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  1. Default Montreal-Las Vegas in 21 days

    Hello everybody,

    We are two Montrealers planning to do our first road trip to the USA this summer.

    We have only 21-22 days to spend, and we plan to go see Washington, do a little beach in north carolina, go to Atlanta and finally, Las Vegas (which is the goal of our trip).

    Here is our plan:
    Day 1: Montreal -Washington
    day 2: visiting Washington
    day 3: Washington- Cape Hatteras
    day 4: beach at Cape Hatteras
    day 5; beach at Cape Hatteras
    day 6: Cape Hatteras - Atlanta (we have friends to see there)
    day 7: visiting Atlanta
    day 8: visiting Atlanta
    day 9: visiting Atlanta
    day 10: Atlanta - Dallas
    day 11: Dallas - Albuquerque
    day 12: Albuquerque - Flagstaff, with a stop to the Petrified Forest National Park
    day 13: Grand Canyon
    day 14: Las Vegas
    day 15: Las Vegas
    day 16: Las Vegas - Salt Lake City
    day 17: Salt Lake City - Yellowstone
    day 18: Yellowstone
    day 19: Yellowstone - North Platte
    day 20: North Platte - Davenport
    day 21: Davenport - Detroit
    day 22: Detroit - Montreal

    Is this a reasonnable trip? How much can we plan to spend if we a driving a Subaru Tribeca, and planning to go camping or motels?

    We've never been on a road trip, neither at any of these cities, so we plan to do a little visiting while roadtripping. Would it be possible? Do we have to change our trip? And is there something on our road worth visiting that we missed?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Too Many 600's (+!)

    Bienvenue sur les forums de RoadTrip Amérique.

    Your general itinerary is fine and you have enough time to do it and see the sights, but you are going to have to rearrange some of it. For most people, and especially for those who have never done this before, we recommend no more than 500 to 550 miles of driving in any given day. It's simply not enjoyable to try to do more. Your current plan has days of 565 miles, 578, 589, 601, 649, 696, and (!!!) 781 (Jamais!). Just add a day or two here and there to the driving segments and you'll be fine.


  3. Default

    Thank you for the advice!
    Since it's our first roadtrip, we didn't even checked the number of miles between each of our destinations, only the time travelled (or so Google Maps says!)...

    We decided to skip Cape Hatteras and to leave it for another trip of the East Coast route. This way, we are going to have more time in Nevada (desert, Grand Canyon, ... ) and Utah (Yellowstone park...).

    On the second leg of our roadtrip, we're hesitating between going from Atlanta to Albuquerque via Memphis or via Dallas. What do you think?

    Merci beaucoup!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Don't trust Google map travel times

    Or any of those other online/software planners. They do not take into account time for stops, traffic congestion, etc.

    Experience shows that people can normally travel at an average rate of 57mph with brief stops for food/fuel/WC during the course of the day west of the Mississippi. This figure is closer to 53mph on the more congested east side of the Mississippi.

    So take the number of miles and divide by these figures for a bit more accurate guesstimate.

    The mileage isn't much different either way so I'd choose which route to take based on what you most want to see. However, to see both of them is almost as many miles is if you skip one or the other. So why not go through both?

  5. Default Montreal - Las Vegas in 23 days!

    Thank you for the advices Judy, you got us thinking about that option for a moment. What we were really inquiring about is wether the northen I-40 or southern I-20 is the most interesting one. We'll dig some more into it.

    We changed our itinerary to be more efficient, but we still have some questions about organizing our roadtrip. Here are listed the 2 options for our trip (one way or the other, the first one is with more mileage at the beggining, and the other one is at the end). To be sure we are not exceeding 550 miles per day, we had to change some of the destinations between the two options.

    Our question : Is it better to make the most mileage at the beggining or at the end of the roadtrip?

    Option 1:
    2008-06-27 montreal - toronto
    2008-06-28 toronto - chicago
    2008-06-29 chicago - fairmount
    2008-06-30 fairmount - rapid city (mount rushmore)
    2008-07-01 Rapid City - Yellowstone
    2008-07-02 Yellowstone
    2008-07-03 Yellowstone - Salt Lake City
    2008-07-04 Salt Lake City - Las Vegas
    2008-07-05 Mojave Desert
    2008-07-06 Las Vegas
    2008-07-07 Las Vegas - Grand Canyon
    2008-07-08 Grand Canyon - Flagstaff
    2008-07-09 Flagstaff - Albuquerque
    2008-07-10 Albuquerque - Oklahoma city
    2008-07-11 Oklahoma City - Memphis
    2008-07-12 Memphis - Atlanta
    2008-07-13 Atlanta
    2008-07-14 Atlanta
    2008-07-15 Atlanta - Greensboro
    2008-07-16 Greensboro - Washington
    2008-07-17 Washington
    2008-07-18 Washington - Albany
    2008-07-19 Albany - Montreal

    Option 2:
    2008-06-27 Montreal - Albany
    2008-06-28 Albany - Washington
    2008-06-29 Washington
    2008-06-30 WAshington - Greensboro
    2008-07-01 Greensboro - Atlanta
    2008-07-02 Atlanta
    2008-07-03 Atlanta
    2008-07-04 Atlanta
    2008-07-05 Atlanta - Memphis
    2008-07-06 Memphis - Oklahoma City
    2008-07-07 Oklahoma city - Albuquerque
    2008-07-08 Albuquerque - Flagstaff
    2008-07-09 Flagstaff - Grand Canyon
    2008-07-10 Grand Canyon - Las Vegas
    2008-07-11 Mojave Desert
    2008-07-12 Las Vegas - Salt Lake City
    2008-07-13 Salt Lake City - Yellowstone
    2008-07-14 Yellowstone
    2008-07-15 Yellowstone - Rapid City
    2008-07-16 Rapid City - Sioux Falls
    2008-07-17 Sioux Falls - Madison
    2008-07-18 Madison - Detroit
    2008-07-19 Detroit - Montreal

    thank you again for your help!

    Montrealers eager to see the USA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I do it at both ends

    I've seen what's close to where I live so the last full day or two going and returning I tend to put on the miles. I usually try to have relatively light driving days on about day 3-4 after I've left home, and right before the speed run home so I'm rested and ready for it.

    Either route looks fine. You won't be able to see everything, or explore anyplace (but apparently Atlanta) in depth, but you will be able to do a "whistle-stop" tour of the places you're going through.

    I'm curious why you're spending so much time in Atlanta. While I'm sure it's a lovely city, if it were me I'd add some of that time to either Washington DC or Yellowstone or even South Dakota. But Atlanta is a lovely city and if that's where you want to spend the time, then don't let my comments throw you off.

    Let me throw you a curve ball. Places like Washington DC are only just over 500 miles away, just one days drive. Have you considered taking this long vacation in more the western portions of the places you want to visit. Then do a shorter vacation in the eastern places at another time? This would allow you more time to explore in depth. Just a thought.

  7. Default

    Thank you Judy for all your advices.

    Your thoughts had made us rethink about the purpose of our trip. Our first goal was to go to Las Vegas and then after we decided to do it as a roadtrip, stopping in cities we've never been. The purpose of passing so much time in Atlanta is because we have friends up there that have recently moved and we are going to see them.

    We decided to follow your advice and leave Washington for another visit, and to stay only 1 day in Atlanta, since our friends will be working while we are going to be there. We decided to concentrate our energies in visiting the south west.

    We were inspired by the story of Gen on these boards, who started from Granby, Quebec and went down to Los Angeles on a 3 week roundtrip. We are wondering if we are not going to cut the Yellowstone part of our trip to go in California.

    Thank you again,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Glad to help!

    And, yes, Gen's posts are a treasure-trove of information and ideas. Sometimes you do have to cut things in order to see other things. Since Yellowstone is also a tad closer to your home, it might be a place you can get to another time as well. If that's the case, focusing on California and the Southwest might be your best option. However, if you think it's possible you might not ever get to Yellowstone, then a quick stop there is better than nothing. These choices can be hard to make. More often than not, I'll research, plan, tweak, get advice, tweak some more and, in the end, it's not unusual for me to end up flipping a coin.

    In the end, unless we're living full-time on the road, we'll never see all we want to see. Even full-timers might not ever achieve that! So just do the best you can do to plan a fabulous and fun roadtrip and enjoy it without fretting over what you had to miss. Let us know if we can help you further. Enjoy!

  9. Default UPDATE : Montreal to Las Vegas round trip

    Hi everyone, the start of our trip is getting closer and we are back with a few last minute questions.

    Since our first message three months ago, our itinerary has changed a lot(thanks for all advices you gave us on this forum!), and we still need some help. It will be the first time we're doing a roadtrip, and the first time we visit the South West.

    Here are our questions:

    We are planning on visiting Death Valley and do some camping in the park. Is it possible with the temperature in July? We were planning to go to the mahogany flat campground or the wildrose campground (high altitude), which are supposed to be cooler... We were planning on doing the telescope trail the next morning.

    Second question: Is Mojave national preserve worth the stop? From Death Valley, we hesitate to make a stop to this other desert before heading to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon...

    Third question: Our stop in New Mexico will be for about 2 or 3 days. We are planning a one-night stop to Albuquerque. For the second day, we are hesitating between Santa Fe, Chaco Canyon and White Sands National Monument.

    Here is our last updated (but still a work in progress) itinerary:

    July 4: Montreal-London, Ontario
    July 5: London-Chicago (or a city nearby)
    July 6: Chicago-Ogallala
    July 7: Ogallala-Boulder UT
    July 8: Boulder: visiting city, capitol reef
    July 9: Bryce canyon, camping in the park
    July 10: Zion during the day, sleeping in Las Vegas, casino
    July 11: Las Vegas: visiting, shopping and casino!!!
    July 12: Las Vegas - Death Valley: camping in the park
    July 13: Death valley: hiking during the day, sleeping near las vegas or flagstaff... depending on our time remaining
    July 14: Grand Canyon: camping in the park
    July 15: Grand Canyon: still camping
    July 16: Grand Canyon - return to Flagstaff or Williams
    July 17: Flagstaff: stop at meteor crater +/- petrified forest - Albuquerque
    July 18: Albuquerque: visiting Santa Fe and area
    July 19: Santa Fe - Oklahoma City
    July 20: Oklahoma City - Memphis
    July 21: Memphis - Atlanta (seeing friends)
    July 22: Atlanta
    July 23: Atlanta -Greensboro
    July 24: Greensboro -Washington
    July 25: Washington - Albany
    July 26: Albany - Montreal

    That's it!

    Thank you for your help,
    Catherine and Alex

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Still!

    You still have two impossible days in your plan: trying to drive over 790 miles from Chicago to Ogallala and again on the next day trying to cover another 700 miles to Boulder. That's nearly 1500 miles (2400 km) in 2 days. Non! Otherwise, your itinerary is perfectly reasonable, even relaxed, but you simply cannot do what you plan to do on July 6-7. Add another day to get from Chicago to Boulder and you'll have a great trip.


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