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  1. #1

    Default First US roadtrip

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Maria, and I'm planning on doing a first roadtrip to the west for a month, beginning in Septembre next year. I'll start in Des Moines, since I have a wedding there. My plans are to end it either Seattle or Portland.

    I've already used the map center, so I pretty much know the routes for both possibilities, although I would add couple more places and of course, take all the advice you might give me. I'd love to visit Yellowstone Park, and also check a Montana family ranch. I don't if it is possible to spend a couple of nights there to see what their work is like, or if anyone of you travellers know of any that I could visit. Ranch life, horses and cattle is really getting into me, not sure why... XD

    The thing is, I'll probably be travelling alone with a short budget. As I have read in some posts (really appreciate 'em), for sure I'll be staying in hostels, motels, or cabins. NO rest areas. It's still a long way to go, but I'm really looking forward to the trip, so I really am enjoying already looking through info about accomodation, routes, but most of all experiences from other travellers.

    Thanks in advance for any tips!!!


  2. #2


    If you want the most interesting route to take, and this depends on the things that you enjoy, but for me I would take:
    The Lincoln Highway all the way west to the Salt Lake City area. Be sure to stay off the interstate as much as possible.
    Here take US 89 north going through the Tetons and Yellowstone. Continue north on US 89 to Glacier National Park (almost to the Canadian border). Take Road to the Sun road through the park. On the west side take US 2 all the way to Seattle.

    This route will put you through many and varied parts of the country and introduce you to the beauty of roadtrips.

    While this jaunt will not be cheap but you can minimunize it by staying at motels like Motel 6 and Red Roof Inn wherever possible. Also eat at the small family owned diners/cafes along the way.

    Be sure that you have AAA to help out in case of auto break downs....

    No matter what route you take, do lots of research about your route and let it be a good part of the trip too.

    Just remember

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

    Default Few limits.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !!

    I've already used the map center, so I pretty much know the routes for both possibilities,
    Des Moines to Portland or Seattle could be accomplished in 4 days quite comfortably, so with a month available there are thousands of routes and options open to you and not just one route for each option. In fact you can pretty much go where you like 'on the way', heading east, north, south or west or any combination you can think of to start out with. With the time you have there is nowhere that is out of reach. I would get a good map out, do some research and see what you can discover. Once you have some dots on the map and more specific questions we can help some more.

  4. #4


    Thanks scotishbob, I appreciate the route possibilites ;-) I've never heard of the AAA, so I'll check it out...

    Southwest Dave, thanks for the wellcoming. As it being my first time doing a research for a road trip abroad, can you recommend a good map so I can work on it and start to highlighting musts?

    Thanks for the help!!!!!

  5. #5


    While there are many good maps out of the market...(and AAA will give you good maps for free), the best that i have found is

    Rand McNally "The Road Atlas". It is large which makes it easy to read and gives good detail.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I have also heard good things about Rand McNally and Benchmark maps. I have no real preferences and normally use a large map of the US and then State maps for more detailed info on those I will travel through. You can have a poke about in the RTA map store here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I don't believe you can join the AAA, but if you are a member of the automobile association in your home country, you should be able to use our AAA facilities.

    Benefits for International Travelers

    AAA clubs will provide free roadside assistance and free travel related materials/information to visiting foreign members through December 2011. Evaluation of benefits beyond 2011 is under development.

    Members of international clubs may visit any one of our more than 900 AAA club offices after arrival and, on presentation of a valid membership card, AAA will provide travel materials and touring information. AAA office addresses can be found in all telephone directories.

  8. #8

    Default Car rental for few states?

    Hi everyone!

    I'm flying to St. Louis the last week of September and driving with a friend to Des Moines for a wedding. Fom there I'm thinking of a 2,5 week roadtrip to Seattle, visiting Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Glaciar NP, etc. and I was wandering what is the cheapest way to rent a car to travel through different States. Any help?? :-)

    Thank you in advance,


    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about this trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-13-2012 at 05:53 AM. Reason: merged threads

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not one way

    If you want a cheap car rental, then don't want to do a one way trip. Renting the car in St. Louis and dropping it in Seattle will nearly always mean you'll be looking at a several hundred dollar extra fee for a one way drop.

    If you can start and end in the same place, it will typically be much cheaper. It is also typically the best value to rent a sedan, rather than a van or suv.

    Since you are coming from overseas, you might also check with some of the consolidators based in the UK/Europe.


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