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  1. #1

    Default Planning May Road Trip - Montreal to ...?


    I just found this website and have been spending the last 2 hours on it. I find it very interesting and helpful since I am actually starting to plan a 2 week road trip with my best friend.

    Our plans are still really preliminary, but if I could get some advice from experienced people on this forum well it might help direct our research.

    I'm 21, and so is my friend. I'm graduating in May from business school; prom is on the 10th of May and we would be leaving right after that. (can't wait)

    We could spend somewhere around 1500$US each during that road trip, and that is, including the rental car, so let's make it a maximum of 3000$US total.

    Here are some questions I have :

    - Would it be worth it renting a minivan in which we could sleep most nights?
    - Should we instead try to find the cheapest/fuel efficient car and just bring a tent?
    - As for our destination, we would like to get as far as we can. We would probably leave Montreal, drop by Detroit and Chicago, and then ... ? At first we were talking about the West Coast, but maybe this is too optimistic for a 2 week span. Then my friend told me about Wyoming. As for myself, I am very curious about Route 66 - would it be worth it just to follow Route 66 as far as we can and then come back?
    - Is it something possible on a 2 week timeframe to head down Route 66 to AZ or New Mexico, then head up north to Wyoming and come back home to Montreal?

    This road trip is something I have been dreaming of for a long time. If I could I would extend it to a 3rd week (my dilemma is that I'll be done with school and I will need to find a full time job starting this summer, so I don't want to miss out on opportunities).

    Basically, I want to see nice landscapes, beautiful places. Not necessarly big cities. Historically important places, ghost towns, national parks, etc. I want to see classic stuff. I want to come back with sick pictures, and great memories. I'm not looking for anything fancy, just to spend 2 weeks away from home, on the road, and forget about school, work, etc.

    I know it is still vague, but if this thread can grow and end up helping my friend and I, I'll be pleased.

    Thanks in advance :)

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

    Default The Two Fronts

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I see two issues you'll have to overcome for this trip: time and money.

    $3k wouldn't be a problem if you already had your car, but it really is hard to say how much you will be looking at for rental car fees. I'd exect you'll get hit for being under 25 and you could also be charged an additional fee for taking the car into the US. I'd check into that first, and see how much money you'll be dealing with for the rest of the trip. You could very well be fine, but its such a big variable, I'd check into it first.

    As far as what kind of car, I would go with a car instead of a van and then get some good camping gear. Vans and SUVs often cost twice as much to rent as a mid-sized car, so that could really raise your rental costs. I also think sleeping in a tent is much more comfortable than in a van, just remember that it can get quite cold at night in May, so you'll want to make sure your camping gear is at least rated for 3 season camping.

    The second issue is time. I think you are right that 2 weeks might be a bit too little time to make it to the west coast. Even following 66 as far as New Mexico or Arizona might be too much, if you are then going to head north to Wyoming. That trip could probably be done, but you'd have to drive a significant distance pretty much every day. One other option that would cut out some of those miles would be to follow Route 66, but only for the first section from Chicago to St. Louis. From there you could head out on I-70 to Colorado and Utah, then looping back around through Wyoming and South Dakota.

    You really do have a lot of options, but I would check on the car cost, since that will likely be your biggest expense. Then I'd think about a few places you'd want to visit, and start filling in the gaps from there.

  3. #3


    Thanks alot.

    You're right, car rental expenses will mean alot. We are working hard to find the cheapest deal we can. We found some minivans ranging from 600$CAN to 800$CAN.

    You're also right with the tent, it would be more logical to sleep in the tent and one night out of 3 or something we get a cheap motel.

    But what do you think of Route 66, if you had only 2 weeks, do you think it should be a priority? Or is it really boring?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Route 66

    First of all, there are NO boring places on a roadtrip - if you are bored, you probably aren't paying attention to what's around you.

    Personally, I think Route 66 is a bit overrated. There are certainly great bits of nostolgia, and other fun things from the highway's hayday, I don't think you have to do digging along a decommissioned highway to find those things. I think you are just as likely, if not more likely, to find those unique little places by simply following the 2 land US highways that are still used to connect most american towns as cities. But there are certainly many people on the forum who would disagree with my opinion, and love traveling the reminants of Route 66 (search the forum, and you'll find lots of suggestions and tips from veterans of the route.)

    Personally, I think its worth sampling, which is why I would follow it from Chicago to St. Louis, but I wouldn't keep going from there. But that's me, and what I'd like in a roadtrp, if you want to explore the classic highway, there are certainly plenty of fun things to do and explore along the way.

  5. #5


    My friend found a car rental company (which I forgot the name) that would allow us at 21 to rend it without a problem since my friend has a CAA membership card.

    Though, they would charge us 10$/day to have a 2nd driver which would come up to around 150-200$ extra so that the both of us could be legit to drive.

    Price for 1 driver only was around 450$ everything included for a Corolla type of car... Doesn't sound to bad to me...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Looks good!

    That sounds like a fair and reasonable price, and it leaves you with plenty of money left over for the rest of your trip.


  7. #7


    This whole thing got me so excited I am quite sure we will extend the trip by a week, which would give us somewhere around 20 days.

    These 7 extra days would allow us to do something as follows :

    Drive all the way to New Mexico following Route 66. At Santa Fe, we would be heading up north to Wyoming (Yellowstone, Grand Teton...), then head east to South Dakota (Mount Rushmore) and then go back home.

    This is something to build on I believe. It would be something around 10 000 km total.

    If you guys have any suggestions of stops we should really make, feel free to help us.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default How about the Lincoln Highway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metman111 View Post
    My friend found a car rental company (which I forgot the name) that would allow us at 21 to rend it without a problem since my friend has a CAA membership card.
    When you get your paperwork, we would love to know about this deal!
    This whole thing got me so excited I am quite sure we will extend the trip by a week, which would give us somewhere around 20 days.
    It is exciting to do road trips!
    Drive all the way to New Mexico following Route 66. At Santa Fe, we would be heading up north to Wyoming (Yellowstone, Grand Teton...), then head east to South Dakota (Mount Rushmore) and then go back home
    It can be a little challenging to stay on Route 66 -- the official highway was decommissioned years ago and the historical marking signs are not consistent. This site, is one of the best for tracking the route and you might wish to make some notes so you can find your way. You can use that link to go either direction on the highway!

    Another famous highway might actually be a better match for your time and interests -- this would be the famous Lincoln Highway that stretched from New York to San Francisco. Here is a little info about it


  9. #9


    Thanks for the links :)

    Yeah I realize it is no longer an official highway, so we would have to be well prepared. Thing is, I wanted to head down south and my friend wanted to see Yellowstone. This is why I thought about following old route 66 since it is going to New Mexico anyway.

    But if you have in mind another route that could take us to New Mexico that is not necessarly exactly following the paths of route 66, but that looks better overall and is more interesting, I'd like to know.

    And it is one thing to say I want to follow Route 66, but I want to make sure there are interest points following it.

  10. #10


    Well, we have worked a little more on the planning of our May roadtrip. We were confirmed by Hertz that it would be 600$(canadian) for 21 days, unlimited mileage and that is good even if we are 21 because my friend is a CAA member.

    This is a preliminary outline of what the trip might look like. We will probably not follow turn by turn Route 66, but we'll see part of it I believe.

    Day 1 : Montreal @ Chicago (1330km, 14 hours straight)

    Day 2 : Chicago @ St-Louis (477km, 4.5 hours, we will take the morning and early afternoon to visit a little Chicago and then leave for St-Louis)

    Day 3 : St-Louis @ Amarillo (1220km, 13 hours straight, yet another long stretch but we want to take a lead at the beginning of the trip since our interest is not really around Kansas, Texas, etc)

    Day 4 : Amarillo @ Albuquerque (463km, 4.5 hours)

    Day 5 : Albuquerque @ Santa Fe (103km, 1 hour, this is where we will start taking it easier, we will look around New Mexico and take our time)

    Day 6 : Stay another night in Santa Fe, have another look around then northern part of New Mexico

    Day 7 : Santa Fe @ Walsenberg (361km, 7 hours, we will camp at the Lathrop State Park so that the day after we can have a look at the Great Sand Dunes)

    Day 8 : Walsenberg @ Colorado Springs (216 km, 3 hours, after having seen the Great Sand Dunes, we will head for the Colorado Springs Koa Camping and take it easy over there)

    Day 9 : Colorado Springs @ Aspen (365km, 4,5 hours, we want to spend some time in Aspend and enjoy the scenery in that area)

    Day 10 : Aspen @ Moab (518 km, 7 hours, we are going to go through the Arches National Park)

    Day 11 : Moab @ Page (538 km, 8 hours, we were looking for a little town so we could find an hotel as we are in the middle of Monument Valley)

    Day 12 : Page @ Zion National Park (237 km, 3 hours, time to have a look at the Zion National Park)

    Day 13 : Zion National Park @ Salt Lake City (502km, 5.5 hours)

    Day 14 : Salt Lake City @ Moose (508 km, 5.5 hours, Moose is a town close to the Grand Teton National Park, place that we absolutely want to visit)

    Day 15 : Moose @ Yellowstone National Park (148km, 2 hours, after visiting Grand Teton National Park, we want to take the time to see Yellowstone)

    Day 16 : We will spend the day at the Yellowstone National Park

    Day 17 : Yellowstone @ Rapid City (819 km, 9 hours, another tough stretch because we'd like to see Mount Rushmore)

    Day 18 : Rapid City @ Sioux Falls (740km, 7 hours, after spending the morning-early afternoon at mount Rushmore, we will give it another long shot)

    Day 19 : Sioux Falls @ Flint (1362km, 12.5 hours, the longest stretch because by that time, not much time will be left, we will get closer and closer to home. There is not particular reason why we chose Flint, it just appeared to be a strategic point between Sioux Falls and Montreal)

    Days 20 : Flint @ Montreal (888 km, 9.5 hours... there we go )

    *** Of course we might not exactly do all that, but it is a first draft of what the trip could look like.

    If ever you have suggestions on things we would be missing in the areas we intend to visit let us know. If also you have better ideas of have already been to those places, let us know.

    We intend to camp alot, if you have suggestions go ahead also. We are looking at the Koa Camping sites alot since they appear to be everywhere and not too expensive.

    Thanks, Bruno

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