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  1. Default Please help! first across state roadtrip planning


    My boyfriend and I are planning on a road trip from 12/26 to 1/1. We are in Los angeles. We are open to any great suggestions. Originally we wanted to go to Florida, but I think it's too rush in one week. Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you so much!

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

    Default Your input needed.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your instincts are right, you would needs 5 days of driving to get to Orlando and I presume you would then need to get home again !

    The beauty of the road trip is to find places that appeal to your tastes and not knowing any of your interests, making "great suggestions" would really be taking a shot in the dark. There are thousands of them to choose from. You really need to do some research [RTA is a great place to start] and study a good map to see what appeals. You also have to get more realistic with your goals, especially if this is an out and back trip.[?] Doing a loop so you don't go over the same ground twice is always advisable as you will get to see more. Such a loop could see you heading to the South rim of the Grand canyon and up into southern Utah [Bryce canyon and Zion NP perhaps] and back down through Vegas, possibly through Death valley and home. That would be around a 1500 mile loop and leave you some time out of the car to explore. Like I say, there are thousands of options and once you have narrowed it down we can help fill in the blanks.

    You will have to consider the possibility of weather disruption at this time of year and keep an eye on conditions.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. Default

    Thank you so much for taking your time to reply! You are right, we definitely need to do some research. My biggest concern is whether as well. We have never driven in snow. We really don't know what to do if we get caught in a snow storm or something. We will take your advice and do more research....thanks a lot!

  4. Default

    Do you guys think the following route is doable in a week?

    LA --> Phoenix(Arizona) --> Santa Fe (New Maxico) --> San Antonio (Texas) --> Houston (Texas) --> Dallas (Texas) --> Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Topeka (Kansas) Denver (Colorado) Salt Lake City(UTAH) Las Vegas (optional) LA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default That will be eight days.

    The short answer is 'no', it is not likely to work. And here is why.

    You are looking at a trip in excess of 4200 miles by the most direct route - no sightseeing, no detours to find accommodation, etc. This alone, on a multi day trip would see you on the road for nine or ten hours each day for at least 8 days. Add to that the time of year and the route, and there is a high chance that you could see a winter storm, and have to sit it out for a day or so.

    Why not look at a shorter loop, going from Santa Fe to Denver, SLC, LV and back to LA. It will still see you on the road for something like five days, but that at least will give you some leeway to sit out a storm if necessary. And if you stick to the Interstates, you should not need to drive in snow, as these have a high priority to be cleared.

    I know it is going to be hard to cut back, but you will want to design a trip which you are going to enjoy... not one which will have you stressed out for the whole journey.


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

    Default Agreed.

    As I mentioned earlier, you need to be more realistic with your goals, but I guess that depends on what they are. If that is to sit in the car for 10 hours a day and see everything through the windshield you coud possibly accomplish your trip. Road trips are not always about getting as far from home as possible, they are about balancing quantity with quality. You can see new things and get fresh perspective a short way from home, if you look for it.

    Forget about what an online mapping program will tell you with regards to how much time it will take to drive over a certain distance. The fact is to cover 500-600 miles a day will mean driving for 9-10 hours on average with time only for short bathroom and food breaks and to fill with gas. With a week available and to be able to have some quality time to share with your boyfriend, other than staring out the window, I would be suggesting a trip of no more than 2000-2500 miles and even that could leave you wanting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default one easy key

    In addition to everything that's been said already about your trip being too much because you'd have to be driving all day every day just to cover the distance - there's another easy key that shows you are trying to do too much.

    You listed 10 cities to visit in 7 days. Even if you didn't have any driving to do in between that would be too much. Certainly there are roadside stops that don't require a full day to visit, but when you're talking about something as big as a major city or a major national park, you're going to need most of a day just to see the main sites or attractions.

    As has been said, you really need to figure out what your goals are, because I'm guessing you don't just want to drive through all the places you mentioned.

  8. Default

    I can't thank you enough for all your help! I took your advice and made the following plan. What do you all think now? I am going to fly back from Dallas to LA. Since I already booked the ticket, I am concerned about the road condition and the whether in Dallas. Please feel free to make any suggestions. THank you!!!!!!


    7am -- 2pm LA to Downtown Phoenix, 362 mi, 5 hours 50 mins I-10 W

    Desert Botanical Garden + apache junction

    Live in downtown Phoenix


    Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot (morning to 11am)

    Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot Roswell 574 mi, 9 hours 11 mins

    Live in Roswell


    8am -- 10:30am Roswell Carlsbad Caverns National Park 103 mi, 2 hours 15 mins

    3pm –11pm Carlsbad Caverns National Park San Antonio 462 mi, 7 hours 32 mins

    Live in San Antonio


    Look around San Antonio

    San Antonio Houston 197 mi, 3 hours 19 mins

    Live in Houston


    Look around Houston

    Live in Houston


    Houston Dallas 197 mi, 3 hours 19 mins

    Live in Dallas, count down


    Look around Dallas

    Live in Dallas


    Look around Dallas

    Do you recommend adding Austin into our schedule? Which city would be fun for count down?

    Thanks again!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Congratulations!

    That sounds like a trip you could really enjoy, and talk about for a long time to come.

    I will leave it up to those with more local knowledge to do any fine tuning, but the basic trip looks good to me.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think your current plans are much better than your previous efforts.

    I would caution you that the drive time estimates you've included from an online map program don't include any stops at all. Once you include just the basic stops for fuel, food, restrooms, you should expect that you'll be on the road longer than you're currently planning. That's not a deal breaker in most cases, but it will makes for some pretty long days especially on the days where you are trying to see things and cover a lot of miles - like the Phx to Roswell, and Roswell/Carlsbad/San Antonio day.

    You could see some bad weather in Dallas - as snow/ice are known to affect the area, but that's not the only place you need to keep that in mind. Your trip from Phoenix to Roswell goes through areas that typically see snow (and have already seen some road closures this year), and your trip across West Texas can see ice storm conditions. Obviously there is no way to know at this point what you will see, but it is something you will have to be prepared for.

    Have you secured a rental car yet? A one way trip will likely mean a drop charge of a few hundred dollars on top of your base rate.

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