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  1. Default Two novice road trippers - west coast and inland - Oct/Nov 2011 - help!!

    Hi, we are trying to plan a road trip in usa mainly the west coast and inland a bit - but weve never been to america before and have no idea whats realistic and the best places to go and really need some advice. We would like to see - vancouver (we know canada!), seattle, yellowstone, yosemite, san fran, las vegas, meteor crater, roswell, a ranch, michael jacksons house, los angeles, some native indian history, mb even new orleans - and any help with a route would be really useful. We are looking at about 4 weeks, perhaps could be extended to 5 in mid to end october until end november this year. We dont know whether we should hire a car for the whole time or have some internal flights and if a motorhome is best or a car and stopping at motels? As you can tell we are novices!

    If internal flights are recommended would you know which airlines we should look for?

    Any help would be really appreciated

    Thanks :-)

    Kez and Gareth (from England)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some General Recommendations

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The main area that you want to explore has been discussed many times on these forums, so have a read through some of these past posts. Financially, you'll do better in most cases by doing a loop trip, beginning and ending in the same city. This saves on one-way drop off fees on the car rental. Motor homes are generally a very bad idea for such short trips. They are more a lifestyle choice than a way to save money. By the time you pay the relatively expensive rental, pay for a camping spot each night to park it, and feed the very thirsty engine, they are typically considerably more than a standard sedan and motels. Then there's the fact that they are lower and a real pain to try to navigate around urban areas in. October/November is a wonderful time of year to be traveling through the southwest. It's still relatively warm and most other vacationers are off the roads and out of the parks, so crowds will not be a real factor. As to how to spend your time between places and whether to take internal flights to maximize your coverage of the country is something you'll have to look into and work out for yourself. But we really don't have anything equivalent to Ryanair and internal flights might strike you as a bit pricey. Note that most American airlines now charge for each bag you check, for meals, even for 'special' seats like bulkhead or exit rows.


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


    If 'we' is meaning just the 2 of you then an RV is an expensive option, if there 4 or 5 of you it is closer to 'break even' point against the cost of a car and Motels. If you don't mind 'roughing it' a little and starting in San Fran there is an 'in between' option here where you could add a night here and there in a Motel.

    You won't see much of the Country from the air and the cost of flights and multiple car rentals would add up, especially with 'one way drop off' charges added that are standard when dropping cars off at different locations from where you picked it up.

    A complete loop trip I would estimate to be around 5000 miles or, 10 solid days of travel. This will leave you a nice amount of time for some exploring along the road. This wouldn't include New Orleans and with your current 'wish list' could add another 1900 miles. From Yellowstone to New Mexico you could explore parts of Utah and Colorado which both have fantastic National parks, wonderful 'driving' roads and amazing and diverse scenery.

    A complete loop from SF for instance could work like so SF > Yosemite> make your way to Vancouver via Seattle [possibly coast and/or Crater lake +Lot's more] > Yellowstone and Grand Tetons [via Glacier NP?] >Roswell NM via Utah/Colorado[Zion NP, Bryce canyon, Rocky mountain NP, Sand dunes NP [?]] > Las Vegas [Monument valley tribal park, Meteor crater, Grand canyon] > Los Angeles [Death Valley?] and back to SF via the very scenic coast road, route 1.

    This is just a very basic outline of the millions of possilities so I would recommend you use the search function to look around the forums and check out the tool bars above for routes, attractions and the Map centre which is a great place to start trying different routes. Once you have the basics sorted I am sure we can help fill in the blanks.

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