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  1. #1

    Default National Lampoons Vacation "out west" trip

    Hi everyone. We are planning a trip "out west". We will have three weeks, and will be traveling by van. This trip will not be taking place till the summer of 2014 or 15. I was hoping to get suggestions on routes and stops/attractions. Where is the world's largest ball of twine?:) We are in Girard, Ohio 44420. We would like to make it to the California coast and back in that time span. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Without knowing some more about members of your party, it's hard to give suggestions. Do you like natural wonders? National Parks? Do you want to go to the cities? Are you looking to mix it up? Do you want a more laid back trip, or do you want to be on the move each day?

    Three weeks is plenty of time to get out to the California coast and back to Ohio.

    As far as the world's largest ball of twine - there are several making claim to that title.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Some starting points

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    With that time frame the best you can do is to get a large wall sized map of the USA, and start plotting on it the places which interest you. I like the National Geographics map for its detail. I would also get it laminated, and use post-it notes to mark your spots. Believe me, between now, and when you plan to go, it will all change many times. All road trips do.

    Start reading the forums. Threads here go back a decade or so, and there is a wealth of information to be found in them. Not only the planning threads, but also the field reports. You will come across all the different things which have interested people, as well as all the sights they have seen along the way. Use the menu on the green bar above as another research tool.

    And don't neglect anything of interest you might read in magazines and papers, anything of interest you may see on television, in fact, anything which you may come across in the next couple of years, check out to see what it is, where it is, etc. and mark it on the map.

    As your interests accumulate on the map, your route will materialise before you. And when you have the dots on the map, the members here will be happy to help you refine your trip, and fill in the blanks.

    Enjoy the planning, it is so much part of the trip.


  4. #4


    My kids are 14, 11, and 9. I am 44. We are also bringing along my mother. I have promised not to tie her up on the roof if she should meet an untimely ending. :)We want to hit the major spots but also want to hit some off the wall type places too. I am thinking of bringing along a tent to stay in some campgrounds as well. I would love to hear about some good places to eat as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Do you mean that is the age you all are now, or will be at the time of the trip... which after all, is still two or three years away.

    As for the 'major spots' and 'off the wall type places', I am sure that in your research over the months and years ahead, you will come across more places of interest to your party, than you will have time to visit. But it has to start with you. You need to define what this trip is going to achieve. What is the prime purpose of the trip? what is the goal? what do the children want? and what are your mother's interests?

    Quote Originally Posted by onbohio View Post
    I would love to hear about some good places to eat as well.
    Any place which is really good, could well have changed hands or chef, by the time of your trip, and may well disappoint. It is all far too early to start focusing in such details. Often the best eating places are found when you arrive in a town, and speak with the locals at your accommodation, in a campground or even in the supermarket. They always know where to find local favourites.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-28-2012 at 05:02 AM. Reason: goofed!

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

    Default First things first.

    As mentioned by Lifey, it's too early to start talking about places to eat and 'Balls of Twine'. The 'Day Dreaming'/planning stage of the trip is all part of the fun and I can almost certainly guarantee that over the coming weeks/months/years your trip will take on many different forms before you 'nail it down' to your final itinerary

    RTA is a great place for researching, digging around the forums and noting things of interest to you and there is much info to help you with your planning in the tool bars above, routes, attractions and the Map centre for example.

    You say you want to "Hit the major spots" so whichever of those interest you and you considered a 'Major spot', mark them on the map. Once you have done so you can start to find different way's of joining those dots together while researching the possibilities in between. That might be a State park, a town or the claimed 'Largest Rocking Chair in the World'.

    A loop trip where you take one route out and another back obviously makes the most sense, so that you are covering new ground each way. Tim mentioned that 3 weeks is plenty of time to drive out to California and back, which it is -but as an example- if you were to drive to SF and loop back from LA, that would be roughly 10 days of driving and you could easily spend a week exploring the National parks and coast of Cali. In other words, you will have to pick and choose carefully from the tens of thousands of attractions that are possible on a trip this size.

    Enjoy the planning and as new questions arise, just ask.

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