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  1. #1

    Default summer roadtrip concerns

    I am also a high school senior, and as soon as I graduate, I plan to hit the road with my three best girlfriends. Our plan is to camp wherever we can and visit some really great landmarks and cities, for NO MORE than three weeks. We can't really decide where we want to go. We live in Massachusetts and we want to eventually head West. We also know that we would love to journey South, but we are afraid of the heat. Is the trip to New Orleans worth it? We want to eventually hit Colorado, and on the way back, we would travel farther North (Kansas, Missouri..Chicago maybe?). Do you think we should avoid the South during the summer entirely? Would you reccomend, for campers, something farther West? A concern of mine is getting stuck in states with nothing in them. We want to see great sites, but we don't want to be gone all summer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,477

    Default "...Getting stuck in states with nothing in them..."

    Quote Originally Posted by zsasson View Post
    I am also a high school senior, and as soon as I graduate, I plan to hit the road
    Hitting the road can, often does sound like heaven, but a three week road trip is going to be very expensive. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.
    We live in Massachusetts and we want to eventually head West. We also know that we would love to journey South, but we are afraid of the heat. Is the trip to New Orleans worth it?
    In our view, any road trip anywhere is always worth it. There are some beginning steps for you to consider, first the four of you should decide what kind of a roadtrip escape you are thinking about. Here is an easy to use tool that will begin to raise the questions you all ought to consider. Here at RTA we also look at road trip profiles. You might want to have your parents read this article as well.
    A concern of mine is getting stuck in states with nothing in them. We want to see great sites, but we don't want to be gone all summer!
    I don't think you will have that problem. I can't think of a single US state where, if you were to drive every weekend for the rest of your life, you could see everything there is to see in that state.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,687

    Default Summer

    Quote Originally Posted by zsasson View Post
    Do you think we should avoid the South during the summer entirely?
    I have spent many of my Summer vacations in the South and I actually recommend it. If you can stand some heat & humidity, it isn't bad. A lot of times, Massachusetts is getting hotter and more humid weather at the same time.

    Colorado is definitely doable given a three week time frame, though you haven't stated where in Colorado you are aiming to visit. It is a very large, diverse state with a lot to see - Denver, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Mesa Verde.
    Quote Originally Posted by zsasson View Post
    A concern of mine is getting stuck in states with nothing in them.
    There's no such thing! For instance, a lot of the locals don't think too often of Utah - Here's a little teaser for Utah.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-03-2007 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Removed white space for format

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Hitting the road can, often does sound like heaven, but a three week road trip is going to be very expensive.
    Price is definitely a concern of ours. We want to try for a good mix of urban visits, camping, and family visits. However, we hope to find campsites in most of the destinations. We are now thinking the trip should be no more than 2 weeks--I understand that we all might drive each other crazy--and we are hoping that the price won't be too bad. But is it really possible to get to Colorado in one week? What if we want to stay in a city for a couple nights? If we didn't make it to Colorado, I wouldn't be devestated. However, we do want our final stop to be REALLY special and memorable...

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim View Post
    I have spent many of my Summer vacations in the South and I actually recommend it. If you can stand some heat & humidity, it isn't bad. A lot of times, Massachusetts is getting hotter and more humid weather at the same time.
    I really don't know much about the South, but is the heat really barable in the summer?! I would love to go, since it's such an unknown world to me. If we were closer to the ocean, would the heat be tamer? There's also the humidity to consider...And if we were camping, we might all have an uncomfortable time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    753

    Default Cheap and warm

    Quote Originally Posted by zsasson
    Price is definitely a concern of ours
    Here's an article with a few tricks to help you with that issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by zsasson
    However, we hope to find campsites in most of the destinations.
    Campgrounds are usually easy to find anywhere. If finding a campsite is a worry, buy yourselves a campground directory or use a couple of free AAA Camping Guidebooks.

    Tent campsites are usually cheaper on public land such as BLM, State Parks, National Parks, National Forests or Military Campgrounds or you can camp in private campgrounds which usually have more facilities but, incidently, more people in them.

    In big cities, for cheap lodging, look for university residences, YMCA/YWCA, Mom & Pop or inexpensive motels chains (Motel 6, Super 8) in the suburbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by zsasson
    I really don't know much about the South, but is the heat really barable in the summer?!
    Personally, I think the warmer is the better, but it depends on your endurance. I definitely would not avoid the South, since there are so many beautiful places to discover and it is home to some of the kindest people in the world in my opinion. If you have a car with a/c and occasionally stay at motels instead of campgrounds, you shouldn't suffer too much from the heat. Just in case, you could buy one of those camping fans that work with batteries to put in your tent.

    Gen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default The Heat - by a Louisianian

    The heat isn't as bad in the South as people would have you believe. It's usually in the 90's around here for highs with occasional but rare climbs into the 100s for most of the summer. Now I'm not going to downplay the humidity - that is pretty bad most of the time. But - I can't think of the last time that I went into a building down here that was not air conditioned.

    Just dress comfortably, drink lots of water and above all else - don't make fun of our accents :)

  8. #8

    Default time management concerns

    Thanks so much for all your help. I talked to my friends and I think we finally agreed on a route to take. We are going to start in Massachusetts, and travel along the coast until we reach South Carolina. Then we are going to hit Tennessess for the Bonnaroo Music Festival, and from there, we are going to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and eventually, Colorado. Then on our way back, we would go through Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, and go north from there. This is a pretty long route, and I think a couple of my friends only want to go for two weeks. Do you think we could do this in two weeks? We want to have room to stay a couple nights in a few different places. Do you have any suggestions?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,859

    Default Valid Concerns

    I think you are very right to be concerned about fitting all of that in during just a two week trip. I really don't think it could be done, at least not without getting to Colorado to say you were there and then turning around and coming straight home.

    Remember, even driving directly out to Colorado and back would take at least 8-10 days round trip. Spending some time in the Carolinas and Tennessee would really eliminate any time you would spend in Colorado.

    I think this might be a good time to take the quality over quantity approach. If you want to explore the mountains, I bet you could find plenty to do in the Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountains area of Tennessee. Combined that with enjoying the Carolina Coast, and enjoying a music festival - and some of the other great music sites in Tennessee, you'd have a great trip, and a lot more time to enjoy what you would be seeing.

  10. #10

    Default Another view on the South

    I'm from New Orleans and I think it's a great stop - even if just for the historical aspect. If you're not 21, a long night out on Bourbon might not be the thing for you to do, however it can be fun to people watch down there. It would be truly great if you would be coming in town during Mardi Gras, but seeing as you're going to travel after graduation (May, I assume), you'll be a few months late on that. There are plently of museums, amazing restaurants, and sights in New Orleans, and on your way Westward/Northward...you could stop at a plantation on the way out! Nottoway is one of my absolute favorites.

    As for the heat, it's not completely unbearable. However, I know that some cars don't have air conditioners...and you'll be dying if you don't have one on the road. Like others have mentioned, just be sure to have a cooler full of waters and if you're going to be outside most of the day....wear sunscreen and clothing that will keep you cool. I'm a fan of the tank top, short and flip flops combo...but that's just me. :)

    Good luck to you on planning your trip!

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