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  1. Default 1 month North America trip.

    I am an eighteen year old student in high school. When I graduate I plan on doing what all other seniors plan on doing. Going on a senior trip! But I have a different idea in mind. Instead of going to mexico or another tropical location, I plan on taking a trip with some friends across the country and through Canada! We will start in northern California. I plan on going either the whole month of june, or some of july and august. We will have a van with beds and a stove, so no need for hotels, or restaurants. I want to see as much beautiful nature as possible and hope to spend a good amount of time in Canada. Any ideas, stories, information, or anything that could help me would be great! I hope to here from a lot of people and collaborate a plan. Thank you for reading and please, any information would be helpful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Research.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With a month, the whole of the country and Canada as a target we might as well throw a dart at the map as it is too early to give you any meaningful advice at the moment, there are just way to many options.

    What I would suggest is that you take a look around the forums and road trip planning pages where you will find thousands of ideas, stories and information to help you get started. With a good map at hand you can note places of interest and start to build a route around them. When you have gone through these early planning stages and can offer your own ideas [after all, it's your trip] then we can help you to join those dots together and "fine tune" your trip.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two To Work On

    I agree that you've got a lot of preliminary planning to do before you're ready to ask for or be in a position to assimilate the kind of detailed information you're seeking. But here are two specific things that you will need to start to work on immediately. First, You will all need passports to cross the border into Canada and to return to the U.S. In addition, any of you who are 17 or less will need written, notarized permission from their parents or guardians to leave the country in the company of minors (you). Secondly, any of your group who are under 18 will also need written consent from their parents or guardians for any medical attention they may need while traveling. They should get in touch with their doctors and/or local Emergency Room to determine which forms they will need.


  4. #4


    If you're heading up north and planning on being gone only a month, I'd suggest doing it in July/August so you can get some warmer weather when you're at altitude in Canada. With the one-month time constraint in place, I'd maybe start planning around a loop that takes you up through Oregon (Crater Lake, Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge), Washington (Mt. St. Helens, Rainier, Olympic, North Cascades), up into BC (Whistler, Ganbaldi, Bowron Lake), over to Alberta (Jasper, Banff), down into Montana (Glacier), then to Wyo (Yellowstone/Grand Teton), then maybe across to Tahoe and home. Southern Utah and/or Death Valley and/or Sequoia/Kings and/or Yosemite might also fit in your time frame and could be part of a loop.

    Have fun planning!


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

    Default making it happen

    One thing I would really recommend is that you focus a lot on the practical side of your planning. A month long trip requires a major investment of time and money, especially at a time when most people are getting ready to transition from high school to moving away to college. While you might think that "everyone" goes on some big senior trip, the fact is most of these kinds of trips fall apart largely because it sounds like a great, fun, and romantic idea, until other more important things start getting in the way.

    I would focus on first on making sure I was working with my friends to build a trip that fits everyones goals, but also fits in with what they can realistically do and make a serious commitment too. That may mean scaling back your plans, and only doing a trip that lasts a week or two - or even just ends up being a long weekend away. However, you don't have to have a massively epic trip to have a good time. In fact, often shorter is better to start out especially since you likely don't have experience on a really long trip like this (eating, sleeping, and living entirely within the small space of a van) or know what you like and don't like while being out on the road.

  6. Default

    Thanks so much for all the advice, and you guys are giving me a lot of helpful information. What my initial plan is, is to drive east up to Minnesota then across Canada west, and down through Oregan back home. The reason I am proposing such a big time window is because I would like to not spend all of my time driving, and more of seeing some state parks etc. But keep giving advice, and thanks again for helping me out.

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

    Default goals are good

    A month sounds like a good time estimate for the trip you've laid out, and its certainly a good goal and will be great if everyone agrees.

    My point is, planning a roadtrip, especially one this big, with friends can be a little bit like herding cats. Everyone is going to have different goals and places they want to go, and different abilities about the amount of time and money they can commit. Its quite likely that several of your friends might be interested in a month long trip, but maybe they'll be more interested in seeing Colorado rather than Canada. Even if you've got a "perfect" trip laid out, you've got to make sure that you've got a trip that "perfect" for everyone involved. The larger the trip, the larger the potential for problems, disagreements, and different abilities to do the trip at all. The more flexable you are to all aspects of your trip, the more likely you are to actually get the trip you are hoping for.

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