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  1. Default Southern Pacific

    My friend and I are doing the southern pacific road trip next year around September October,

    and we were just wondering what things we need to know ( were from Australia) regarding the trip and what things we need to plan!

    Also we were wondering how long you guys would suggest for us to do the road trip in!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Make It Your Own

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While there is nothing wrong per se with following one of Jamie Jensen's specific routes (He's the only one who uses that term), there is so much more out there than any one road can take you to. It would be a shame to follow one person's suggestions at the expense of seeing those other sites. It would be even worse to follow someone else's route (even mine!) rather than your own. So my first suggestion to you is to get a good map, or better yet a road atlas, and start looking for sites and attractions that appeal to you.

    The one thing that I would suggest you plan on that most people don't is some 'alone' time. Whatever route you end up taking, crossing the continent is a long arduous task. For the most part you and your friend are going to be cooped up in either a small space (a motel room) or a very small space (the car). Hour after hour and day after day. You will get on each other's nerves after a few days, so be ready to take a break and just spend a day exploring a park or city on your own and meet back up later. Plan on doing this every 3-4 days.

    Once across the country should take you 5-7 days for the driving, plus whatever time you want to spend actually doing stuff. Again, that's a call only the two of you can make. But with 10-14 days you're starting to get into a very enjoyable timeframe that will allow plenty of activities and quite a bit of leeway to go places well off the straight line route.

    As for what to drive, unless cost is no object, there is not much point in getting anything other than and 'intermediate' or 'mid-size' sedan. Anything smaller will get pretty cramped after a while, and anything bigger will just be a waste of money - and gas. Note that despite the allure of getting, say, a big SUV and heading out into the back country, pretty much any rental contract is going to restrict all your driving activities to paved roads.

    So, at this point you and your friend probably know far better than I what it is you want to do, see and get out of this trip, so make a stab at a first draft and we'll be happy to offer any help we can along the way. But as noted, just asking for generic advice or following someone else's route won't get you much of an adventure.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-26-2011 at 02:14 PM. Reason: RTA Bookstore is closed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From One Aussie to Another.

    Hi Billy,

    Would have to agree with AZBuck, make it your own. I too use Jamie's book, but only in so far as, when I find myself in a given area, or along a certain road, I will check to see what points of interest he mentions. The beauty about roadtripping in America is, that there is no other place on earth which is designed for the motor car. Whether you choose to drive the Interstates, take the minor highway or local roads, the whole country is geared towards the motor car.

    I would also agree with Buck's statement, that following someone else's route won't get you much of an adventure. And with that in mind, allow me to mention what I did.

    A decade ago, on my first visit to the US I spent all my time relocating cars. I was completely ignorant of almost anything in America. I had heard of the Grand Canyon, but had no idea where it was. I would always try to choose a car which was going to a destination of which I had never heard so that it would take me to areas I did not know, see things I 'd never heard of and meet the locals in every place. After delivering the vehicle, I would often stay for a day or two or three, hire myself a car, and do some local sightseeing. I nearly always stayed at hostels. It worked well. Over two visits of a total of 8 months, I relocated some two dozen cars (around 40.000 miles), drove coast to coast four times and border to border some half a dozen times. And many shorter trips to cities and towns.

    Even with the time and mileage restrictions relocating imposes, it is possible to have a great adventure and see much of that great continent.

    Anyway, I just put it out there as something else for you to consider.

    Lifey in Melbourne

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