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  1. #1

    Default Mass. to CO, WA, CA, and eventually back (long trip by myself)

    First I'd like to say how happy I am to have found this forum. I hope that your combined wisdom can help guide me in my plans!

    Okay, heres the deal:

    I'm a 24 year old guy and set to start law school next year. I basically want to use a good chunk of this time inbetween to travel around the country, making some extended stays with friends/family at the places above. I have never done this kind of thing before so I want to see as much as I can along the way. I don't have that much of a time limit, the only limit is cost of places to stay other than at the stops listed above (economical suggestions are welcome!).

    I plan to leave Massachusetts probably the last week of August. My first planned stop was going to be Ann Arbor, MI to visit the school I'll be attending next year (the maps seem to indicate that I90 is the way to go from here to there), possibly a quick visit to a cousin on the opposite end of MI, then down to Chicago just to see it along the way, then nothing else till Colorado. Stay a month or so, maybe more in that area with family, see the area, national parks and stuff, then on west. Still not sure if the best way to go from there is to my friend in Sacramento first, or my other friend in Southeasern WA. I was thinking WA first because then I could go down to CA from there, then down to my brother in LA, but prolly at least a month on the west coast altogether.

    So, all of that would take up most of the fall, and then whenever I head back I'd use CO as a stopover again. Prolly a southern route coming back since it will be winter, tho the thought of that part of the trip isn't too exciting. Anyone have any suggestions/tips/warnings about any of this? Am I trying to take on too big of a trip driving by myself? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Be Open to the Open Road

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Somewhere in your missive, you seem to have asked every philosophical and practical question there is about RoadTripping!

    Dealing with the philosophical first... You are getting ready to set off on the "Grand Tour" and there are lots of reasons for such an adventure, none more right than any other, and your trip seems to include most of them. As I'm sure you've realized from reading others' posts, there are no 'best' or even 'right' answers to most of your worries - just what works for you. But here are some general thoughts. With the amount of time that you have, there is no need to find the efficient route from A to B. Just go where the winds and your mood take you. The only thing you have to schedule about this trip is the arrival dates at various friends and family, a simple courtesy. Just leave plenty of time between visits to wander. Speaking of friends and family, while these visits will be a major part of your trip and will help minimize costs, be aware of the old saying "Fish and guests start to smell after three days" and don't overstay your welcome.

    And some practicalities... Be prepared to go anywhere, get a National Parks Pass and a Passport. They will make your trip cheaper and easier. (Why not include some of Canada or maybe even Mexico in your wanderings?) Do some basic homework. Know who the national budget motel chains are and where there franchises are. These include Motel 6, Super 8, Red Roof Inn and others, each of whom has a web site and will be glad to send you a listing of all their locations. Re-read these articles and posts on The Art of the Cheap Road Trip, Finding Cheap Camping, and the ins and outs of coolers.

    Finally, don't prejudge the country you're setting out to discover. There are incredible places, and people, both in the plains and southwest which you have indicated little interest in. As you travel through these areas, keep an open mind and you will more than likely be rewarded with sights and adventures that you never anticipated.


  3. #3

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks AZ, awesome advice! I will be sure to read through that information. I hadn't even thought of a National Parks pass, that's great! I was thinking of seeing some of Canada too, do I need a passport for that now? As for Mexico, it does interest me but I had heard that driving there wasn't the best idea. Looks like I have more homework to do!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Define Now

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Traveller
    I was thinking of seeing some of Canada too, do I need a passport for that now?
    Here's the scoop straight from the U.S. State Department. The key point here is that they are going to phase in more stringent entry requirements over the next year and a half. There's nothing that says they can't start requiring passports sooner. You might as well beat the rush which will be sure to start next year. If they start requiring passports sooner, you'll be hard pressed to get one while on the road.


  5. #5


    thanks again!

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