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A view of Positano, a stunningly beautiful Italian city that’s carved into the hills of the Amalfi Coast. Positano falls alone one of the routes of the best road trips in the world.

Road trips are an easy way to take control of your holiday and decide your own travelling pace. You can let the road guide your stops and experiences instead of following a pre-planned tour of a place.

Feel the wind in your hair as you whip down the coast of Italy. Cruise down back roads en route to a lavender farm in Provence. Pull off on the side of the road and grab your binoculars to glimpse the wildlife along Alaska’s Seward Highway.

By getting behind the wheel and exploring a new place from a car, you will get to see the parts of the city, town or village that guidebooks don’t talk about and get to know the people in a place instead of just the place.

Amalfi Coast: Amalfi, Italy

The Costiera Amalfitana, or the Amalfi Coast, is widely regarded as Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline. There is a landscape of sheer cliffs, colourful villages that are terraced into hillsides, precipitous roads, lively and overflowing gardens and expansive vistas that tower over turquoise seas. This coastline was awarded a coveted spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1997 and is considered 'an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values'.

Salerno, a busy port of activity, is the best point to begin your road trip. As you roll along the roads that follow the sea, you’ll pass through some of the area’s most famous towns—Amalfi, Positano and Ravello—where artists have been captivated and inspired by all they saw. You could even frame this road trip in historical guidelines, visiting the sites (and sights) that captured the attention of famous artists such as the author Giovanni Boccaccio, the composer Richard Wagner and the playwright Tennessee Williams.

Alaska’s Seward Highway: Alaska, USA

Free of advertisements, billboards, and tollbooths, this road trip is for those who really want to escape it all and get into nature. There are few towns along the way and even fewer gas stations but if you are looking for an abundance of wildlife and unadulterated nature, this is the road trip for you. There are whale and waterfalls, glaciers and mountains, calm trout ponds and rugged oceanic fjords. A land of stark contrasts, the Alaska Seward Highway is best seen during summer in the USA (June-August).

Start your road trip in Anchorage and roam southward from the sea to the mountains and back to sea as you cross the Kenai Peninsula. The Seward Highway is an All-American road, and while you could rush through the whole strip of road in three hours, stretch your time and make a long weekend out of the trip. Birdwatchers will delight in the migratory birds that call the Chugach foothills home and fisherman will rejoice at the abundance and variety of fish just waiting to be caught in Bird Creek.

Should you visit in summer, be sure to head to Mount Alyeska where you can ride a tram to the top of the mountain, and take in the snowy peaks, hanging glaciers, tons of easy-to-spot wildlife (from marmots to black bears) and a plethora of colourful wildflowers that cover the fields and hillsides.

Back roads of Provence: Provence, France

The weekend is the best time to spend your time wandering through the back roads of Provence, France. Weekday afternoons are often quiet and drowsy; the perfect time to relax in a small café, sipping a glass of local French wine and admire the rolling hills which serve as a backdrop to the various small shops where local vendors perfect their crafts in time for the weekend markets.

Weekends are reserved for the hustle and bustle of busy markets that sell antiques, ceramics, regional fabrics, and the ever-popular purple soap which leaves a strong perfume of lavender in the open air. Lavender is a major draw for this part of France, and you will surely see why as you drive through the back roads of Provence.

If you are a fan of the scent and bloom of lavender, consider creating a lavender crawl out of this road trip and meander through the numerous towns and villages in Provence. Each village boasts its own workshops and boutiques that are committed to the local specialty and by the end of your tour, you’ll have a smattering of the best lavender products in the world to take home as souvenirs. Also, be sure to include olive groves, cherry orchards, and vineyards on your must-see list and sample the quintessential slice of Provence.

Before you zoom off out of the rental lot of your chosen destination with your mind on the road and your trip, be sure you are protected with travel insurance from Cover-More New Zealand. Take in the sights and don’t fret about any car trouble along the way with a comprehensive travel insurance plan in your back pocket.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Will Clayton