Tuesday, 24 June 2008 12:00 AM
The freedom and flexibility offered by driving holidays is undeniable so this summer, escape from the confines of a resort and discover the hidden gems of your holiday destination.
Online car rental site CarDelMar.com has picked three classic road trips in iconic destinations - follow Route 66 in the US or the Tour de France and be inspired by the Italian Job.
This route from Chicago to Los Angeles puts the icon in the phrase 'iconic route'. Hit the road Jack Kerouac style and travel along the historic Mother Route - connecting towns, cultures and regions of a vast country.
Be astounded by the huge variety of sights - from the steel and glass canyons of the Miracle Mile in Chicago to the Grand Canyon national park.
The rich fields of the Midwest transform into red rock desert and back again once you arrive in central California.
Take your time - this could be your last chance to see the final picture show. There are only 500 drive-in movies left in America. Let your car transport you back to the days of outdoor films, tail fins and innocent fun.
Stanfords stock a great set of maps for following Route 66. Published by Ghost Town Press and created by Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan, the 'Here It Is' Route 66 Map Series has eight fold-out maps covering all the states, clear directions and information on the history of the route.
Tour de France
Follow the bike trail from Brest airport to Paris and discover hidden villages, remote countryside and authentic French hospitality as you drive a road that is as familiar to two wheels as four.
Be wowed by the mountains of the Alps and the Pyrenees, visit the wine regions of southern France and shop with the fashion elite in Paris.
This year the tour starts in Brittany so see the official Tour de France website for more information on the course.
France is bigger than you think, so let the car take the strain.
Italian Job - don't blow the doors off
Embrace the freedom of the road as you take the exhilarating 'Italian Job' route from Imola to Monza.
This classic British caper film starring Michael Caine has been inspiring drivers to get a move on since 1969. A remake in 2003 saw Mark Wahlberg recreate the famous Mini Cooper chase scene.
Ease your speed and enjoy the famous film locations in Turin, race through the stylish shopping arcades of the Via Roma, coast through the side streets of Venice and experience the thrills and spills of Formula One territory in Monza.
Sit back, relax and turn the music up as you try to keep the doors on your hire car and enjoy a real taste of Italy.
You can even join a team and follow the Italian Job route for charity. From October 24th to November 1st 2008 a now annual event will attract Mini drivers from all over the world to raise money for children's charities.