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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    I live in Sioux City Iowa but will be starting in Des Moins Iowa

    Default Round Trip Around The West Coast

    Hey well I am new to this whole new road trip thing. I am ust lookin for any advice I can get. I got a rough plan out layed for me and my buddie. Its gonna be approx 6250 miles over a 3-4 week peroid. Starting in Des Moines Iowa going down to San Antionio TX going acrost to Las Vegas and on to L.A. then up the coast to Sacramento continuing north to Vancover Canada Then east to Winnipeg. Where I am turning south going back to Des Moines IA.

    Any advice would be great and thanks in advance look forward to the help.
    Last edited by ademafreak101; 08-27-2006 at 02:14 AM. Reason: wrong locations

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default What kind of help do you need?

    It's always difficult to know where to begin when someone asks a question like this. Do you want advice on things to see? Well, what kinds of things do you want to see and do? Do you want advice on lodging choices? Budget?

    In general, I would advise the following:

    * Make sure you have a good map with you. I always have some kind of guidebook with me to alert me to things to see/do along the way as well.

    * Make sure you have your car checked out by a good mechanic before you leave. Don't forget to have your tires checked, too, including your spare. And have at least some minimal tools with you and know how to use them and how to do some basic maintenance yourself.

    * I would never travel in today's world without a cellphone. You might check out your plan to make sure you have unlimited free roaming so the cost of calls don't shock you when you get your bill. FRS radios are nice to have as well so you and your traveling companion can do some things separately but still keep in touch. Since those have limited range, I believe you should both have your own cellphones as well for communicating if you are out of radio range. And I recommend having a contact at home that you call regularly to keep informed of your location and plans.

    * While I don't believe it's necessary to have an itinerary planned out down to the day, I do believe it's a good idea to keep track of how many miles you've covered so you can assess how far you've gotten and know about how many miles you have left so you don't get hit with 1000 miles to cover in the last day or two. But, with the amount of time you have, also don't fear changing your itinerary if you discover something that you'd like to go see that you hadn't considered or if you really want to stay longer in one particular spot than you had originally planned. With that much time, spontaneity and serendipitous discoveries should be a big part of your trip. And, if you enjoy a longer stop that means you can't get to all your planned stop, so what? Go there another trip.

    * Both for budget and health reasons, I encourage you to eat out of your cooler. Not only is it cheaper but, for the most part, it's healthier than a constant diet of fast food and other restaurant fare. Fluids are vitally important. Especially if you are driving in hot areas, especially if it is hot and dry. Keep a good supply of water in your car. Having food and fluids with you is especially important if you have car problems or some other delay.

    *I'm big on being prepared. Have things like flashlights, blankets, 1st aid kit, emergency triangle or flares, etc. with you.

    *Reservations for lodging/camping probably aren't needed at most places unless you are going to a very popular area during tourist season. You might want to plan something ahead for those times. Personally, if I do make reservations, I also have the hotel's number with me and know their cancellation policy so that I can still change my plans if I choose to.

    *I recommend a membership in either AAA or some other travel assistance program. What I like about AAA, in addition to their excellent services if you have car problems, are their free maps and guidebooks, and the discounts at hotels, restaurants, some attractions, etc. Other programs might have similar benefits.

    Gosh, there's probably more, but this will give you a start. I highly suggest reading through these forums and the various articles here. There's a lot of good, helpful stuff here. Hope this helps a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default A Big Loop

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    That's an impressive loop you've got laid out there. Driving it shouldn't be too hard, even in 3 weeks, since you'd only have to average about 300 miles per day. But if you are planning to stop at places for more than a day or two at a time or if you want to spend significant time on slower roads like the coastal route, then a 4th week will be really helpful in making this trip more relaxing.

    So things to remember for the Canadian section of your trip. You'll want either a passport or your official birth certificate AND a photo ID. Also remember that Canada doesn't have nearly the Freeway system that the US does. There's nothing wrong with their roads, but you'll be seeing a lot more 2 lane stretches with speed limits typically only 90 or 100 km/hr, so plan a little more time for your driving there. Its also some beautiful country, so there will be plenty of things to enjoy.

    Before you go, you might also enjoy taking the roadtrip compatability quiz just to make sure you and your friend are really ready to spend up to a month tied together in a car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    I live in Sioux City Iowa but will be starting in Des Moins Iowa


    Wow Thanks for the info I got the map area covered Got somestuff through AAA. The Car in a 2005 chevy Cobalt so I dont think it should be a problem. I never go anywhee with out my cell phone and mine gots coast 2 coast talkabout service. I built in a week leway to account for longer than expected stops or trafic. The cooler idea I had not considered thanks for that. The emergincy kit I thought of but had not gathered yet. as far as reservations I was planning on staying at campgrounds in the warmer areas untill I have to sleep indoors. I am hoping that will cut down on accomidation expencess.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-27-2006 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Format

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