Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default New York to Denver---2 weeks

    I have never planned a road trip before and am very excited to start the process. I plan to take a 2 week trip sometime in april/june. It's about 1500 miles each way. I dont have any problems planning most of the trip, but I was looking for suggestions of "can't miss" stops. Also, when I did a mapquest direction guide it obvisously gives me the fast route w/ all the highways. Is this a good idea for a first time road-tripper? Or is there scenic routes that will get me there also? Please post!!! Anything will help me!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default All Options Are Open

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    First off - congratulations on planning to hit the road, and additional congrats on planning!. With two weeks for a round trip, this journey could be very relaxed to a bit hectic, depending on how much time you're planning on spending in Denver. As for "can't miss" stops, that depends almost entirely on your interests: Big city or rural? History or night life? Speed run down the interstate(s) or meander on scenic byways? There's no reason that you have to stick to the interstates if you're relatively competent at reading a map. The highways and back roads of this country are very well marked by any standard you care to apply. Besides the straight shot out I-80 that MapQuest suggests, you could also do I-78 and I-70 a bit farther south. There are, in fact, any number of possible routings. So what I suggest you do is get out a map of the US and look at those two basic routes and see what along the way you consider a must see and then, when you have a basic route laid out that suits your needs, come on back for some refining suggestions. Oh, and be sure to check out the Planning Tips for further insights

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Greetings!

    Welcome to the forums, MrVrooman!

    I ran your route through MS Streets & Trips, a software program that creates routes similar to Mapquest, and it came up with the quickest-to-drive route being about 1800 miles. The shortest route is still over 1700 miles. So I'm unsure how you came up with 1500 miles each way? Obviously, the important reason for knowing your mileage is so that you can better plan for how much time you'll need to plan for travel time.

    Most experienced road-trippers seem to agree that you can figure an average of about 53-55 mph. This includes time for very short meal/fuel/etc. stops but doesn't include any time for sightseeing. It also allows for times when you might be stuck in heavy-traffic which is then off-set by times when you can sail along at higher speeds.

    Based on this, your trip should take you about 31-32 hours each way. Of course, any stops you make to explore will add to your traevl time. Hope this gives you an idea of what to expect so you can plan your time accordingly.

    You asked if highways the entire route is a good idea for a first-time roadtripper. I guess this really all depends on what you want. Obviously, if you take detours off the major highways, it's going to increase your miles driven and, thus, your travel time. If you have the time to meander off the major roads, go for it! It's really up to you and what you want to do.

    Some of the most beautiful drives are the National Scenic Byways. Check out this link so you can see if there's any of these byways along your route that interest you. Make sure you click on the link to the bottom-right of the map that says "Other Byways" where you can learn about state-designated and US Forest Service designated byways.

    Don't forget to plan for extra time if you add a lot of miles. Also, these byways often take you on roads with slower speed limits so you'll need to plan time for that.

    Hopefully someone will pop in to give you more specific ideas about what to look for in the area you're traveling. But these links should give you some great ideas to start with.

    If it was me, and if your schedule permits this, I would do all my exploring and meandering on your way to Denver so that you don't feel as rushed for time. Then, on the way back, I'd go home on the interstates. This also has the added advantage of taking you on different routes each way so you see different things. I think that's always a plus.

  4. Default Cheers!

    Thanks guys! The advice was deeefinitely things I did not put into mind. As for my main interest, I just want to see things that I wouldn't see out here in Syracuse, NY. So basically.... that means everything! I was reading someone else's thread and they put it perfectly; saying that they would like to discover how the west is different as the US expanded its country. I really dont care too much for nightlife, I planned on camping or sleeping at Truck stops during the night. I really like 'mom and pop' type places. Diners in the middle of no-where... Seeing weird attractions like 'worlds largest potato' or things like that. It's really a trip to help me re-new my values and evaluate what I want to do with my life. Thanks to both of you for the helpful links.
    This may sound cheesy.. but have you seen the movie Elizabeth Town? When I think of a road trip thats what I imagine. Something new and interesting everyday. Its the little things that make this country such a great place to live! The farthest west I have ever been is Buffalo,NY (I kid you not). And tell me if this is correct... I am going to plan my trip the following way, I am first going to make a set route (any suggestions?) Then I plan on making a few pre-determined stops along the way. The rest of the time it will be sponaneous stops. Hope I'm going about this the right way!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Exactly

    You've hit the nail right on the head with your statement that everything you see along the way on your trip is something you won't see in Syracuse. But then Syracuse would be new and different to everyone else. How much you pre-plan your trip is entirely up to you. The one thing I would suggest, given your stated goals, is to spend a fair amount of time off the Interstates. Try to find roads like US-20 in New York, US-30 in Ohio, and US-24 in Indiana, US-34 in Iowa (You really wanted to see Ottumwa, didn't you?), and US-6 in Nebraska. These roads parallel the Interstates but keep you in small town America. They don't hit large cities, so they won't slow you down too much, and you can always hop back on the freeways if you have to. You'll see far more that is unique to the local area that way, and you'll find those mom and pop diners in the small to medium sized towns that are America. Sorry, you won't find them in the middle of nowhere - no clientele. Mainly just pay attention as you travel. Be observant. Think about how the land and climate and history of a place influence how the people live. Yeah, I'd say you're going about it the right way. Enjoy - and come back and tell us all how it went.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    These are some cool posts. I have family in Denver and I'm from Nyc. I want to drive out there in 2007, between Jan-Mar. Reading these posts makes me want to head out sooner.

    When I do decide to really sit down and plan it, do you guys think I should rent a motorhome or use my SUV?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Plans and Options

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTripper301
    I want to drive (to Denver) in 2007.
    When I do decide to really sit down and plan?
    Well, it's probably too early to make actual plans just yet for a trip that's a year in the future. Too much is subject to change. But it's never too early to daydream and look for possible things to see and do along the way. I usually have a few trips in this stage of 'planning' at any given time. Right now I'm working on three. All this means is that I occasionally scan maps and surf the web looking for ideas. I'll start with a simple search, something like [Kansas tourism OR attraction] and just see what pops up. I'll follow a kind of stream of consciousness if some site triggers thoughts of other things or places, let my eyes wander over maps of possible routes looking for points of interest, and keep a set of bookmarks for any places I find. It's just a way of trying to acquaint myself with what's available on any given trip, and keeping my interest alive. I then start actually planning for a trip about two to three months out.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTripper301
    Do you guys think I should rent a motorhome or use my SUV
    Obviously, this is up to you and what you want out of the trip. I can only give you my perspective on this. Other RoadTrippers in other situations will disagree and I hope they give you their take on this, but I have never understood the allure of motor home or RV travel. Too often on my trips I have found dirt tracks, forest roads, or other roads with extremely limited passing or turnaround opportunities that would preclude a large RV but have led to the most striking of locations. Also, in general, the larger the RV, the slower it will be, and the more concerned you should be about how you are affecting other traffic around you. And they have to be serviced while on the road, if only to clean out their waste tanks every so often. I also don't think that they make much sense economically. I like my creature comforts and don't generally camp or stay at motels on the low end of the price scale. Yet I can usually find very nice digs for an average of about $60/night. When I have looked at RV rentals they have almost always been more than this, and even more than this plus the cost of a car rental. Then there's the added fuel costs, extra toll charges, etc. On the plus side, you don't have to pack and unpack at each stop, you might save some money on meals, and there is a community of like-minded travellers out there. For more from people who do travel this way, read some of these articles, and this article on safety issues associated with RV rentals, before you make up your mind.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default "Breaking In" period

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTripper301
    When I do decide to really sit down and plan it, do you guys think I should rent a motorhome or use my SUV?
    AZBuck's points about the pros and cons of RV travel are well considered. But, in your case, there is another element that you should place in the hopper. If your trip was two months instead of two weeks, I would urge you to consider the RV option, because of the range of lodging options that a "motel-on-wheels" provides. Since you are carrying everything you need (or nearly so) you can park on the side of back-country road and instantly be "at home." Likewise, stopping for a quick snack or take a snooze in the middle of the day is very, very easy. The best part -- may be is that you will always be guranteed of a clean, comfortable restroom (assuming you keep the RV's bathroom clean and serviced).

    However, unless you are an accomplished and/or experienced RVer it usually takes 2-3 weeks to get everything figured out and working correctly. This isn't to say that the thousands of visitors that rent RVs for 1-2 weeks each year in the USA don't have an absolute blast -- but you will spend a significant time during that two-week period learning how to operate a RV safely and efficiently.

    Given the distance that you intend to cover and given the higher costs of fuel, I would recommend that you use your SUV and use the convenience of motels, eat fresh food out of coolers with the occasional restaurant meal and enjoy the trip!

    Mark

  9. Default

    Thank you both on your replies. Yes 2007 is a long time from now so I'm basically daydreaming about it and doing different searches each time I'm on my PC. I have been doing some research on rv's and I can agree with both of your comments, the close to home feeling, pulling over for a quick overnight stay. Looking at the miles per gallon that the rv's burn is pretty scary. I don't mind fuel cost but I don't know if I want to use half my funds on fuel.

    I used the roadtrip fuel cost calculator, (very cool by the way), and i like the results when I put in the mpg my suv uses, haha. But looking at some of these rv's, OMG they look so cool. Even without the cost of fuel these things are costly to rent. Do you guys think renting one for a week or maybe two weeks to just use to venture to different camping grounds or things of that nature would be silly? I understand some area terrain could be a pain using a rv, but when I go camping I see a section for rv's. So I don't mind parking it and going for a walk. Buck, thx for pointing out the fact about certain roads being tight or tough to drive through. In my rv research I didn't put that into thought.

    I also would be travling with my wife and two kids, do you guys think the rv would be suitable for them? We took my first born camping in a tent for a week at 5months old. We had a great time. My wife and I are an awesome team so we don't mind having the kids with us. Well thx again to everyone with the replies you all have been helpful. I must say reading through this site, the posts, all the info, has been so informative and has givin me some new and cool ideas, thx again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default More thoughts on RVs

    I tend to agree with AZBuck and our Editor that RV's don't necessarily make sense for a short vacation unless, of course, you already own one and are familiar with it. Your trip will probably take longer with an RV due to the slower speeds that you will be able to travel on hills, passes, twisty roads, etc. And the time to learn to use the RV will take time as well.

    I think RV's are great in the right situations but I'm not convinced your trip is one of them.

    Since it sounds like you have some experience tent-camping, why not take tents in your SUV and camp out under the stars when you want and stay in hotels at other times? You can take a campstove and cook some meals along the way, even on days you aren't camping. A stop at a park so the kids can play and you can make lunch is a great way for them to get the wiggles out. It probably will cost less than the RV once fuel is factored in.

    We used to have a truck/camper combo and, later on we had a truck/trailer combo. When the kids were younger, we enjoyed a lot of great vacations this way. However, the higher cost of fuel combined with the slow rate of travel meant that we never went farther than about 400-500 miles from home, maximum, when we used this set-up. We figured that anymore miles than that meant that we could actually travel cheaper, and just as much fun, with our car bringing camping gear for when we wanted to camp and staying in hotels on other nights. We always ate out of a cooler and took a small campstove so that we didn't have to rely on expensive restaurant meals each meal. It worked out well.

    If you really want to rent an RV, I would highly recommend renting one for a weekend trip to test one out. Get to learn how to maintain the tanks, how to level it, etc. In fact, try to rent the same model you might want to rent for your vacation so you can really get a feel for how that model appeals to you in regards to both driving it and maintaining it. You might find you love it or you might find that it isn't for you. Either way, I'd rather find out ahead of time than a few days into a longer vacation.

Similar Threads

  1. BOSTON - MIAMI - BOSTON in 3 weeks
    By Ben-fr in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-28-2005, 07:08 AM
  2. roadtrip California to New York
    By steadyeddie in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-06-2005, 06:32 AM
  3. denver to new york
    By guru in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-16-2004, 04:57 PM
  4. Denver CO to New York NY in 13 days?
    By Ian V in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-23-2004, 02:54 PM
  5. New York to San Fransisco in 8 weeks
    By imported_Adam in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-10-2003, 05:09 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES