From the pioneers who opened up the West to Jack Kerouac, American life and history is bound up with the open road. Today's travellers get that independence in comfort by going by RV, or recreational vehicle - caravan it definitely ain't. TES readers with a full UK driving licence can take advantage of a special offer from El Monte, which has been established for more than 30 years and has pick-up points across the United States, to catch the spectacular autumn foliage of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia or New England at October half-term, explore Death Valley in the Nevada Desert at Christmas, enjoy adventure pursuits in the national parks, or discover the real Wild West in New Mexico.
Readers who book by Easter 2005 will get a 15 per cent discount, or a 10 per cent discount for bookings made by September 30, 2005. You choose whether you want your package to include flights. For example, a seven-day holiday this half-term, on a circular Autumn Foliage Tour of Virginia, starting out from New YorkNew Jersey, costs $831 (about pound;463) per vehicle. This includes rental of a C-22 motorhome (sleeping two adults and two children under 12), transfers between designated New York hotels and the RV collection point, local tax and insurance, unlimited mileage and generator use, a full tank of propane and all cooking, bedding and other equipment. Travellers also receive a Kampgrounds of America 10 per cent discount card and directory. To book or for information about other El Monte holidays, tel: 01483 457177, quoting Times Educational Supplement.
Adults' return flights to New York in late October with US Airways cost from pound;380, subject to availability, and flight-only information is available from Travel City Direct: 08709 508 020.