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  1. Default Solo Road Trip Toronto to Monument Valley

    Hi everyone

    I'm a 24 year old male and I'm planning on taking a solo road trip the last few weeks of August. I'm looking to relax (and for me that`s hitting the road) before heading back to school in September. I am a little worried about loneliness on the trip but am looking forward to the freedom of being able to go where I please.

    The only must-sees on my list are a day in Chicago and monument valley and the desert landscapes of southern Utah/northern Arizona. I want to stay off the interstate as much as possible through the midwest and am debating between either a route along US20 and maybe looping up through the badlands and black hills in South Dakota or staing closer to I-20 along US30. I also plan on taking a southern route back home, probably at a quicker pace, roughly along I-40/Rote 66 until I get to I-75. I would like to hear any suggestions on an interesting route and to help me decide between the US20 or US30 route. Things I`m mostly be interested in are history and natural features/landscapes.

    Also a question about national parks. Is there a discounted rate or package deal if you will be visiting multiple parks in a few days? Does it cost anything to only drive through national parks? And of the 5 national parks in southern Utah, if I have to narrow it down to 2, which ones would you recommend. I would only be visiting for the day as I don`t plan on camping.


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

    Default The pass is good value.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The annual National parks pass for $80 gains you entry to every park as many times as you want for a 12 month period from date of purchase. If you were to visit 4 of the main NP's it would have paid for itself already. Yes, if you enter a park whether it is to drive through or not, you have to pay.

    Choosing betweeen routes and parks is like choosing an apple or an orange, it's what appeals to you the most is the right one. If that doesn't work you can flip a coin. LOL. I haven't driven either of those routes but as for the parks in Southern Utah, I have enjoyed them all and wouldn't like to choose. If you have too and still can't decide then I would base it on 'pairing up', Bryce and Zion, or Arches and Canyonlands as the closest together and weigh up the pros and cons of how thay rate and how they fit into your route etc,

    I wouldn't worry about getting lonely, just allow yourself time from the car and talk to the Locals and other travelers you meet along the way. They are always willing to swap stories and ideas/local knowledge that can enhance your trip and theirs.

    If you look around the forums and road trip planning pages above you will find a wealth of info to help you move forward with your planning/research. The Map centre will find you attractions and let you create routes, the Reservations link will help you with lodging ideas and costs and so on. As you do so and new questions come up, just ask.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Solo trips need not be lonely trips.

    Quote Originally Posted by rvital87 View Post
    I am a little worried about loneliness on the trip but am looking forward to the freedom of being able to go where I please.
    Since you would like to stay off the Interstates as much as possible, you have great opportunities to meet the locals. Instead of the large chains, look for local cafes and restaurants at meal and snack times, and try to always look for another gent sitting alone. Just ask if you may join them. You'll soon find out if you are not welcome, and then nothing is lost. But when you are made welcome, you could end up meeting some very interesting characters.

    As a solo traveller I have met some folk with whom I have been in touch for many years now. Some are travellers, others are not. But they all have fascinating stories to share... as no doubt you will have. And make sure you go and check out the local attractions of which they will speak. Just one little warning.... don't ever accept offers of accommodation from a stranger, no matter how appealing it appears to be.


  4. Default

    Thanks for the tips. I definitely think I will buy the national parks pass, only makes sense since I may also visit parks outside of Utah. I am also looking forward to meeting and talking to people of different walks of life as most people dont usually`get a chance to do so living in the city. Hopefully I will find lodging where it will be easy to meet other travellers.

    ...about lodging. I hope to play it by ear and be able to just stop somewhere when I`m tired too sleep. i don`t really want to be constrained by reservations. I know I will be travelling during peak period in late August. Which areas will I definitely need to book nin advance to find a room. I have a feeling I will need to in Utah/Arizona. If I have to, I don`t mind sleeping in my car a couple of nights as long as there is a safe place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Accommodation to meet other travellers

    Quote Originally Posted by rvital87 View Post
    Hopefully I will find lodging where it will be easy to meet other travellers.
    One of the most effective ways of meeting other travellers (and interesting characters) at accommodation is by staying in good hostels. In Utah you have the Lizard in Moab. It is a decade since I stayed there, so things might have changed. But it was a friendly and secure place to stay. Flagstaff also has a couple of hostels. Check this site for more. I never book in advance, but it pays to call them on the day, or the day before to see if there is a bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by rvital87 View Post
    ... I don`t mind sleeping in my car a couple of nights as long as there is a safe place.
    It is never a wise idea to sleep in the car. Besides the safety factor - and it is by no means always safe - you would have to find a place to park which is legal. You can't just pull over or stop in most rest areas. I would recommend that you purchase an inexpensive two man tent, carry a sleeping mat and bag, and pull into campgrounds in State parks and forests. These are also great places to meet other people. The other factor to consider is that you don't actually get a good night's sleep and rest in a car, and travelling on your own, it is vital that you stay in peak condition to face the road the next day.


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