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  1. Default Help a brazilian on his first US Road Trip.

    Hello friends!

    I´ll get married here in Brazil on the next year, and me and my fiancee are planning a road trip on our honeymoon at the US. Basically, my future wife dreams to visit NYC and I would love to check the Mickey Mouse home personally at Orlando, so why don´t put it up together and do a Atlantic Coast Road Trip?
    Ok, the idea is great, but within it, there´s a lot of questions, tons of them... And searching at the internet I found this forum that seems to be the best of this kind. So please help meeee!! :-)

    My first considerations are:
    2 people
    Period: 20 days
    Departs from: NYC, NY
    Arriving at: Key West, FL
    Desired stops (so far...): Atlantic City, NJ; Washington DC; Wilmington, NC; Orlando, FL; Cape Canaveral, FL; Miami, FL, Key West, FL.

    1) Please give us another indications of must-see cities/places along this route. (Tip: I´m an enthusiast of militar history, and I heard that there´s a lot of Civil War places to visit at this area)

    2) The one way charge for a car rental is extremely high! I found it from 300 to 500 USD, do you know some other way to minimize it?

    3) Is the weather going to be a problem? We´re thinking on going on late november. Which I assume that it´s the end of the hurricane season. Am I right?

    4) How much cost a budget hotel at the highways? Is there some kind of an averave price of it?

    Sorry for so many questions people, but from a brazilian is even more difficult to find the appropriate support. Look at the bright side, if some of you comes to Brazil I´ll be more than happy to give some tips for you.

    Thanks and best regards.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    1. Off the top of my head, major Civil War battlegrounds are Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, and Antietam. Check your history books, there are plenty more!

    2. Nope, all you can do is compare different companies. All of them will have one way dropoff charges and under age 25 surcharges. It may be cheaper dropping it off in Miami or Orlando instead of Key West.

    3. Hurricane season is over by then. Plan on it being pretty chilly in NYC, slowly warming up as you go south.

    4. Plan on $40 to $60 for a budget chain hotel. They are generally more expensive in cities. That price is for one room for one night, not per person.

  3. Default

    Great tips glc! Thank you!

    We finally decided a master plan of our road trip with a few stops along this route, here they are:

    START: After 4 nights at NYC.
    Day1: Leave from NYC by the morning arriving on Atlantic City by 2 pm and stay there until 10pm heading to Gettysburg. Sleep at Gettysburg. (Is Philly a better option?)
    Day2: Spend the day on Gettysburg (one day is enough?) and leave to Washington D.C at late afternoon, arriving there around 7pm.
    Day3: Washington DC
    Day4: Leave Washington at 1 pm and heads to Wilmington, NC, arriving at 8pm. Sleep at Wilmington.
    Day5: All day at Wilmington, departing at night to Myrtle Beach, SC. Sleep at Myrtle Beach.
    Day6: All day at Myrtle Beach, departing at 03pm to Orlando, FL. Arriving at 11 PM.
    Day7: Orlando, FL
    Day8: Orlando, FL
    Day9: Orlando, FL
    Day10: Departing from Orlando at morning heading to Cape Canaveral - JFK Space Center, arriving at 09am. Leave Cape Canaveral at 4 pm heading to Miami. Sleep at Miami.
    Day11: Miami, FL.
    Day 12: Leave Miami by the morning heading to Key West, FL. Arriving at 12noon.
    Day13: Key West, FL (Or any other key... Suggestions?)
    Day14: Key West, FL
    Day15: Key West, FL
    Day16: Leave Key West at 12 noon, to Miami, Airport, Brazil, São Paulo... End of trip!

    So, this our first plan, please feel free to give any suggestion, maybe an inclusion of some must-see city, as well as an exclusion too. Tips about the itinerary, everything!!! Your help will be more than valuable.

    Sorry about my english. I´m trying to improve it. ;-)

    Many thanks and best regards.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Your drive times are way too optimistic, some of your plans are very unrealistic and will have you driving all night. That is not a good way to have fun, believe me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default too much

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While some changes will make your basic plan workable, you really do need to rethink some of your drives. In general, when you try to plan your days down to the hour, they never work out quite right. Some of them, like trying to leave Atlantic City at 10pm or trying to leave South Carolina in the late afternoon and get to Orlando that night, are especially foolish. On the other extreme, you'd need to be waking up at dawn to make it from Miami to Key West by noon (and when you've got a couple hundred mile trip on a 2 lane road, I'd really want a big cushion driving back from Key West to make a flight out of miami).

    Back things up, don't try to schedule things so exactly, and if you want to cover a couple hundred miles, don't plan to leave late in the day or you're going to become slave to an unworkable schedule.

  6. Default


    Yes, I agree with you, that´s the reason that your help is extremely needed. I´m using Microsoft Streets & Trips to organize it, but I know that it isn´t 100% accurate, specially about drive times.

    Well, I was thinking that might be a good idea to elect 3 "base" cities and from them visit the other ones that are at the surroundings, for example: Instead of sleeping at Gettysburg, I could stay based on Washington for 4 nights, and travel to Gettysburg by the morning, returning at night. I think that it would be much less stressful, and if I love the place I could come back on the following day, without the risk of ruining my schedule.

    Then I would divide the long route from Washington to Orlando in 3 pieces, driving at max 350 miles per day. I was thinking about stopping at Fayeteville, NC and Savannah, GA. (Or maybe Jacksonville?)

    So, I would make the same thing at Orlando, staying 4 nights, and driving to Cape Canaveral one of these days. From Orlando to Key West I would make a one night stop at Miami, proceeding to the Keys at the following day. Staying for 4 days, and then coming back to Miami at the last day.

    With this plan, I will have to cut Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, unfortunately, but I think that these adjustments will be very important to the the welfare of this trip.

    Let me know your thoughts, and again, thanks a lot for your help.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default doubleback

    I don't think there is anything wrong with your plan, however, I think you will end up wasting some time with it. For example, it seems like of pointless to drive all the way down to Washington, and then double back for a daytrip to Gettysburg, when you'd be driving right by it on your way to DC.

    Same with the Kennedy Space Center, it would seem to make more sense just to include that as part of your plans driving to or from Orlando so you don't have to double back an hour.

    Neither of those things will make or break your trip, but it would just seem more logical.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are concerned about hotels, there will be plenty available just about anywhere, and the cost will be considerably less OUTSIDE of large cities.

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