Lead photo courtesy DiscoverCars.com

For many RV enthusiasts, planning a “Great American Road Trip” is the dream of a lifetime… breaking free from the stress of daily routines to seek adventures on the open road represents a personal declaration of independence – but how big a commitment of time is involved, and what is the ideal mode of transportation to achieve this lofty goal?

Our friends at DiscoverCars.com have shared with our RV Lifestyle Magazine readers a fascinating article on how long it would take to travel some of the World’s most famous routes – by car, by bicycle, and on horseback… here is a synopsis of the story, including a link to the full feature at the end of the story. Click on the blue links to open each related website page…

Exploring the world’s most famous road trips by car, bike and horse

In a playful new report, DiscoverCars.com have worked out how long it would take to travel Route 66 and 14 other world famous road trips by car, bicycle, and also on horseback. 

The report shows how long it would take in hours and minutes to travel the length of each road trip without breaking, as well as how many short comfort breaks the traveller would need to take. It also includes how many days the traveller would need to spend on the road, based on how long it is safe to travel in a single day by each method. 

Aleksandrs Buraks, Head of Growth at DiscoverCars.com, comments: 

Aleksandrs Buraks Head of Growth at DiscoverCars.com
Aleksandrs Buraks Head of Growth at DiscoverCars.com

“We loved the idea of embarking on some of these fantastic journeys on the back of a horse – if you were to set off on Route 66 on horseback you’d be travelling for 70 days and you would need to break for 43 comfort breaks along the way, not including a rest overnight. 

“Of course, it’s impossible (or at the very least very ill-advised!) to take some of these road trips by horse or bike – we thought it would be fun to find out how long it would take though! We were a little surprised to find out that you can do the 111 mile Ring of Kerry around the Irish countryside in less than a week on horseback.

“However, I can’t help but think most of these journeys, especially those along busy highways, would almost certainly be more relaxing by car!”

Road Trips by car, bike, or horse.
How long would it take to travel by car, bicycle, or horse? Right click and select “open image in new tab” to enlarge the chart on a laptop – to see a larger image on a smartphone, turn the device to the “landscape” orientation.

The longest road trip by far is Route 66, which would take 31 hours and 37 minutes by car, 133 hours and 46 minutes by bike, and 173 hours and 54 minutes by horse. 

The number of comfort breaks drivers would have to take is 7. Cyclists would stop for a rest 70 times, and horses and their riders would stop 43 times. 

In terms of days on the road, the total length of the journey by car would be 4 days. On a bicycle, it would take 44 days. Route 66 would take 70 days on horseback. 

Among the World’s most interesting routes studied by the DiscoverCars.com team, the shortest road trip is Norway’s Atlantic Road, which is a very famous and beautiful 5 mile stretch of road through archipelagos, with amazing ocean views. The travel time by car is 6 minutes. By bike, it’s 22 minutes and by horse, only 30 minutes. 

In each case, that’s a single day on the road, with no comfort breaks required. 

An interesting aspect of the results is that while the journey by horse is longer, there is less need for regular rest breaks. Sources suggested that non-professional cyclists should take a rest break every 25 miles, while horses should stop and have a rest every 4.5 hours – not that different to drivers, who should stop every 4 hours. 

This means that while the 700 mile Carretera Austral in Chile takes 20 days by bike and a rather longer 31 days on horseback, the cyclist is moving faster in shorter sprints, taking more regular breaks. The cyclist would stop 31 times compared to the horse and rider, who would take 19 rest breaks. 

By showing how long it would take to travel each of these road trips, the report shows readers just how incredible the distances are on some of these journeys – throwing the reality of travelling hundreds of miles into relief. However you choose to travel, there is no doubt that any of these road trips would be an amazing experience, seeing the landscape change as you make your way along!

The full report can be found here: 



DiscoverCars.com worked out how long it would take to drive each road trip using each country’s rural speed limit, and then broke this down into days on the road using the LazyTrips.com guideline that you should not drive more than 8 hours a day.

DiscoverCars.com used 10 mph as the average speed for a horse, and worked out how far you could travel in a day on horseback using the guideline from SavvyHorseWoman.com that a horse should not travel more than 25 miles in a day.

Bicycle touring - photo courtesy https://bicycletouringpro.com
Bicycle touring – photo courtesy https://bicycletouringpro.com

13 mph was used as the average speed for a cyclist. DiscoverCars.com followed the BicycleTouringPro.com guidelines that suggested 40 miles in a day would be how far it would be reasonable to cycle.

‘Days on the road’ have been rounded up to the nearest day.

How far can a horse travel in a day? Photo courtesy www.savvyhorsewoman.com
How cool would it be to ride the Route 66 trail on horseback! How far can a horse travel in a day? Photo courtesy www.savvyhorsewoman.com

Guidelines from Equine-America.co.uk suggest a horse needs to have a rest every 4 hours, and Rec-Solutions.net recommends that a driver should have a rest every 4.5 hours hours. Sources in the Quora.com cycling community suggest casual cyclists will benefit from a break every 25 miles. Breaks have been rounded up or down to the nearest complete number – where the journey time is only just over the amount of time required to have a single break by 15 minutes or less, the break has been omitted.


Speed limits and researched information are correct at the time of research.

About DiscoverCars.com

DiscoverCars.com supports people through the whole process of renting a car – before, during, and after. The company helps find the most relevant car, whether it’s for a holiday, adventure, or business trip, for the best price.

Website: https://www.discovercars.com/

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