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scotlandjamie
07-25-2010, 06:50 PM
Hello guys and greetings from Scotland, UK!

I am looking for some advice guys. I have booked my flights to come back over to the states in April 2011 for 5 weeks and will be arriving in D.C where I will be staying with family.

I also have some friends in Seattle, WA and I am in the early stages of planning a road trip to go see them. I was wondering if any of you guys have done this trip or one similar and if so got any guidence to help better my plans. I have dome some research on the route but I was wondering

* How long it would take me (giving that I want to take my time and do some sight seeing) on the way there.
* Where are the best places to stop and sight see en-route?
* Where are the best places to stay overnight?
* How much should I budget? ie Gas, hotel / Motels, Food etc for a return journey.
* What will the weather be like at that time of year for the journey?
* Any other information or guidence you can offer.

Thanks in advance guys and no matter if you have just a little or loads of advice to offer every little helps.

Hope to hear from some of you soon.

Jamie.

glc
07-25-2010, 08:02 PM
Welcome!

For reference, driving from DC to Seattle is about 2800 miles by fastest route, and will take you 5 days minimum, driving 10 to 12 hour days on Interstate highways (motorways).

We don't do "bests" here because there are millions of things to see and do, and each person's idea of "best" is going to differ. The "best" thing you can do is get a US road atlas and look it over for things that interest you. When you get an idea of what you want to do and see, we can help you with the details.

Same applies to the "best" places to stay overnight - some people want to tent camp, others are happy with budget hotels, and others want some amenities.

For budgeting, you first have to get quotes for car rentals. For gas, you can generally figure about 15 cents a mile for a standard sedan with a 4 cylinder engine. Or you could use the free tool here (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/fuel-cost-calculator.php)-- that converts European to continental pricing values and back to forth. Hotels/motels are anywhere from $30 to $200+ a night. For planning purposes - assuming you are happy with a basic but clean room and allowing for possible resort pricing, $75 a night is a safe number. Food depends on your style - many hotels have complimentary continental breakfasts, and lunch at a fast food place and dinner in a family style restaurant would probably be $25 or so per day.

The weather in the mountains in April can still be cold and subject to ice and snow.

Mark Sedenquist
07-25-2010, 08:38 PM
I use $100 per day per person -- not including the car rental -- to cover food, lodging, tolls, attraction fees, etc.

Mark

scotlandjamie
07-25-2010, 10:57 PM
Hey guys thanks fot the input so far.

I would be looking to do the journey on a budget and Mark thanks I was thinking it would budget for about $100 a day. I would be happy with budget hotels as to be honest its just really a place to lay my head after a day of driving. I am not fussed on 4* hotels. Re the car rental I have managed to secure that already and that has been booked. Got what they described as a a standard vehicle which they say is similar to a ford focus which would suit me as I am only going on my own.

My own taste differs from large towns where there is alot going on and that are friendly to visitors where you can grab a few beers and relax after a days drive to areas of spectacular breathing taking views that I would never forget! I come from a country where there are areas of stunning beauty and would love to see what the USA has to offer. What I did fancy going to see was good old Chicago, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and of course the Snoqualmie Pass. As I say still at the early planning stage though!

Southwest Dave
07-26-2010, 02:51 AM
It always makes sense to take a different route each way to maximise new places to see and areas to explore if it is a return trip. Heading West a route through Rapid City would put you in touch with Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Custer State park, Yellowstone, [will not be fully accessible yet] Mt Ranier and much much more. Returning, you could head towards Salt Lake and some of the amazing scenery and National parks of Southern Utah and Colorado. One way you can decide which way appeals to you the most but there are many more than just the two.

As has been suggested, keep looking around the RTA site [lot's of info and routes in the tool bars above] and putting some dots on the map and then we can help join them up. You will need to work out how much of the 5 weeks you will spend with family and friends and how much time for the road trip itself.

Enjoy the planning !

glc
07-26-2010, 08:16 AM
Considering the weather, you may want to make it a "clockwise" trip - take a more southern route out there and a northern route back.

A Ford Focus or similar is going to get better gas mileage than a larger sedan - you could almost figure a dime a mile with that. It does depend on gas prices next spring, those are impossible to predict these days.