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  1. Default NEED HELP!! NY/NJ to Grand canyon!!

    Hi guys! I need your help really bad.
    My husband and i are planning to take my 3 sisters (and us) to the grand canyon from NY/NJ
    I know its a really long roadtrip, but we cant afford to buy plane tickets for everyone.
    plus we are on a pretty tight schedule because my sisters are still in school. we can only go during thanksgiving break.
    We plan on leaving either the 18th or 19th of november... and want to be back in NY by the 26th or 27th
    niether I nor anyone I know has taken a roadtrip this massive. i dont know who to ask for advice
    I want to know if this trip will be possible at all
    has anyone attempted this?
    on our way we wud like to stop at scenic places in different states for like 5-10 mins to take pictures, possible?
    what route should we take?
    how much will this cost? aprox
    any advice you can give will be really helpful!
    thanks a ton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Sorry, but it won't be fun !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The simple fact is that you really don't have the time to do this trip and make it fun. It would amount to being in the car for 10 hours a day for 8 days with only time for short stops to eat and go to the bathroom, to fill with gas and quickly stretch those tired limbs. That might leave you a few hours to take pic of the GC and turn around. With 5 people it will get old real quick and tensions will grow.

    You could have more fun and quality time closer to home and I would recommend leaving the GC for another day. How about the Appalachians and Great Smokey mountains ?

    For costs you can use the RTA fuel cost calculator and check out the reservations link to get an idea of Motel costs. Eating will depend on what and where you want to eat, but will average out the same as it would at home. Packing a cooler and eating your own food from a store is obviously cheaper than eating out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I have to agree that your idea isn't likely to result in the kind of trip you'd remember for any good reasons - although it could put some serious strains on your family relationships for years to come!

    Its simply too far to go in too little time. As Dave mentioned, you need a minimum of 8 days of this trip (even with multiple drivers), and that's for 10 hours a day every day. Would you ever enjoy working that many hours that many days in a row, in tight quarters? Because at that kind of pace, it is much more about working in a focused way to get the job done than it could ever be about having fun and enjoying the road.

    I'll also mention that a Thanksgiving cross country trip means that you are likely to see at least 1 weather delay at some point along your trip, and if you hit a storm that keeps you off the road for just one day, your goal of getting to the Grand Canyon would really be basically out of reach.

    10 days is really the bare minimum amount of time I'd recommend, and even that leaves very little time at the Canyon, much less anywhere else. Unless you can add several more days, or find some cheap flights, I think you'd be better off doing as Dave suggested and find a place where you can travel together a bit closer to home. Save the Canyon for a time when you'd have the time to enjoy the trip, the canyon, and the dozens of other amazing scenic attractions in that quite close to GC.

  4. Default

    We recently did OK city from Philadelphia. We drove straight there, doing shifts. That was 24 hours. I wouldn't recommend it.
    I disagree about the fun, it was an adventure and we have planned the GC for next summer. We plan on driving it in about 3 days with a2 overnight stops.
    I say go for it. Use a gasbuddy or something like that to estimate gas cost after you find your rte.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its one thing to do a sprint where you drive an extremely long distance in one day, but its quite another to try to do such a drive day after day. Put frankly, trying to drive the kind of distances you are talking about (Philly to GC with just 2 overnight stops) is extremely dangerous and its the kind of thing that does cost thousands of people their lives. Driving drowsy kills, and no matter how many people you have in the car, doing such a drive will force you to be behind the wheel without enough rest. Please reconsider your idea, and please don't recommend that other people do such dangerous activity.

  6. Default

    Thanks so much for your helpful advice everyone!
    im definitely reconsidering the trip now.
    what are your opinions on traveling via amtrak?
    has anyone gone cross country on the train?
    how long does that take?
    thanks again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    The train could work from a time perspective. If you left on Friday morning, you'd arrive at Flagstaff or Williams AZ late Sunday night, and it would be the same time coming back.

    The biggest downside is the cost. Just taking a quick look, it would run you about $650 per person to take the train - and I'd bet you could fly to Vegas or Phoenix for much less than that. You'd also have to get some transportation from Williams or Flagstaff to the Canyon.

  8. Default

    Thanks michael, I'll have to think of something else.
    Jetblue has rates for 5 people for $1000 one way
    and then on the way back i found that i could get an rv from CruiseAmerica
    on their website it says "for people rolling out of Arizona Selected units one-way from Phoenix for only $12 per night, with plenty of free miles and no drop fee." I'd have to drop the rv in Virginia and then drive from there to NJ.
    But i dont know if its still available, im going to call and ask tomorrow. what do you think?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default ?

    Cruise America's refurb centre is based in Phoenix and basically they want them delivered to their depots. Although a cheap way to get an RV you have to consider the associated costs and the fact that they are slower going than a car. You could only expect a fuel return of 9mpg and would have to budget for campgrounds, as well as having to rent a vehicle [?] to the GC and to Phoenix and get from Virginia to home. I would say that by the time you have taken it all into consideration you are not much better off time wise and your budget will cost a lot more than the original plan. Note that you will also have to pay for kitchen and bedroom kits for the RV unless you want to carry that lot around with you prior to collection.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default creativity

    I really admire your creativity in trying to find solutions.

    I think it is possible that your plan could work, but you certainly have to think about the extra costs and some of the downsides that come with renting an RV that Dave mentioned. One additional factor that Dave didn't mention is the weather - since its quite likely that you'll be dealing with below freezing temperatures overnight, you may have to have the RV winterized (meaning no water/toilets/etc).

    As long as you are using all of your available days, (Friday to the Following Sunday) and your flight lands in Phoenix, I think you could make it work from a time perspective. Arrive Friday, pickup the RV Sat and drive to GC, then on Monday start making the drive back east.

    However, I wonder if simply flying out there might not be a better option. From taking a quick look, the best 1 way fares I'm seeing are about $220 each, and that's flying on a Saturday. While I see some round trips for about $370. Certainly, that adds up for 5 people, but when you factor in the cost of driving an RV, even with a great deal, it might not be as much of a difference as you think. Doing a fly and drive trip would also open up the possibility of seeing lots of other things in the area like perhaps Monument Valley, Zion or Bryce, or Death Valley to name a few of your options.

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