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  1. Default June 2010 Road Trip

    Just thought I would see if anyone had an suggestions or ideas for my upcoming road trip in June. There will be four of us going on this trip (me, my wife, and my wife's parents). Good news is that I get along great with the in-laws. Bad news is that none of us have much experience traveling out west. We will be flying out on June 12th and arriving back in Charlotte with our rental car on June 19th. I realize there will be a lot of driving but what would a road trip be without it. Here's the tentative plan:
    1.) Flying from Charlotte, NC to Denver, CO
    2.) Picking up our rental car
    3.) Driving up mount evans
    4.) Grand Canyon
    5.) Sedona
    6.) San Antonio
    7.) New Orleans
    8.) Dropping off rental car in Charlotte
    I listed only the major things that we have already decided on. We are definitely open to new ideas. Also, I have been to San Antonio before so I know my way around there but any ideas you all may have for the rest of the trip would be great. I would hate to be driving right past something really neat during this trip and have no idea it was even there. I don't want to jam-pack the trip so none of us can enjoy it but I don't want to miss out on something I would regret later.

    Thanks in advance for the help,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default already there

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Adding more things to your trip is the last thing I would do. You've already got a jam packed trip where you are on the edge of having too much stuff in there already.

    You're looking at more than 3,000 miles of driving based on what you've got already. That's going to take up 6 of your 8 days, if you are driving for 8-10 hours a day. If you spend a day at the Grand Canyon, that gives you only one more day to break up with all of your other stops. I can tell you this, there is no way I would want to spend that much solid time in a car over a week with my parents or my in-laws. A week long trip would be fine, but it would have to have a much higher fun/driving ratio.

    With the time you have, I would really look at cutting back. One option would be to skip San Antonio and New Orleans, as driving straight back via I-40 will save you 300 miles/a half day of driving. Its not a huge savings, but there are plenty of things to see along that route, and any time you can save would be worth it, imho.

    Another option, which could very easily be the best choice (and possibly even cheaper once you factor in one way plane tickets and rental car drop fees) is to simply do a fly/drive loop. Where you fly into Denver (or elsewhere) and use your time to explore the west without being so rushed, and then fly back home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A real test !

    I agree with Michael, it really is a lot of time in the car and it would be a real test of just how well you all get along
    [or not !] ;-)

    I really like the sound of Michael's "option 2", and doing a loop in the West in a much more relaxed fashion.

  4. Default correction

    I was just looking at the dates I had listed for the trip and realized that we were actually flying out on June 11th. So that does give us an extra day. We have a total of 9 days as our flight arrives in Denver around 10:00am. You are right about the 3,000 miles. If you break that up over 9 days it's a little over 300 miles per day, which I think is not too extreme. We are definitely prepared for a couple long driving days to make up for time at the Grand Canyon and other stops along the way but I still feel like the trip will be worth it in the end. I wasn't really looking for any other major additions, mostly just places to see along the way that might be interesting. Something like monument valley, that we are considering stopping by for a short photo opportunity. I enjoy scenic drives and would be interested to know from the people who have traveled the same roads which routes they would suggest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are looking at long driving days, keep them to under 600 miles on Interstates, less on secondary highways. That would be 12 or more hours in the car when you include fuel, food, and potty stops and maybe a little sightseeing. More than 12 hours in a day will get very tiring very quickly and will add to everyone's irritability.

  6. Default

    Yeah, we definitely won't be going much over 10 hours on our long driving days. I am also planning on trying to make stops at least every 2 to 3 hours so we don't get so bogged down. I think the most boring drive is going to be from Albuquerque to San Antonio. Does anyone else who has made this trip have suggestions about things to see along the way or the best overall route??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Boring?

    Let's see. You'll need a full two days for the drive from Albuquerque to San Antonio pretty much no matter which way you go, so try this, Start out by heading east on I-40 to exit 218 and US-285 south to Roswell, then Carlsbad Caverns, and on to I-10. Following that into San Antonio, there's Fort Lancaster and the Caverns of Sonora. Boring, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.


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