piece of mind.

David Jason: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

You may well be enjoying Sir David Jason’s excellent “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” 5-part series currently being broadcast on the Gold TV channel. The actor, who famously played Delboy in Only Fools and Horses is travelling from Seattle to Los Angeles and enjoying vintage methods of transport and seeing some wonderful parts of Washington, Oregon and California as he heads south.

If you fancy a trip to the Pacific northwest, we have the “Northwest Coastal Cruise” which covers a similar route from Seattle to San Francisco and includes Olympic National Park, Portland, Crater Lake, the giant Redwood Trees and the Golden Gate Bridge. The trip can be extended to Los Angeles or San Diego too if you wish.

Please let us know if you’re interested and we can price this trip up for you. 

Book a holiday with us and we’ll give you $250 spending money!

Book any full road trip package (flight, car rental and hotels) with RouteTrip USA Ltd by 8pm on 15th March 2019 and we will send you a prepaid credit card with your road trip pack to use on your holiday. 

If you pay 50% deposit when you book, we will pre-load the card with $250
If you pay the standard 10% deposit, we will pre-load the card with $100

This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discount. However it can be used in conjunction with our like-for-like price matching offer.

Destinations Show 2019

We’re at the Destinations Show at Olympia London for the entire weekend. If you’re thinking of taking a road trip in the USA over the next year or two, please pop over and see us. We’re on Stand AC32 in the Americas section.

Roadkill Cafe, Seligman AZ

The Roadkill Cafe, along Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona

You kill it, we grill it!

The Roadkill Cafe along old Route 66 in Seligman has a wonderful souvenir shop inside selling gifts such as t-shirts, sweaters and aprons with slogans such as “you kill it, we grill it!” and featuring menu items such as Flat Cat – served as a single or in a stack, Rigor Mortis Tortoise and Fender Tenders. Of course, in reality it is a normal family owned, reasonably priced restaurant along a decent length of usable Route 66. The first time we drove past the Roadkill Cafe, we were trying to get to the Grand Canyon before sunset so we only stopped for some photos, however it was on a must-visit list for the next occasion, and we’ve eaten there several times since.

Seligman, an old railroad town was founded in 1886 and is known for being the birthplace of Historic Route 66, mainly due to the efforts of the Seligman Chamber of Commerce and local business owners to get the section of road between Seligman and Kingman designated as Historic Route 66 back in 1987, not long after the last section of the Mother Road, in nearby Williams, Arizona was bypassed by interstate 40. This was well before other towns and cities along the entirety of Route 66 started making similar efforts. Perhaps this is one reason that Seligman still looks so authentic and feels like you’ve suddenly been transported back to the heyday of the Main Street of America.

Seligman, Arizona – feels like you’re in the wild west

Seligman is a small, unincorporated town with a wonderful wild west heritage. The Roadkill Cafe itself was once the OK Saloon, and the bar/gift shop area is the original building. The restaurant section is an extension that was once a patio to the bar, but eventually enclosed to make a larger building. 

The jailhouse which dates from 1860 claims to have held criminals such as “Seligman Sam” and “three-finger Jack”. Apparently in 1866, four Indians escaped from the jail by tunnelling underground to the OK Saloon next door and made their getaway only to be shot dead four days later in a shoot out with law enforcers.

Radiator Springs, from the Disney Pixar film “Cars” was known to be loosely based on Seligman, and indeed as you take your road trip along Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway you’ll see various locations and people who inspired parts of this fun, animated movie. 

Spotlight on Austin, Texas

I first visited Austin in 2013, fell in love with the city and have been back several times since.

I was asked to provide my replica A-Team Van for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) event for a promotion by the National Geographic Channel and made arrangements to get it to the state capital.

SXSW is a large, annual event for the music, film and multimedia industries and features conferences, presentations and a bit of showing off! My van was part of a 1980’s promotion and was running as a VIP shuttle between the airport and downtown Austin and, with a Delorean and General Lee participated in several events during it’s time in Austin.

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The A-Team Van outside the State Capitol building in Austin, Texas

Whilst the van was being used for promotional activities, I spent the time exploring Austin and found it a really fascinating city. The recorded history of Austin goes back to the 1830’s when settlers founded the village of Waterloo on the banks of the Colorado River. By 1839 the settlement had become the capital of the Republic of Texas and had adopted the name Austin from Stephen F Austin, known as the “Father of Texas”. 

There are some wonderful buildings in Austin, including the State Capitol Building on Congress Avenue and the historic Driskill Hotel on famous 6th Street.

In addition to visiting the State Capitol and nearby museum, I always walk down Congress Avenue and across the Colorado River to South Congress Avenue to wander around some of the antique shops as I head up to Allen’s Boots. Despite my best intentions, I always buy a Stetson, belt or cowboy boots in Allen’s Boots, a large western store on South Congress Ave.

One of the must-do activities in Austin is to stand by the bridge on Congress Avenue just before sunset and you’ll likely see around 1.5 million bats emerge from the underside of the bridge – it’s a spectacular sight! As the evening continues, we have our favourite restaurants and we like to experiment with some new ones too.

Austin is known as the live music capital of the world and you’ll find no shortage of this in the bars and clubs along 6th Street.

One of the striking things about Austin is the lack of chain stores, restaurants and other businesses. There is a general desire in the local community to support local businesses and to shun large corporations. Of course there is an out of town shopping mall with all the large, well known stores and restaurants but there is a very noticeable lack of these household names in downtown Austin.

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On the bridge looking North along Congress Avenue with the State Capitol in the background.

Further outside of Austin, I always make sure I take the short drive north to Round Rock, to buy a doughnut from Round Rock Donuts, who sell giant, Texan sized doughnuts which happen to be really tasty too! Dallas and Houston are just a few hours drive away and San Antonio can be driven to in about an hour which makes it ideal for a day trip. I’ll write a blog about this separately at some point, but I love taking a stroll around San Antonio and nearby Gruene and this part of Texas really deserves more time than you could give it on a day trip.

Austin features in various of our Southern Road Trips and is well worth a two or three day stop as a part of your itinerary. Visit our main website www.routetripusa.co.uk to book your trip to Austin.

Our Station Wagon Arrives in Arizona

Over the weekend our Checker station wagon has arrived in Arizona from Massachusetts. A friend is going to spend the next few months going over the car mechanically to try and give us the best chance of completing Route 66 in it. The car is a 1968 model, which makes it 50 years old. He will try and go through the car in the evenings and at weekends as time allows. He has a few Checkers himself so has a good knowledge of these cars, in fact the white limo Checker you can see on the car transporter is yet another one that our friend has bought!

We have acquired one of the later model disc brake set-ups from another Checker which is sadly beyond saving which we will use to replace the current drum set-up on our ’68 Wagon.

As before, we will share progress and information as this car over the next few months.

Visit us at Destinations Show 2019

For the first time, RouteTrip USA will have a stand at the Destinations Holiday & Travel Show at Olympia in London. The exhibition which runs from the 31st January 2019 until the 3rd February 2019 is the largest of its kind in the UK and showcases leading Tourist Boards, Travel Agents and Tour Operators.

We will be based in the Americas Section with stand AC32 and our experts will be on hand to discuss your travel thoughts.

We have a limited number of completely FREE admission tickets to give away too. To get yours, please visit our website www.routetripusa.co.uk

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Our Route 66 Challenge

We love the USA and the culture and Americana that comes with travelling throughout the different states. One of the best known road trips is arguably Route 66 which stretched almost 2500 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Mother Road or simply the Main Street of America still has large sections which still exist in varying conditions whilst others have been paved over and are now part of the US interstate system.

American road trips are in our DNA at RouteTrip USA and has been part of Director Stephen and his wife Chantal’s life for many years. A couple of years ago they decided that they would buy a classic car and drive the entire length of the Mother Road in it before shipping the vehicle back to the UK.

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Having made the decision, they waited for the right car to come along. Stephen has owned several American cars for many years and often drives his yellow New York Checker taxicab at the weekends or the original Texan Ford F100 shop truck to the office. He found out through a FaceBook group, the “Internet Checker Taxicab Archive (ICTA)” that several Checkers, both ex-cabs and civilian models were at a Massachusetts junkyard awaiting the crusher.

It turned out that a Checker collector had sent his entire collection of some 40 cars to the this junkyard including some rare ones such as genuine ex-cabs, station wagons, factory limos (known as Aerobuses) and other rare models.

Several people stepped in and saved cars from crushing and those which were sadly beyond saving were stripped of any usable parts. Stephen purchased one of the rare civilian station wagons, a 1968 model seen below in the junkyard. He also obtained a complete disc brake system from one of the unsaveable vehicles to upgrade the brake system from the original drum setup.

Whilst the original plan was to drive the Mother Road in a Cadillac or perhaps a Buick, it turns out that fate had other ideas. Funnily enough Stephen has often spoken about his desire to buy a Checker Wagon. Decision made, the journey would be undertaken in the 50 year old station wagon below.

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The plan was to ship this car from Massachusetts to Arizona where friend and ICTA Facebook member will mechanically restore the car back to a standard where it should be able to complete the challenging Route 66 road trip.

We got word last night that our station wagon has been collected from the junk yard and is on it’s way to Arizona, also some 2500 miles. We will steer away from any technical details on the restoration, however we will keep tabs on the progress right here on this blog.