Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23
  1. Default USA Road Trip in 75 days!

    Alright fellow roadtrippers. Roadtripping runs in my family but as I'm from NYC, I've never taken one, so this summer, I've been saving up for a 75 day road trip to take me to California and back again!

    I've scoured the internet for the best advice on where to go and what to do, but I'm not there yet. Right now, I'm still in the planning my route stages. If I end up making it a 70 or an 80 day road trip, that's fine, but 75 days is probably where my budget is - around $8,000 as half of these places I am staying with friends.

    I'm hoping that I can get some advice on which of the places on my list are worth staying for more than a day, and whether or not it needs some work and such. Basically, I need to figure out how to get back from Seattle. =/

    Just a heads up - most of these places, I've never been to before. I'm on a strict budget and would like to see as much of the country as I can in one summer. Someday, I'd like to come back to these places and maybe even visit every state! But, for now, its okay if I miss out on some things along the way if it means visiting more places and seeing more of the country.

    Here's my TENTATIVE schedule:
    Day 1: NY -> DC
    Day 2: DC
    Day 3: DC -> Colonial Williamsburg -> Virginia Beach/Norfolk, VA
    Day 4: Virginia Beach/Norfolk, VA -> Myrtle Beach, SC
    Day 5: Extra day in either Williamsburg, Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach
    Day 6: Myrtle Beach, SC -> Savannah, SC (possibly Charleston instead?)
    Day 7: Savannah, SC -> Kennedy Space Center -> Orlando, FL
    Day 8: Orlando, FL
    Day 9: Orlando, FL
    Day 10: Orlando, FL -> Tallahassee, FL -> Atlanta, GA
    Day 11: Atlanta, GA
    Day 12: Atlanta, GA -> Nashville, TN
    Day 13: Nashville, TN -> Birmingham, AL
    Day 14: Birmingham, AL -> New Orleans, LA
    Day 15: New Orleans, LA
    Day 16: New Orleans, LA
    Day 17: New Orleans -> Houston, TX
    Day 18: Houston, TX
    Day 19: Houston, TX -> Dallas, TX
    Day 20: Dallas, TX
    Day 21: Dallas, TX -> Little Rock, AR
    Day 22: Little Rock, AR -> Oklahoma City, OK
    Day 23: Oklahoma City, OK -> Santa Fe, NM
    Day 24: Santa Fe, NM -> 4 Corners -> Flagstaff, AZ
    Day 25: Flagstaff, AZ -> Grand Canyon -> Phoenix, AZ
    Day 26: Phoenix, AZ
    Day 27: Phoenix, AZ -> San Diego, CA
    Day 28: San Diego, CA
    Day 29: San Diego, CA
    Day 30: San Diego, CA -> Anaheim, CA -> Disneyland
    Day 31: Disneyland
    Day 32: Los Angeles, CA
    Day 33: Los Angeles, CA
    Day 34: Los Angeles, CA -> Las Vegas, NV
    Day 35: Las Vegas, NV
    Day 36: Las Vegas, NV -> Fresno, CA
    Day 37: Fresno, CA -> Yosemite -> San Francisco, CA
    Day 38: San Francisco, CA
    Day 39: San Francisco, CA
    Day 40: San Fran -> Santa Rosa, CA
    Day 41: Santa Rosa, CA -> Up the coast, stopping somewhere along 101
    Day 42: Somewhere along the coast -> Portland, OR
    Day 43: Portland, OR
    Day 44: Portland, OR -> Seattle, WA
    Day 45: Seattle, WA
    Day 46: Seattle, WA - Olympic Park
    Day 47: Seattle, WA -> Boise, ID
    Day 48: Yellowstone?
    Day 49: Yellowstone?
    Day 50: Salt Lake City, UT (Or should I go right to Mount Rushmore, and then to Nebraska?)
    Day 51: Salt Lake City, UT -> Boulder, CO/Denver, CO
    Day 52: Denver, CO
    Day 53: Denver, CO -> Mount Rushmore, SD
    Day 54: Mount Rushmore, SD -> Omaha, NE
    Day 55: Omaha, NE -> Des Moines, IA
    Day 56: Des Moines, IA -> Kansas City, KS
    Day 57: Kansas City, KS -> St. Louis, MO
    Day 58: St. Louis, MO -> Chicago, IL
    Day 59: Chicago, IL
    Day 60: Chicago, IL
    Day 61: Chicago, IL -> Indianapolis, IN
    Day 62: Indianapolis, IN -> Cincinnati, OH
    Day 63: Cincinnati, OH -> Columbus, OH
    Day 64: Columbus, OH -> Cleveland, OH
    Day 65: Cleveland, OH -> Pittsburgh, PA
    Day 66: Pittsburgh, PA
    Day 67: Pittsburgh, PA -> Niagara Falls, NY/Buffalo, NY
    Day 68: Niagara Falls, NY -> Albany, NY
    Day 69: Albany, NY -> Somewhere in VT
    Day 70: Somewhere in VT -> Portland, ME
    Day 71: Portland, ME
    Day 72: Portland, ME -> Boston, MA
    Day 73: Boston, MA
    Day 74: Boston, MA -> New Haven,CT
    Day 75: New Haven, Ct -> New York

    Let me know what you think!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You Must Remember This

    A list is just a list. (With apologies to Herman Hupfeld)

    The problem for us in trying to tell you where you should spend your time is that we don't know your interests, your likes and dislikes, how long it takes you to drink in the essence of a place. That is one of the reasons why RoadTrips are such personal experiences and why, even when we give specific advice, we always come back to the main mantra of RoadTripping, make it your own.

    Personally, I could spend several days in Virginia's historic triangle, but in fact couldn't stand more than a few hours in the Orlando area, and while I have spent at least some time in every city on your list, cities aren't really where I've had my best RoadTrip experiences. Those have mostly come at great natural wonders, or in chance encounters at local parks and diners.

    I will say that your budget is going to be a problem. For starters, by the time you add in side trips and driving in the cities, you're looking at around $2000 just for gas. The don't forget that the car will need maintenance on a trip of that length, oil changes, inspections, maybe a lube job, even if you have it completely serviced before departure. That leaves you less than $6000 to live on for about 2½ months. That's the equivalent of trying to live on an annual budget of about $27,500. And travel is not a cheap lifestyle. Your meals will be more expensive than what you can prepare out of your own kitchen. You will need to do a short term rental of a bed and roof most nights. Even staying in relatively low cost motels, that's going to push to $3000+ for your trip. Staying some with friends may help (You do plan to return their largess with some form of gift, at least a dinner out, don't you?) but it will still not be enough to make a large dent in the cost of this enterprise.

    So the first thing I'd advise you to do is to either save up a bit more or trim the trip. The drive back from Seattle is a good example. You currently plan to zigzag back and fort, north and south, for most of it. You'll need to focus a bit more on maintaining a (more or less) straight line east bound through the places that most intrigue you. Mainly, on your current budget, you need to trim both days and miles, the two biggest cost drivers for any RoadTrip.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply, AZBuck.

    In terms of what I'd like to see, I really don't have a lot of preference. If there is a scenic route or a historical place or an art museum or a fun amusement park, if I have time, I'd like to see it. I guess that's a hard thing to explain, but I guess it means I'll have to do most of the planning of where I'm going myself. I was hoping to get some input on, if its your first time on a road trip, you can skip X place and go to Y place instead. Hopefully I'll find some more input on the internet.

    In terms of gas, my car is great with gas mileage so according to my calculations, with side trips and driving through cities, it should be under $1500 for gas. While I do plan on buying my friends a bottle of wine for their troubles. Most of them haven't seen me in ages, they understand my budget and have been hosted at my house for free many a time. I apologize if that makes me a moocher, but they know I'd do the same for them. That gives me about $80 a day to spend. I'm a light eater. Most of the hostels and motels I'm looking at offer free breakfast, and my friends will provide me when I'm at their houses. For lunch and dinner when I'm on the road, I normally spend a little more than necessary for lunch and have the leftovers for dinner, or spend more for dinner and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. That still leaves me with about $50 a day to spend on seeing things.

    Since some days I will just be driving and not paying for anything, that allows me for greater expenses on other days. But larger expenses - theme parks, I have friends that work at those places and are able to get me in.

    Anyway, thank you for the budget advice, but really, I'm looking more for where I should go advice. As you said, I have a lot of zig-zagging, which I'm fine with if it means seeing more, but if the other places are not worth seeing because I need another day or two in other places, that would be worth taking into consideration. Can anyone offer general input on what THEY would do (even if its not what you think I would do) or what they have done in the past? It would help a ton.

    Thanks much!

  4. Default

    Also, its worth noting that I'm a 22 year old single female who is very used to living on a small budget, even when traveling. Other things that will probably help with planning as well - I'm not interested in 4-star hotels or spas or cabins. Most motels I'm looking at will be a place to rest my head before I wake up again in the morning. I'm bringing a bike along with me to travel through cities that are accessible by bike to save on gas.

    Hmmm... what else?

    Oh, I come from a large family of roadtrippers who therefore of are no use in planning because they all want me to explore every backroad and avoid every tourist thing, but I feel that since this is my first trip that I should do the tourist things first and then next time I visit these places I can take the backroads. :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    It's your trip, so you should do the planning and do what you want to do, if there are no other people involved in the trip.

    My husband and I went on a 7-1/2 week trip this summer -- two of us, stayed quite a bit of time with family, used cheap to mid-grade motels, ate "in" a number of times, and still spent just over $5000. Click here for our expense report, for an almost 9000 mile trip. (We went from our home near San Diego, across to Orlando FL, up north to Acadia NP, then headed west via central Missouri, Colorado, and northern Utah.)

    The point is -- Buck's correct on his assessment of your financial plans. Notice that we had a $1700 repair bill on our vehicle in the middle of our trip.


  6. Default

    Okay, so looking at your trip, even though I know I won't be spending as much because I'm only one person, I guess I should cut out some. I think if I cut out a week, $8000 should still be okay. I was planning on having about 500-800 from savings as a back-up - I don't know if I can realistically plan on $1700 worth of car trouble - What happened?!?!

    So, here's the new plan.

    Advice on if I should cut out a bit more?

    Day 1: NY -> DC
    Day 2: DC
    Day 3: DC -> Colonial Williamsburg -> Virginia Beach/Norfolk, VA
    Day 4: Virginia Beach/Norfolk, VA -> Myrtle Beach, SC
    Day 5: Extra day in either Williamsburg, Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach
    Day 6: Myrtle Beach, SC -> Savannah, SC (possibly Charleston instead?)
    Day 7: Savannah, SC -> Kennedy Space Center -> Orlando, FL
    Day 8: Orlando, FL
    Day 9: Orlando, FL
    Day 10: Orlando, FL -> Mobile, AL
    Day 11: Mobile, AL -> New Orleans, LA
    Day 12: New Orleans, LA
    Day 13: New Orleans, LA
    Day 14: New Orleans -> Houston, TX
    Day 15: Houston, TX
    Day 16: Houston, TX -> Dallas, TX
    Day 17: Dallas, TX
    Day 18: Dallas, TX -> Oklahoma City, OK
    Day 19: Oklahoma City, OK -> Santa Fe, NM
    Day 20: Santa Fe, NM -> 4 Corners -> Flagstaff, AZ
    Day 21: Flagstaff, AZ -> Grand Canyon -> Phoenix, AZ
    Day 22: Phoenix, AZ
    Day 23: Phoenix, AZ -> San Diego, CA
    Day 24: San Diego, CA
    Day 25: San Diego, CA
    Day 26: San Diego, CA -> Anaheim, CA -> Disneyland
    Day 27: Disneyland
    Day 28: Los Angeles, CA
    Day 29: Los Angeles, CA
    Day 30: Los Angeles, CA -> Las Vegas, NV
    Day 31: Las Vegas, NV
    Day 32: Las Vegas, NV -> Fresno, CA
    Day 33: Fresno, CA -> Yosemite -> San Francisco, CA
    Day 34: San Francisco, CA
    Day 35: San Francisco, CA
    Day 36: San Fran -> Santa Rosa, CA
    Day 37: Santa Rosa, CA -> Up the coast, stopping somewhere along 101
    Day 38: Somewhere along the coast -> Portland, OR
    Day 39: Portland, OR
    Day 40: Portland, OR -> Seattle, WA
    Day 41: Seattle, WA
    Day 42: Seattle, WA - Olympic Park
    Day 43: Seattle, WA -> Boise, ID? (Maybe I could stay in Montana instead?)
    Day 44: Yellowstone?
    Day 45: Yellowstone?
    Day 46: Somewhere near Yellowstone -> Boulder, CO/Denver, CO
    Day 47: Denver, CO
    Day 48: Denver, CO -> Mount Rushmore, SD? (skip Rushmore?)
    Day 49: Mount Rushmore, SD -> Omaha, NE
    Day 50: Omaha, NE -> Kansas City, KS
    Day 51: Kansas City, KS -> St. Louis, MO
    Day 52: St. Louis, MO -> Chicago, IL
    Day 53: Chicago, IL
    Day 54: Chicago, IL
    Day 55: Chicago, IL -> Cincinnati, OH
    Day 56: Cincinnati, OH -> Columbus, OH
    Day 57: Columbus, OH -> Cleveland, OH
    Day 58: Cleveland, OH -> Pittsburgh, PA
    Day 59: Pittsburgh, PA -> Niagara Falls, NY/Buffalo, NY
    Day 60: Niagara Falls, NY -> Albany, NY
    Day 61: Albany, NY -> Somewhere in VT
    Day 62: Somewhere in VT -> Portland, ME
    Day 63: Portland, ME
    Day 64: Portland, ME -> Boston, MA
    Day 65: Boston, MA
    Day 66: Boston, MA -> New Haven,CT
    Day 67: New Haven, Ct -> New York

    Also any answers to my questions - where to stay on 101 in Oregon or CA, whether or not to do Mount Rushmore, Savannah vs. Charleston, and Boise, IO or staying in Missoula or somewhere in Montana?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default So Be It Then,

    If you are 'comfortable in your own skin', and have enough experience to know your own travel style, then that's fine. You'd be surprised at the number of young RoadTrippers who don't have a clue what such endeavors entail and we would be remiss to just shower them in rose petals and rainbows.

    Some suggestions that might fit your goals then would include continuing south following the coast from Virginia Beach there's Kitty Hawk and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at the northern end of the Outer Banks and the drive down the Banks can be quite nice but I would hesitate to recommend it in summer when it can be quite crowded. The ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke is free and the one from Ocracoke to Cedar Island is only $15 or so. In Charleston, the ride out to Fort Sumter will give you a good view of the harbor and city as well as transportation to an historic site, and if naval history interests you they're currently restoring the CSS Hunley in town. In southern Georgia there are a couple of unique national treasures, Cumberland Island National Seashore and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. And just a cross the state line in Florida, American history doesn't get much older than St. Augustine. Between New Orleans and Houston, there are a series of connected 'back' roads that are collectively known as the Creole Nature Trail that you might want to look at.

    Then as you get a little farther west...Four Corners id geographically unique, but there's really nothing there but a marker and there's a charge to see that. I think you'd be better off seeing one or both of two nearby spots, Mesa Verde National park and/or Monument Valley which is a Navajo Nation Tribal Park. Heading south from Flagstaff to Phoenix, try to take AZ-89A down through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. If Fresno is a definite stop rather than just a waypoint, you're probably better off including it between Yosemite and San Francisco and then going from Las Vegas up through Death Valley and over Tioga Pass into Yosemite. That's certainly a more scenic route. Since you will have missed the Big Sur coast, by all means include some of the northern California coast after Santa Rosa. You can get to it using CA-12 and the Bodega Highway and then follow the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1/US-101) north through the redwood parks around Orick. For my own taste, Oregon has some of the best Pacific coastline, and of course near Astoria there are several Lewis and Clark sites. It's probably also worth your time to take a drive up portions of the Historic Columbia River Highway (old US-30) east of Portland. There are a number of great waterfalls just a short hike, or closer, from that road.

    Heading back east, If Salt Lake City is not on the list for a visit to a friend, it's one place that you can drop in favor of shortening your route a bit and from Yellowstone (Please remove the question mark!) head south through the Grand Tetons and then cut southeast through Wyoming ant the Great Basin, heading for Rocky Mountain National Park and Denver. And there's lots more to see in the Rapid City area than Mount Rushmore, including Devils Tower, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial and Badlands National Park. A couple of 'historic' sites I found very interesting in Missouri were Harry Truman's home in Independence and the Museum of Westward Expansion under the Arch in St. Louis.

    I think I'll stop there. But one thing. As the above listing suggests, you're going to be hitting a large number of national parks, monuments and historic sites. Whichever one you come to first, ask for the annual pass ($80) good for admission to the entire park system. It will turn out to be a bargain.


  8. Default

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, AZBuck!

    That was incredibly helpful! :)

    I really appreciate all the info! Unfortunately, I have to visit the Four Corners as my mother has never been, and she wants a picture really REALLY badly haha Its not high on my list, but what can you do?

    Everything else sounds fantastic though. And my brother is going to get me an Annual Pass for my birthday, which I'm very excited about!

    Here's another question - I will be spenidng July 4th on the road and I was curious if it would be better to time my trip so that I'm in Seattle or in California?

    What do you all think?

    Also, any tips for single women roadtripping?

  9. #9

    Default Virginia Beach to Myrtle Beach

    Hello staceyyes,

    My only contribution is to look carefully at AZ Buck's suggestion of going directly along the NC coast as you leave Virginia Beach for Myrtle Beach, SC.

    Caveat #1: you should consider taking your extra day within this segment. At best, it's 3-3.5 hours, with minimal stops, from Va Beach to Hatteras Village, likely some kind of wait for the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry (which, for the time being, remains free), at least 45 minutes on the ferry on Ocracoke, at least 45 minutes ON Ocracoke, a wait for the Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry (now a richer $27 fare, reservations a MUST in summer, and don't be mislead about the "Cedar Island" terminal--it's separated from the mainland by a narrow tidal creek), and another hour, at least, to reach Beaufort/Morehead City. Then, it's at least 2-2.5 hours to Myrtle Beach via NC 24, NC route through Camp LeJeune USMC base, to Myrtle Beach via US 17. And in that hurry to do it in a day you must skip the Lifesaving Station on Hatteras Island, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the Ocracoke Lighthouse, the British Cemetery on Ocracoke (officially British soil and the resting place for British Navy sailors killed when their submarine chaser was torpedoed off Ocracoke in 1942), Ocracoke Village itself, and the Beaufort and Wilmington waterfronts.

    Caveat #2: Should you choose this route, even with the extra day, your departure from Va Beach must not be on a Saturday or Sunday. In summer, both weekend days are "changeover days" when approximately half of the entire vacationing population of the Northeastern US drives through the Va Beach area enroute to the Outer Banks, and the other half is checking out of weeklong rentals on the Outer Banks and is headed home. The resulting traffic bedlam is memorable to all but those very tourists, who are apparently used to it back home.

    Caveat #3: Bad weather cancels and you just head inland on US 58 to I-95. There's no need to drive into an approaching tropical low, tropical depression, tropical storm, and obviously not a hurricane. High winds suspend ferry operations and one could end up stuck WAY out at the end of the food chain should that occur at either Hatteras or Ocracoke.

    If the weekday/weekend calendar is favorable, I'd consider ending the day in Beaufort or Wilmington. Wilmington's waterfront is the Cape Fear River and there a vibrant collection of strolling walks, tour boats, the battleship USS North Carolina, restaurants, and bars awaits. Quite frankly, I would personally give Myrtle Beach a wide berth and would most certainly not overnight there. If you think the Outer Banks are jammed on changeover days, try Myrtle Beach any day of the week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. As far as I am individually concerned, The Grand Strand is 50 miles of stoplights, T-shirt shops, miniature golf, and 500,000 tourists I can do without.

    For many, much of the enjoyment is in the planning and anticipation. Have fun planning and taking your US RoadTrip!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Some thoughts from another solo female roadtripper

    Quote Originally Posted by staceyyes View Post
    Can anyone offer general input on what THEY would do (even if its not what you think I would do) or what they have done in the past? It would help a ton.
    Stacey, you can get some great ideas of where you might enjoy, if you spend some time reading other roadtrippers' field reports. And whereas you seem to have a pretty good handle on saving money, reading how others have tackled this may give you some more ideas.

    You might also like to look into Couchsurfing. This is a wonderful community where you get the opportunity to meet up with locals who may offer accommodation or simply offer to show you around their area. Whenever I have surfed, I have always taken a small token for my host, or taken them out for a meal. Something small to show your appreciation. Just as when I host someone, I always try to make an effort to show them a little of where I live. Since your trip is still some months off, you have the time to build up some references and get yourself and location verified. It just adds that little extra security.

    As far as travelling as a solo female is concerned, just use all the normal security and safety precautions you do at home. If a place does not feel right, move on. Follow your instinct, it is rarely wrong. I would also get a roadside assistance plan, such as AAA. You don't want to have to stop a stranger along the highway if something goes wrong with the car. Though 99.9% of folk out there are wonderful, friendly and helpful, it is not a risk you want to take. And if you have a credit card as a back up, as well as the reserve you have for emergencies, I'm sure, even in your time frame, you'll be fine.

    You sound like you have a good plan. If the worst comes to the worst, you can always cut the trip short, and head home.


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-24-2013, 08:21 PM
  2. I have 5-6 days - mini road trip
    By Pox in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-21-2011, 01:58 AM
  3. Road trip from LA for 15 days
    By steven1986 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-10-2011, 02:38 PM
  4. NY to ??? - first road trip, 11 days
    By mmv in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-28-2010, 01:10 PM
  5. 45 Days Road Trip from SFO to Around the USA
    By aroundtheUS in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-03-2009, 11:01 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name