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  1. Default Help with a month long trip


    I live in the UK and have been thinking about doing a road trip in the US for a few years now. It looks like I might have an opportunity to go at the end of the year.

    I'd like to leave just after Christmas and I can be away for about a month. Other than that I'm more or less in the dark. My dad lives in New Orleans so I had thought about starting there and ultimately finishing in San Francisco - would this even be possible? Try and understand that you can drive anywhere in the UK in a day, my mind just boggles at the size of your country!

    I don't want to spend all day, everyday behind the wheel. Happy to spend some money and make it a memorable holiday rather than get by on a strict budget. What sort of amount would I need for approx. a month? We've had the wettest summer on record so a bit of sunshine would be nice too.

    Basically any help or advice you can give me will be hugely appreciated, as you can see I'm pretty clueless about the whole thing!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Rules of Thumb

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just to let you get your mind wrapped around what you can do and what it will take, here are a few handy dandy rules-of-thumb to let you start planning.

    You can cross the US in 5 days. But that's from east coast to west coast, so it's easier if you start in New Orleans. That's also pretty much driving "all day, everyday", so double it for taking some time outs and you still have plenty of time with a month.

    It costs about $100(£50)/day to be on the road. That's for a very modest motel, simple meals, and enough gas to keep you moving. For a more detailed cost estimate, read through this post by Judy. You can, of course, spend much more. Car hire is extra (more later).

    In December, and wanting sunshine and warm weather, your best bet is to head for San Francisco along the southern tier of states (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California) along basically I-10. I'm also going to suggest that you consider a round trip to San Francisco and back. While that doubles your driving, it would still be 'only' about 4500 miles or 150 miles per day on average. Such a trip let's you see two completely different sets of attractions going and coming - for example, you could take I-40 as your main road back to New Orleans. It also let's you return your hire car to the same place you rented it, saving several hundred dollars. You might even be able to talk your dad into coming along.


  3. Default What are you interested in seeing?

    I'm also going to chime in and add "What are you interested in seeing?" Natural wonders? beaches? City life? Music? Cultural events? Night Life?

    As AzBuck noted, in the US if you want warm weather in December your best bet is to stay in the southern tier of states -- Florida to California. You can still see cold weather in some areas (snow, for example), but its a lot less likely and there are places through here which are known for 80 F weather in December.

    With a month to play with, you have the time to travel a fair bit of territory, so you need to sort of plan out what you might be interested in visiting or seeing. This may depend upon where you fly into, how you want to travel, and where you fly out of (destination).

    One suggestion might to be to get or print out a map of the US, and mark it with places you'd be interested in visiting, or stick pins in it, and then lay out a rough route of where to go.

  4. Default

    Thanks guys, this is really helpful. I'll have a good think about it (and probably come back with some more questions)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default First time - long time


    So! you got a month with nothing better to do that tour the US in early winter. Wow, I might suggest starting even closer to home by starting in New York City or Washington DC then making your way south to Florida, across to visit your Dad in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) and making your way across the Southwest to Los Angeles, ending in San Francisco, or even going further up the coast to Seattle -- depending on your driving ambitions.

    New York and Washinton DC are such an interesting places that I'd hate for you to miss them. Likewise, there are unique historical places south of DC such as Williamsburg/Jamestown, scenic places like the Atlantic and Florida coasts, cultural places such as New Orleans, San Antonio and Albuquerque/Santa Fe, and more scenic places as Grand Canyon, Zion, Death Valley, Yosemite, Pacific Coast, and major western cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

    There is a large range of sights and experiences available, and you have to narrow down the options to make them fit your style of travel. Yes, this is a big, diverse country, but you can easily see a lot and not feel like you are spending all your time in the car.

    Pick up a good guide book or two and spend some late nights reading about these areas and see what you can fit into your month.

    Happy reading, and have a good trip,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  6. Default Austin to Las Vegas


    Part of the roadtrip I am planning includes a drive from Austin (leaving on 2nd Jan) to Las Vegas, I don't really want to spend longer than 6 or 7 days on this leg of the journey.

    The only thing I definitely want to see is The Grand Canyon, I had assumed I would drive via El Paso, Tucson and Phoenix but looking at the guide books this doesn't seem to be the most scenic/interesting route.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-04-2007 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Reinstated the Title (lost in the merge)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Better look at that guide book again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baung View Post
    Part of the roadtrip I am planning includes a drive from Austin (leaving on 2nd Jan) to Las Vegas, I don't really want to spend longer than 6 or 7 days on this leg of the journey.
    Well, OK. If you drove direct it could be done in two days (if you drove 11 hours per day). Here are 4 of the places worth checking out near the Grand Canyon -- and with little difficulty you could find a dozen more. I suggest you crack that guidebook one more time.


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