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  1. Default Summer 2008 1 month road trip

    This summer (the summer after I graduate from high school) me and a few of my friends are going on a one month road trip. We are starting near Cleveland, OH, heading southwest through Nashville, down through Texas, Vegas, up through California, and then back east once we hit Seattle. We're hoping to have $10,000 saved up for this trip. Does anybody have any tips for a group of 18-year-olds traveling cross-country? Any little-known stops that we just can't miss? Thanks!
    Last edited by seanevan; 12-03-2007 at 06:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Details Can Wait

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    You've actually already made the best start you can by beginning your planning early and setting up a reasonable budget both in terms of time and money (depending on how many are in "a few"). You and your friends should also sit down and use this 'quiz' to make sure you're all on the same page as to what you are expecting out of this trip and how each of you thinks it's going to go. Also read through the general planning pages to get an idea of all the things you need to be prepared for. Then and only then start to fill in the details. There will be no shortage of things to see, and the common sights are popular for reasons, so don't turn up your nose at places like the Grand Canyon, Big Sur, Yellowstone, and the Badlands just because they're not "little known". Of you spend some time off the main highways, you'll find enough of your own special spots, made all the more special because you found them.


  3. Default

    Well, there are going to be four of us total in the car (we'll be taking a mini-van). We've been planning this trip for over a year now, and as it comes closer we're trying to iron out the details of where we are going. We'd like to leave some flex-room in the schedule in case we see something we didn't expect. However, the parents would like us to have a firmer schedule so that they'll know where we are at any given time. What is a good way to balance these two? We've read about every piece of literature out there on roadtripping, and are always looking for more. This site seems like a good resource. Any others you might recommend? Thanks for your help!

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

    Default a balance

    I can understand your parents concerns about wanting to know a firm schedule, just as I totally understand that a roadtrip needs to have lots of flexability.

    But in this age of communication, I don't think it should be hard to strike a balance. I'd lay out a base plan, but then simply say you'll call if plans chance, or set up some ground rules for how often you will call and check in. I assume at least one if not more of you will have a cell phone for this trip, so your parents should be able to contact you as often as they need.

    This article has a few more ideas that should help get you prepared for your trip and help ease your parents minds.

  5. Default

    Cool thanks for the advice. Article was very helpful. One of the things I am most concerned about, though, is hotels. Is it common for hotels/motels to refuse to rent you a room because you're under 21? We'll all be at least 18 by then, but I am really hoping they don't require you to be 21. If they do, how strict are they/do they even check? I know for sure that in Las Vegas you have to be 21 for ANY hotel (for obvious reasons) but I'm not sure about other places. Can anyone recommend any suburbs of Vegas that we might be able to stay in but that aren't too far from the city? Also, we are planning on staying at campgrounds every once in a while, so we won't always need a hotel.

  6. #6

    Default more on balance

    My mother had the same concerns for my friends and I when we went on our trip. To ease these worries, I took out our map and showed my mom the places we were stopping for sure, the main destinations in our trip, and tried to lay out approximate times for when we would get there. Having detailed knowledge of where we would be definitely left my mom a little more comfortable. Also, Michael is right about the cell phones, keep your parents updated as much as possible, hopefully you will have a lot of great things that you want to share with them anyways. One thing to think about with cell phones though, is that you may be going to some areas that you wont have service in (I was on an indian reservation for 3 days with no service), be sure to warn your parents if you think you are heading into one of these areas and tell them how long.

    Just wondering, are you planning on doing some hiking and camping? or are you trying to stick close to the road? Cause you will definitely be passing through some areas that would be worth some a little extra time if you are into exploring outside of your car.

  7. #7

    Default Hotel

    As for the hotels, I never had a problem getting a hotel even though everyone in my group was under 21.

  8. Default

    Yeah, we'll be camping, especially towards the west where all the great national parks are. Not sure about hiking, but we are looking forward to the great scenery and everything. And great, thanks for the reassurance about the hotels. And what specific areas do you think are worth a little extra time?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Even in Vegas

    I doubt you'd have a problem finding a room even in Vegas, you'd just likely be better off staying with a budget chain that isn't connected to a major casino and/or off the strip.

    For example, I just quickly looked at motel6's website, and they say 18 year old check in is ok at their downtown location.

  10. #10

    Default Extra Time

    On our trip we spent some extra time in the Yellowstone and Grand Tetons area (Jackson Hole was a particularly nice place to stick around), Sawtooths in Idaho and a little Indian reservation near the Grand Canyon called Havasu (my friends and I consider this one of the real gems of our trip and are planning to return this spring). Personally, we are big fans of camping and hiking, and as you said many of the National Parks are great camping areas, and if you are into Backcountry camping you can see some truly incredible surrondings (and on a plus side, this is extremely cheap way to spend the night in most cases). Another spot to consider some hiking is the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Keep in mind though that a lot of backcountry hiking is long and can be a little strenuos, its not everyones cup of tea, and it may not be your thing, but there is plenty to do in those areas without too much work as well.

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