I'm a 24 year old male and I'm planning on taking a solo road trip the last few weeks of August. I'm looking to relax (and for me that`s hitting the road) before heading back to school in September. I am a little worried about loneliness on the trip but am looking forward to the freedom of being able to go where I please.
The only must-sees on my list are a day in Chicago and monument valley and the desert landscapes of southern Utah/northern Arizona. I want to stay off the interstate as much as possible through the midwest and am debating between either a route along US20 and maybe looping up through the badlands and black hills in South Dakota or staing closer to I-20 along US30. I also plan on taking a southern route back home, probably at a quicker pace, roughly along I-40/Rote 66 until I get to I-75. I would like to hear any suggestions on an interesting route and to help me decide between the US20 or US30 route. Things I`m mostly be interested in are history and natural features/landscapes.
Also a question about national parks. Is there a discounted rate or package deal if you will be visiting multiple parks in a few days? Does it cost anything to only drive through national parks? And of the 5 national parks in southern Utah, if I have to narrow it down to 2, which ones would you recommend. I would only be visiting for the day as I don`t plan on camping.