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  1. #1

    Default First time to US, asking for advices

    Dear everyone,

    I just registered my account on RTA. So... hi everyone, I'm Steven and I'm now living in Beijing. I need you guys' advices on my road trip plan in the US because I'm such an idiot for travelling.

    I'm planning to go to the US in mid of April for my first road trip there. (Flight tickets are also cheap then.) I've been dreaming about this trip for the past 27 years and finally I got my visa from US embassy yesterday. (Hooray!)

    I want to spend a month in the US, visiting NYC and Washington DC in the east coast (for maybe 1 week?), then fly to somewhere in the west (maybe Las Vegas?) drive through some cities (1-2 weeks), and stay in San Francisco (1 week?) visiting some friends.

    About the west part, I think I should visit Las Vegas, Yellow Stone (the beautiful views in The Brokeback Mountain haunted me for long), Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

    I chose these two routes because I've watched tons of movies about NY, I have a really old friend in DC, and I love all the west movies and road trip movies. I was planning to follow a route from On The Road because I love the book, but I think for a first-time trip, this might not be a wise choice for me.

    My questions are:

    - Do you think the two routes in one month a wise choice for me? Is my timeline reasonable?

    - Do you have some routes on RTA that could be recommended to me?

    - Do you think if I've missed something important on this brief stupid nonsense plan?

    - Can I drive through all these cities alone? Is it a naive idea?

    Thanks a lot for everyone!

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

    Default The first step.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums Steven !

    The great thing about planning your own trip is that you get to go where you want, and to answer your first question, Yes. Your timeline is reasonable and if it's what you want to do, it's a wise choice.

    RTA is brimming with info and trip planning tools. Search the forums and the green tool bars above where you will find 'Routes', Attractions' and places like the Map centre and Map Wizard where you can do both, create routes and find attractions. In the forums you will find informative threads like these here to help with your planning.

    Once you start digging deeper you will find many places that will appeal and then it's up to you what to fit in based on your interests and goals for the trip. I wouldn't say it's a stupid nonsense plan, but like every journey, it starts with a single step and now you have taken that step you need to continue. You will soon discover that you won't be able to see everything, but you can choose. Yellowstone is a place on my 'must do' list at the moment and it does look breathtaking, but there also many places in the southwest not quite so far out from the other places you mention. National parks like Zion and Bryce canyon in Southern Utah, the wonderful Sierra Nevada in California, home to the amazing Yosemite and Sequoia NP's.

    You can drive through the Cities alone but just use your common sense as you would at home. Stick to the main areas of the City and if some place doesn't feel right, it usually isn't. I will let someone else talk about NY and DC, but I believe the usual advice is to not bother with a car in these areas, as the public transport system is far better than trying to drive.

    Carry on with your research and as and when new questions crop up, just ask, Enjoy !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default East coast.

    Dave has already aluded to the fact that you will not want to have a car in either NYC or DC. Both these have excellent public transport, and parking is expensive. There is also a good train service between the two, which takes about three or four hours. April will mean you can probably wing it, and not book everything ahead. Spend the time in NYC to see those sights you have on your list, and then move onto DC. Choose accommodation near one of the subway stations, it will make it easy to get around. I would definitely leave two or three days... or more, for DC. The monuments and musea, although mostly clustered together, really do demand your time and attention. Choose carefully, it can be overwhelming just how much may interest you. For me, I spent the best part of the day, just standing at the Vietnam memorial. It's significance is undescribable. It's emotion brings tears to one's eyes. And that was only one memorial. There are many.


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