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  1. #1

    Default Travel all 50 states in 2012

    Hi there - I'm looking for some help please!! My husband, myself and our 3 kids are travelling from Australia for 12 months in 2012. We plan to be in the US from mid April to mid July and then again from mid October to mid January. We want to visit all 50 states. I can't seem to find any good info anywhere on a trip of this magnitude. Ideally we would do 1/2 the states on each visit. The complications are that we want to do a cruise to Alaska - I would assume best time for us would be in the first visit. We would also like to spend at least 10 days in Vegas while it is swimming weather! Most likely we would visit Hawaii on the way home in January. Can anyone suggest a good route that avoids the cold as much as possible - lol! We are trying to avoid backtracking - it's very complicated!! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    That is a monstrous undertaking! I have taken my 50+ year lifetime to get to 48 states, which means I have two left (No. and So. Carolina). However, I have yet to really SEE all of the things that each state has to offer -- sometimes, it's just been one overnight in that state, or "just passin' through".

    If this were me, I would get a good detailed road map of the US -- one of our Australian members recommends the National Geographic map -- and see what strikes you. A plan could come from that. Frankly, it's doubtful that you will be able to "see" all 50 states in what sounds like 6 months (rather than 12 months). (I'm assuming you are getting 2 90 day travel Visas?) You may be able to pass through, but that's a LOT of driving.

    As far as "avoiding the cold", you may not completely avoid it during either time frame. Along the cruise, you could get some winds that will chill you to the bone even in June! If you are traveling on the road between mid-October and mid-January, you will also see some cold no matter where you go. Bear in mind, however, that "cold" is relative -- what I may find "cold", you may not. Or vice versa.

    Anyway, get yourself a really good USA road map and get everyone in the family to pour over it. Make a note of each person's interests, and start from there. We'll be glad to help you get details, etc, once you've got a basic plan!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Consider the options

    Whenever I see a post such as this, I consider the viewpoint of the poster: Is this an excursion just to say that you've "done that" (bragging rights), or is it the fulfillment of a lifelong goal?

    Is everybody on-board with this idea? If not, then no matter how well out it is planned, then you will be in for some difficulty. Even if everybody in your group likes the idea, the reality is that during the course of such a trip, feelings may change. It is important to be flexible for those situations.

    Are there any sights in particular that you would like to see while you are in the States? So far from your post I see Alaska, Hawaii, and Las Vegas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Four Cross-Countries Should Do It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, I think the basic plan for your endeavor is staring you in the face, assuming that you will be arriving from and returning to Australia on both of your visits. You would do a fairly elongated loop drive on each visit, crossing the country back and forth. That essentially gives you four cross-country drives and would let you easily hit all fifty states without too much backtracking and with plenty of time, given that you'll have four months for each visit. This would also save you a bit of money in that you would buy a simple round trip flights and do a 'local' car rental (with unlimited miles of course!), thus avoiding the extra expense of open-jaw airfares or one-way drop off fees on the car.

    As just a very rough outline of what such a trip would look like, your April-September drive would concentrate on the northern and Rocky Mountain states. For this one, you might want to look into possibly flying into Chicago, New York or another inland city so that you can be in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle) in mid-summer rather than at the ends of your trip, and take the ferry up to Alaska from there then. That's one of the beauties of loop trips is that it doesn't matter where you start/end - you get to see everything anyway, and you can adjust the timing to suit your other needs.

    Anyway, assuming you land in Chicago, you'd then visit the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, OH) and then head up through the Northeast (PA, NY) to New England (VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT) and the mid-Atlantic (NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA) on through the Border States (WV, KY, MO) across the Plains to the northern Rockies (NE, WY, ID) to the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, AK) and then re-cross the Rockies (ID, MT) the northern Plains (ND, SD, IA) to the Upper Midwest (MN, WI) and back to Chicago).

    For the winter (at least here) leg you'd land in Los Angeles or San Francisco and then do the 'northern' part of that trip first heading across the Sierra Nevada and the Rockies first (CA, NV, UT, CO) the middle Plains (KS, OK, AR) through the upper South (TN, NC, SC) and the Deep South (GA, FL, AL, MS, LA) then the Southwest (TX, NM, AZ) and returning to your starting point on the west coast.

    As I said, that should give you a rough outline of a workable plan. And you can now start filling in the details on the maps and atlases that Donna suggested you get.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-28-2011 at 03:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It's more than possible,

    The RTA member record is something like all 50 states in 10 days or something like that -- I'd have to look it up again, and it was completed on a motorcycle. Here's the field report! Steven accomplished this in 9 days, 17 hours and 16 minutes.

    Here's a route that was considerably more reasonable in approach and result... Quest-4 June 28th to December 24th

    I've been in all 50 states, but like Donna, I've only seen a bit of them. Realistically you could choose one state, like California or Montana, and travel every weekend for a lifetime and still not see "everything".

    One time I spent six weeks on the road every day criss-crossing Arkansas -- one of my favorite states -- and I figure I only saw about 22% of the state....

    So, what you're referring to is possible, but you really need to decide what "seeing every state" really means to you.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From One Aussie to Another.

    Quote Originally Posted by lifechangingyear View Post
    ... travelling from Australia for 12 months in 2012...
    We plan to be in the US from mid April to mid July and then again from mid October to mid January.
    My question would be, where is the rest of your 12 months taking you? I assume that July to October will be spent somewhere in Europe, or another destination away from the North American continent. In which case it would make sense to start / end each leg at the most convenient entry port, and travel cross country twice, hitting all the States you plan to visit.

    But how much will you see? I have now spent more than 20 months over four visits, and although I have visited 48 of the 50 States, have barely started scratching the surface of what there is to see.

    How old are the children?

    Lifey in Melbourne
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-06-2012 at 10:05 PM.

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