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  1. Default 8 Week Road Trip (East to West via Everywhere)

    Hi guys,

    We are three guys from the UK planning a road trip across the US. At the end of April we fly into Miami, pick up our hire car and then 8 weeks later we fly out of LA. However our route isn't as simple as just a straight east-to-west.

    Our rough plan is... Miami, Atlanta, Washington DC, Philly, NYC, Boston, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Houston - San Antonio/El Paso OR Dallas/Amarillo - Alburqurque, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, LA

    From Chicago we have less than 3 weeks to do the rest of the list, so that may be more concentrated driving, whereas the early stages of the route we have a lot of room for discretion and we can play around with time a little.

    Any tips would be fantastic. Is there any equipment/goods that we will need (I've read it's important to have a cooler in the car with us)? Obviously doing such a long route we'll be spending a lot of time on the interstates, but we are very keen to see some amazing sites and drive some amazing roads.

    Thank you in advance

    Sean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default the reason?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    From Chicago we have less than 3 weeks to do the rest of the list, so that may be more concentrated driving, whereas the early stages of the route we have a lot of room for discretion and we can play around with time a little.
    Could you explain this to me, as it doesn't seem to make much sense. You've got 8 weeks for this trip, so why are you building a plan that is so unbalanced, especially when you factor in the sheer size of the west. Certainly you can get from Chicago to LA via the place you mentioned in under 3 weeks, but unless you really don't want to see anything other than cities, it just doesn't seem very balanced.

    The other thing you'll need to think about is logistics. First, you'll always save money by doing a round trip, and with 8 weeks you really do have time to do a loop around the US, rather than zig-zagging north and south, and likely save yourself hundreds of dollars. The other thing is that you may find it difficult to rent a car in Miami and get permission to take it into Canada. It's going to be a matter of company policy, so you just have to make sure that it is specifically allowed in your contract.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default No shortage of "Amazing".

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You could drive your route from Chicago through NOLA, GC etc and get to LA within a week of 'concentrated driving', so you have a nice amount of time to see some sights and get off the Interstate, but not everywhere !

    I am not sure how much research you have already done to come up with your list of places that appeal to you, but there are thousands of options along your route, and many, many more that aren't along your route. I wonder if you have explored other options such as Colorado and Southern Utah for their amazing driving roads, scenery and high concentration of National parks. Natural wonders like Rocky mountain NP, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion and so on. The US is an amazing and diverse Country to explore and a whole lot more to it than major City's, too much to list for sure !

    You have your "rough plan", so what I would recommend is to do some more research as a group, using the forums to search for ideas, the Map centre to create routes and find attractions and a good paper map to study. Get everyone in the group to have input on various ideas/destinations and keep working at it, after all, planning is half the fun ! As you continue to work on your trip, keep asking any questions that crop along the way.

  4. Default

    It sounds like you're missing the best part.

    Make sure you take I70 through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (Going West).
    On I70 in Utah, take Exit 214 in Utah. Get on 128. 128 will take you to Moab, UT (Arches National Park).
    128 is a scenic road that goes along the edge of the Colorado River, inside a canyon. It's the most amazing thing I ever saw.

  5. Default

    Could you explain this to me, as it doesn't seem to make much sense. You've got 8 weeks for this trip, so why are you building a plan that is so unbalanced, especially when you factor in the sheer size of the west
    We fly in to Miami at the end of April and fly out of LA mid/late June so that's why it is one-way. The initial plan was to drive up the east coast, go west to Chicago and then do Route 66 from there. However we decided that we wanted to go to Memphis/New Orleans/and some of the south as well. It is so unbalanced because we are going to a music festival in Detroit at the end of May, so that is why we have less time for the rest of the west (unfortunately).

    The car has already been booked and we did ask the travel agent when we booked it if we could enter Canada and she said yes, but I will definitely look in to it.

    Which paper map would you recommend that would be best for a trip of this magnitude?

    Our time constraints also mean that we don't se Colorado, or any of the North West but this can't be helped really.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-23-2011 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Fixed Quote text.

  6. Default

    If you're starting in Miami, then I would visit New Orleans and Memphis first.
    Than head North to NYC.
    Than head west.

    As far as paper maps. I joined AAA simply because of their maps. They have the best maps and they are free for AAA members.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-23-2011 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Good Neighbor Rules

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    You can buy maps on line [check out the 'Shop' link in the tool bar above] or simply go to your local bookstore or WH Smith for example where they often have a selection on the shelf or can order them for you. For now you can use on line programs like the ' RTA Map Centre', Google maps, Windows live and so on.

    You are right in thinking that you don't have the time for Colorado and Utah etc if you are set on heading South, it was meant to highlight it as an alternative option to consider for the "amazing sites and roads" you seek and time away from Interstate and City. That's the reason we don't do 'best route' or 'best attraction' around here, as it all comes down to what you want from your trip.

    Enjoy the planning !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you are a member of the AA in the UK, you have reciprocal privileges with our AAA and can get free maps of each state. You can also buy a Rand McNally Road Atlas for less than $10 just about anywhere - I bought mine at Walmart.

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