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  1. Default Summer 07-Reservations?

    Hi all!
    I'm planing a quick (about 8 days) trip from NJ to Los Angelos. My friend and I are kinda making up our own way, because there are cities we have friends/families in and want to see them. Our scheduled stops are Pittsburgh, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, and LA. We know we're gonna need to stop between Chicago-Denver, and possibly Denver-Vegas. I've heard from different people that if I'm planing to go in the summer, I should make reservations for hotels/motels/campsites 6 months in advance.

    My first question is, should I start making reservations now if I'm planning my trip for the end of June? Second, anyone have any suggestions for places between Chicago-Denver or Denver-Vegas? And finally, am I crazy for thinking we can do this in such a short time frame? I wish I had more time, but I'm actually relocating to Hawai'i and my car needs to catch a boat!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Often debated

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    To Reserve or Not To Reserve is a very common question when planning a roadtrip. Here is RTA's article that takes a looks at the pros and cons of prebooking your rooms.

    Personally, I rarely make reservations in advance, and for this type of trip, I don't think it would be essential to make reservations. You certainly don't need to make any reservations 6 months out, unless you wanted to stay in a place with a very high demand and very limited availability, like a hotel or camping space within Grand Canyon National Park.

    As a pure speed run, you can make it across the country in about 5 days, so you shouldn't have any problems making your journey in 8 days. The stops you've already planned are pretty well spaced out. The midpoint for the Chicago-Denver leg would be around Lincoln or Omaha, NE, and both cities should have plenty of rooms to pick from. For the Denver-Vegas Section, Richfield Utah is a good midway point that has a good handful of motels.

    Good luck planning the rest of your trip and your move, its sounds exciting!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default It's very do-able

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with reservations unless you really need a hotel in a very particular close to a friend/relative that you're stopping to visit. And, even then, I'm sure you can wait until a week or so before you leave to firm them up. Like Michael said, national parks might be the exception but it doesn't look like you're planning on any stops near anything like that.

    Just a few things you might consider: First, if you do stay in/near a city, try to stay on the west end. That way, in the morning when you leave, you're not likely to get stuck in any kind of rush hour traffic. Second, I would plan to get into LA one full day prior to needing to get your car on the boat. That way, if you do get slowed up somehow and get to LA a bit late, you won't be in a panic to make the boat.

    Michael also came up with the same general mid-points on those longer legs as I did. So, if you do, Pittsburgh-Chicago-Lincoln or Omaha-Denver-Richfield-Las Vegas-LA, you're looking at getting into LA on the 7th day. That should get you into LA a day before you need to be there for the boat, right? So it seems like a good plan to me.

    You do have some relatively long driving days of around 500 miles, give or take. So you likely will only have a few hours in the evening to visit with those friends/family along the way. If that is your goal most evenings, you probably won't have much, if any, time for sight-seeing except for real quick-stop-and-go looksees at things right on the highway. You really won't have time to go off the highway. Just a heads-up so you don't start planning on a bunch of sight-seeing side-trips along the way.

    One last hint: to get an idea of the timing of each leg, most experienced road-trippers around here figure that you will average 53mph east of the Mississippi and 57mph west of it. This factors in time for very short, quick stops for gas, restroom, and meals; and slowdowns for traffic congestion, road construction, etc.

    Have a great trip and enjoy your new life in Hawaii. Please consider doing a roadtrip report to let us know how things went once you get settled in your new digs.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice! I plan to stick around to get as much advice as I can!

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