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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kinsgclere, Hampshire UK
    Posts
    8

    Default Honeymoon Roadtrip 2009!

    Hiya,

    My partner and I are planning a road trip to America In November-December 2009 (From England) for our Honeymoon and we can both take 1 month from work. Neither of us have been to America before, so we would like to see as much as we can. Possibly just getting a taste of what the cities/areas are like and then coming back for longer holidays in the future. We don't want to feel bound by too much structure time & location-wise (i.e., like being on a tour)
    We would like to start on the west coast, preferably Seattle. Then we would work our way down to LA and over to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Ideally, we would like to either travel to Miami, then up to Boston and end our trip in New York.
    At the moment, these are just our best hopes, and having read a few posts already, I think we are being too ambitious and we would happily change to more localised trip. We have agreed that we're happy to just get a taste of the cities/towns/areas and not spend days exploring. As you can tell, we could really do with some help:
    1. Would, it even be feasible to drive this whole trip in 1 month (bearing in mind it'll be mid-winter) and get a feeling for the areas?
    2. Would it be better to fly across America from LA to Miami? (Although we're worried we'll be missing some really beautiful parts of America by doing this)
    3. What mode of transport would you recommend...RV/Motor Home, Car or Use Public Transport?
    We are a bit overwhelmed and we are only in the preliminary stages of planning! We would be grateful for any help and advice.
    I am really sorry if this is a repetition of other posts, I will keep looking over the other, really interesting and useful posts though. Already I have been really excited and inspired by some of the posts I have read!
    Many Thanks
    Beth and Kerem
    Last edited by mrandmrsguvench2b; 01-11-2009 at 03:38 PM.

  2. Default

    Welcome.

    No, this trip can be done in a month, but will require a lot of driving. Roughly 8,000 miles with side trips, etc.

    For picturesque landscape unlike what you might see in your own country, the west coast and rocky mountains are definitely the areas you WANT to see.

    There is a lot to see in the middle of the country, but it depends on what your goals are. Do you want to see the National Parks in Utah (Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, etc) and do you want to see the Colorado Rockies (Rocky Mountain National Park, etc).

    If so, maybe flying out of Salt Lake City or Denver would be better to Miami.

    With interstates, if you plan a few non-stop days of driving, it'd be easy to traverse the country.

    Is there a specific reason for Miami? If you're going there, you should definitely look into driving down to Key West (130mi or so south of Miami on US-1). Was there earlier this year, and was definitely worth the drive.

    As for transportation, train/bus is not the way to see the U.S. I'm not a fan of RVing, a car and motels have always worked fine. Plus, you can get a car into more places than an RV. Always having a fresh/clean hotel room is one of my big deciding factors in the debate.

    Are you looking for beaches, mountains, forests, deserts, lakes, rivers, etc?

    Sykotyk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kinsgclere, Hampshire UK
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hiya Sykotyk,

    Great! Thank you so much for your reply, We feel even more positive about our dream Road Trip!
    We love the idea of flying from Denver to Miami, as we have recently done a European Road Trip from Switzerland to Spain and we did some constant driving and it wasn't that much fun, although that was the journey back and we won't be doing that on this trip... But i've read a few posts who said that constant driving, either way can be tough...what do you think? Would you suggest flying from Denver or just driving? Would we be adding a lot more money to fly, or is just as expensive with Gas/Motel costs?

    We're really pleased you've recommended Cars and Motels, this is what we'd like to do...so that's great, thank you!

    We'll definitely do the west coast drive from Seattle down to Los Angeles and then across inland as far as Denver..as you suggested. But we'd be a bit worried about the weather in the rockies...we don't get severe weather here in England, really and I've heard people mentioning chains(?) if driving in the north at that time. So in the colder climates, we'd probably prefer to stay on the main highways (again...you may need to correct us, we're new to this!)

    No real reason for Miami, we'd just like to experience as much of America in our short time frame. We would like to go to Disneyland, so do you think Florida/Miami, for us, would be better to be visited on a separate, longer trip?

    Your last question...we'd love to spend time at some beaches, for a full day break from travel (for example), Mountains (but like I said, slightly worried about the colder weather driving) and we'd just like to experience the huge variety that America has to offer, basically. We're easily pleased, so just being away and exploring the cities, highways, towns etc would be amazing!

    We can't thank you enough for your time...sorry for all the questions!! I have tried to break it down into sections, as my mind is whirling with excitement!!
    Cheers again
    Beth and Kerem

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrandmrsguvench2b View Post
    Hiya Sykotyk,

    Great! Thank you so much for your reply, We feel even more positive about our dream Road Trip!
    We love the idea of flying from Denver to Miami, as we have recently done a European Road Trip from Switzerland to Spain and we did some constant driving and it wasn't that much fun, although that was the journey back and we won't be doing that on this trip... But i've read a few posts who said that constant driving, either way can be tough...what do you think? Would you suggest flying from Denver or just driving? Would we be adding a lot more money to fly, or is just as expensive with Gas/Motel costs?
    I like to drive, so I'd drive. 700mi a day would be three days (70mph for 10 hours a day).

    We're really pleased you've recommended Cars and Motels, this is what we'd like to do...so that's great, thank you!

    We'll definitely do the west coast drive from Seattle down to Los Angeles and then across inland as far as Denver..as you suggested. But we'd be a bit worried about the weather in the rockies...we don't get severe weather here in England, really and I've heard people mentioning chains(?) if driving in the north at that time. So in the colder climates, we'd probably prefer to stay on the main highways (again...you may need to correct us, we're new to this!)
    First, plan for extra time for weather. No matter which way you cross, you're going over high elevations eastbound. Don't chain, if roads get bad, find a place to park, hotel, etc. You can run into snow anywhere (including come down from Seattle to LA, there's mountains in Oregon, as well as Shasta in northern California, and the Gabriel Mountains north of LA).

    Keep an eye on the weather. If you have a cell phone that you can use in the U.S., call 511 for weather reports (you enter the route number, and it lets you know the road conditions) for the state you're in.

    No real reason for Miami, we'd just like to experience as much of America in our short time frame. We would like to go to Disneyland, so do you think Florida/Miami, for us, would be better to be visited on a separate, longer trip?
    If you don't have a reason for Miami (such as going to Key West or going to Miami Beach), I'd say just fly into Orlando or Tampa. A lot closer.

    If you do fly into Miami, I'd strongly suggest seeing Key West and the Everglades. Even if it's just to drive Alligator Alley (I-75 toll road through the Everglades).

    Your last question...we'd love to spend time at some beaches, for a full day break from travel (for example), Mountains (but like I said, slightly worried about the colder weather driving) and we'd just like to experience the huge variety that America has to offer, basically. We're easily pleased, so just being away and exploring the cities, highways, towns etc would be amazing!
    Well, from WA, you'll see mountains, forests, etc. There's Mount Rainer. In Oregon, you have the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood. You have Crater Lake in southern Oregon. if you go to the west coast, you have the Redwoods near Arcata, California. You'll be in and out of them all the way to Santa Rosa.

    We can't thank you enough for your time...sorry for all the questions!! I have tried to break it down into sections, as my mind is whirling with excitement!!
    Cheers again
    Beth and Kerem
    One thing, for a trip this big, is keep your options open to adjustments on the road. Sometimes a place you planned on spending a couple of days may not thrill you, but a little hidden gem down the road might.

    You never know.

    Sykotyk

    P.S., some states will have a chain law in effect. So, buy a cheap set of chains at a store. Even if you never intend to use them, some states simply require you carry them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kinsgclere, Hampshire UK
    Posts
    8

    Default

    That's great - thanks again.
    Do you have any idea, if we did decide to fly from Denver to Orlando, do you have any idea if that will add a lot to the cost? I would prefer to drive and my partner and I are both in agreement, but just as a plan B, maybe we could fly.
    If we did decide to drive the whole way, would it better to drive from Las Vegas up to Denver and then across (past Kansas City/Illinois/Ohio etc) to New York (We had planned on being there last...but we're not fixed on that) and down the east coast afterward and onto Miami/Key west, as you suggested? How would the weather be doing that route?

    I forgot to mention last time that we'd be interested in seeing some national parks and deserts, so your route suggestion from Las Vegas to Denver would be amazing and we're set on that now.

    Thanks again for your time, I hope we aren't taking up too much of your time.
    Cheers
    Beth and Kerem

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Quality time.

    Hello and congratulations on your up coming wedding. That's going to be some honeymoon !

    Welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    You have so many options to look at and a nice amount of time to explore, but it must be said that you could spend a month between L/A and Denver and only scratch the surface of possibility's.
    I know what it's like, being from the UK and trying to do as much as possible on your first visit, but seeing as it is your honeymoon I would maybe try the "less is more" approach and see certain parts in more detail.
    Flying into Seattle and driving down to L/A and to Denver through many wonderful National parks and city's and some of the most diverse landscapes you can imagine would be one option, or you could fly into San Fran or L/A and do a cross country route, but again exploring the parks of the SouthWest.
    Perhaps driving from Seattle to L/A to Vegas, which would still put you close to many National parks, and skip Denver and the rockies and fly from Veags or Phoenix would be another option for you. Of course there is nothing wrong with your original idea,as long as you are prepared to be on the go a lot.

    The areas are vast and there is so much to see, I just wonder if heading North and South on both coasts as well across country might be a bit much for your month.

    Sykotyk has some great ideas for you to work with but I would suggest having a look at the forums and planning pages to find more ideas and info.

    [Originally posted by Sykotyc]I like to drive, so I'd drive. 700mi a day would be three days (70mph for 10 hours a day).
    For planning purposes We generally reccomend that 550 miles a day to be at the max of peoples comfort zones and with fuel stops, food and bio breaks and a little stretch of the legs will be aprox a 10 hour day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kinsgclere, Hampshire UK
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hi Southwest Dave,

    Thanks for your info! Planning this trip is so overwhelming though,I hav been trawling through all the great forum topics and picking up ideas. I think we're just excited and want to see so much of the country, My partner and would really love to see the east and west coasts, is this more feasible? I.e., if we flew cross country?
    In terms of what we'd really love/best hopes:
    See the coasts
    Specific cities: Los Angeles/San fran/Las vegas...New York/Orlando(Disneyland)/Miami/Key West
    See The Grand Canyon, deserts, mountain areas
    Also just feel as if we're having an adventure.
    If we're more focused on these specific cities and fly across land, would we have more chance of fitting it in and enjoying it?

    Any suggestions, it's much appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Planning is fun !

    Hi,
    Thanks for your info! Planning this trip is so overwhelming
    Yes, we understand how huge the task can look but by searching and researching and keep asking questions it will take shape. At times it feels like a task, but is an enjoyable part of the "whole package"

    In terms of what we'd really love/best hopes:
    See the coasts
    Specific cities: Los Angeles/San fran/Las vegas...New York/Orlando(Disneyland)/Miami/Key West
    See The Grand Canyon, deserts, mountain areas
    O.K, here we have something to work on, it's probably a good thing to break it down into 3 sections.

    West coast example. San Fran [2 or 3 nights] > possibly Yosemite[recommended] [2 nights] > back to the coast travel to L/A [2-3 nights] and L/A 2 nights.
    That's 10 relaxed days but with plenty to see and do.

    L/A to Vegas. On route there is Joshua tree park, Mojave desert and Death valley[recommended] all as options to see. [2-3 nights] Vegas [2 nights]. >Zion N.P., Bryce canyon, Page [Lake Powell] >Monument valley> Grand canyon [5-6 nights total].

    Same again 9/10 nights with lots of options.

    From G/C you have the option to fly from Phoenix or drive across country [4-5 days] and see more sites. Flying will give 3 or 4 days in Florida, the same travelling to New York and finish up with a few days there.

    These are just suggestions to help you build your trip from and it's up to you to decide what is best for you, there are so many options. Keep researching and when your plan starts to take shape put you ideas forward and we will be able to help you "fine tune " your trip.

    Enjoy, Dave.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kinsgclere, Hampshire UK
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Great Dave...that is fantastic.I can really see the trip coming along.Think we might fly to Florida, just so we will have more time in Florida we'll get to see both coasts.
    Will do some research now and then be back in touch with any questions.
    Thanks again, we really appreciate your time!
    Beth and Kerem

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default The National parks.

    Your welcome

    Here is a link to the National parks website that may prove useful. Just click on an area on the map and it will locate a park where there is all sorts of visitor info including accommodations if needed.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

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