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  1. Default New York - Los Angeles

    Hi All,

    I am currently planning a road trip for next August/September from New York to LA. We have three weeks to do it and seem to be happy with the route for the first half of the trip, which should be something along the lines of:
    New York - Buffalo - Chicago - Nashville - Memphis - New Orleans - Houston

    After this, we are pretty undecided. Having seen very little of the states, we are unsure of whether to stay south and go through San Antonio, El Paso and then head north through Phoenix and onto Vegas or whether to start heading north at Houston through Austin and heading towards Albuquerque catching monument valley. Not knowing this area at all, could anyone offer any advice? We are really keen to get to see as much of the deep south as possible, catching remote towns and enjoying the famous texan cuisine! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ruari

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default No wrong choice.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There is no right or wrong answer, as with all road trips it comes down to the individual. In my case I would head to the Four corners region via Albuquerque. Mesa Verde and the Grand canyon could be added to Monument valley with plenty of other choices to hand, depending on time.

    Although the one thing I would consider is continuing to San Antonio on I 10 and El Paso before heading North, with detours to Carlsbad caverns and White sands NP along the way. It is only slightly longer than heading North through Dallas and quite a bit quicker than going through Austin according to my mapping program.

    Continuing West from El Paso and up through Phoenix would still make the Grand canyon viable and Red rock country around Sedona is just a small detour away.

  3. Default

    That's great - thanks for your help, it's much appreciated.

    In your experience, do you think two weeks from Chicago is enough time? Although we have three weeks in total, we are meeting someone in Chicago after 7 days and are slightly concerned about the time doing this route?

    Thanks again,

    Ruari

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Time line.

    With 2 weeks from Chicago to LA via Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Vegas is around 3400 miles and with detours into Citys and places of interest will most likely be at least 3750 miles. This would equate to 7 days of driving for 9-10 hours a day leaving you time for some sight seeing, so Yes it is possible but it will depend on the pace you want to set yourself, to how much you can see and how long you might want to spend in each place.

  5. Default Car Hire

    Thanks again Dave - this information really helps.

    A quick question slightly off topic: as we are coming to the States from Scotland, we will be hiring a car, most probably an SUV. I have had a quick look around and the prices seem to be slightly higher than we were expecting. Not knowing any car hire companies outside Hertz etc. do you know of any smaller companies who would be able to undercut the major firms? Picking up in New York and dropping off in LA.

    Once again, thanks for your help.

    Ruari

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Past and present.

    The best advice I could give is to search on line and keep looking untill a deal comes up. There are many rental company's and agencies, most offering the same type of deals but last weeks best offer won't necessarily be the same as next weeks, if you get my meaning.

    Is there any special reason for an SUV ? They are the dearest option by a long way, less economic, and you can't take them place's you couldn't go in a large saloon [or Sedan as they call them] as there are rules against taking them off paved roads.

  7. Default

    Hi Dave,

    The only real reason for getting the SUV is for space/comfort - there will be four of us in the car along with 4 relatively big suitcases. Do you think a large saloon would suffice?

    Thanks,

    Ruari

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default People carrier ?

    With 4 of you travelling and your luggage it could be quite a squeeze in the boot, oops I mean trunk ;-) However the MVAR's [7 seater people carriers to me and you] offer a good alternative. I just looked on the Dollar site and for 21 days the Dodge Caravan offered a saving of over 30% compared to the SUV. I put in any old date but it was over £500. Of course there is nothing wrong with the SUV other than it's not the budget friendly choice.

  9. Default

    Thanks once again Dave - it's all very helpful!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    You are pretty much going to have to go with a major company, due to your need to drop it off on the other side of the country. From what I hear, you may be able to get your best rates by using a travel agency in your home country. For some reason, rates are frequently lower to foreign visitors that way. If you are using an agency to book your flights, ask them about cars.

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