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  1. Default Last great Adventure

    Hello fellow Roadtrippers of America!

    So for about 7 years now my friends and I have been talking about taking a cross country trip. Everyone knows how people can talk and never "Do" however we are getting older and feel that if we dont do it now we probably wont have the opportunity to do it for a while, as we are all getting married and about to start families. So this is when I turn to you seasoned Roadtrippers!

    There are 6-8 of us committed to the trip. All are experienced travelers so the adventure part isnt a problem. Many of us have lived in the south so we are familiar with the long drives as we would do when coming home to PA. So drivings not the issue. The issues we have are first and most importantly, does anyone think that 17 days will be enough to see a significant amount? We have some key destinations in mind, many being out west and we are from the Philly area. So we were thinking of leaving PA, going to New orleans, across Texas to Arizona area, up to Vegas, across to LA, then up the entire coast of Cali into Oregon, then across to Montana then ending somewhere are Yellowstone. To Much??? Can it be done and still able to make a ton of memories?? Would it be better just to eliminate New Orleans all together and shoot across the north first through Chicago then into Montana/Wyoming, down into california, then ending in Vegas??

    Were going to be renting a RV and only make this a one way type of trip. We plan on flying home from wherever our ending destination will be. Now this is the only part of the whole trip that is going to be completely foreign. Do you need a special license? Also, when in a major city..whats the general mode of transportation...meaning basically where do you park a giant RV?? We really dont plan on hitting any major cities except LA and San Fran but its good to know the general rule of thumb.

    Lastly, hitting up both the northern mountainous regions plus the desert is extremly important to us all. Were all outdoorsy and like things off the beaten path...anyone have any suggestions?? Definatly planning on rafting somewhere in Montana or Wyoming...def want to see the grand canyon but in a different light..something different than what all the other tourists do or see?

    Im totally excited to be finally able to do this trip. We all want to do this as a fairwell to our youth considering were all about to jump into the corporate world and start having families. Thanks everyone for your future ideas and suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Big Picture

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As I read through the description of your trip, one word kept running through my mind: unwieldy. It's not that any specific thing that you've proposed is impossible. Seventeen days is plenty to see a remarkable cross section of the country, especially on a one-way crossing. Six to eight people can make an enjoyable traveling group under some conditions. There are people who really enjoy the RV lifestyle. RoadTrips can make excellent markers for the crossroads of our lives. But put them all together in one trip and it just seems a bit over the top.

    So what would I change? For starters, I'd dump the RV in favor of two cars and motels. If you haven't priced these two options out yet, you should. I think you'll find that the RV option is considerably more expensive in the first place, and limits you in a number ways both subtle and not. You've alluded to the problems you might encounter trying to navigate large cities, but there's also the fact that there will be nowhere to hide. The 7 (or so) of you will be in each other's face 24/7 for over two weeks. Every decision on where to go, what to see, how much time and money to spend, etc. will have to be a group decision and inevitably feelings will be hurt and there you'll still be, in each others face 24/7. In addition to the extra cost to rent an RV, it will eat more gas possibly than the two cars combined, and take longer to get anywhere. And it's not like parking these things is free each night. RV camps run around $25-$35 and up a night and while you may be able to boondock occasionally, how many nights do you think you'll find where all 7 or so of you are willing to forego showers?

    The other major hurdle you have to get over is your itinerary. Most of the questions you ask are really in this area, and while we can offer advice, the choice of things to go see is entirely up to all of you. I'd recommend that you set an upper limit on how many miles you want to drive. Something on the order of 3,500-4,000 would be appropriate for a 17 day trip devoted to having out-of-the-vehicle experiences. Then decide amongst yourselves what your priorities are. You simply cannot hit everything you've listed in your post and have the types of memories you seem to want out of this trip. One possible rough outline of a trip would have you heading first down the Appalachians, across Tennessee and Kentucky to follow the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for a while, through the Ozarks, across Oklahoma and Kansas for some cowboys and Indians plains on the way to Denver and the Rockies, the great national parks of southern Colorado, southern Utah and northern Arizona with Las Vegas as a base for a while and then on into southern California for a finish.

    Actually, my first suggestion to you all would be that you sit down with a few beers one night (you are of age, aren't you? Otherwise this trip is going to get terribly expensive!) and go over the RoodTrip Compatibility Quiz, pour over a good sized map of the US and see if you can find a relatively straight line that connects all the dots that are the places you want to see, and start costing things out (realistically) to see what you want and what's possible and what's not.


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