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  1. #1

    Default Planning a trip April/May 2014 South West USA - Phoenix onwards

    Need to save, hence the forward planning - never been to the US before, and want to do quirky - Phoenix, Monument Valley, Taos, Alberquerque - have 16 days and don't want to spend all day driving, do want to discover, sorry, the "real America", and meet people and not do tourist traps, all help much appreciated, otherwise, we book flights and wing it. All help appreciated - regarding budget - its my 50th birthday and our 30th wedding anniversary - not wanting to blow the budget, but would appreciate comfort. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Winging it.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by JulesT View Post
    ... otherwise, we book flights and wing it.
    It may have been said in jest, but don't underestimate the delights of just winging it. It allows one to meet the locals, everytime one stops and asks what there is of interest in the area, everytime one asks a local where would they go for a day / week away.

    On my first trip to North America, this is exactly what I did, and somehow I wish I could again hit the road in blissful ignorance, simply following the blow of the wind. Unfortuantely, I now know too much to be able to replicate that memorable trip.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-05-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    It may have been said in jest, but don't underestimate the delights of just winging it.
    Not jesting - although it will kill me, if we go out of season, would just about be able to cope, husband will be fine - visited my daughter in Aus with as portfolio of where we were going/staying etc. but can try!!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-05-2013 at 02:53 PM. Reason: fixed quote format

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JulesT View Post
    Need to save, hence the forward planning - never been to the US before, and want to do quirky - Phoenix, Monument Valley, Taos, Alberquerque - have 16 days and don't want to spend all day driving, do want to discover, sorry, the "real America", and meet people and not do tourist traps, all help much appreciated, otherwise, we book flights and wing it. All help appreciated - regarding budget - its my 50th birthday and our 30th wedding anniversary - not wanting to blow the budget, but would appreciate comfort. Thanks
    Amusingly, my wife and I will be on our own trip to the UK and likely passing through Chester in a couple months.

    Just a thought:

    Are you set on Phoenix as the destination for your flight? In your position, I would be tempted to recuperate from a trans-Atlantic flight in Albuquerque or Santa Fe rather than Phoenix (unless there is something you want to see or do in Phoenix) by flying into Albuquerque. But then again, I am not really a fan of Phoenix, so take this with a grain of salt.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Phoenix and Albuquerque both have something to be said for them. You can discover any of the things you mentioned (Monument Valley, Taos, Phx or Abq) from either city. If it were me, I'd see which city would be cheaper to fly in/out of. (I'm guessing it might be Phoenix.) April/May just gets into the "hot season" of the desert of Phoenix, though.

    Take a look around the Map Center here on RTA and see what makes you excited, and open a paper map of the four-state area (AZ, UT, NM, CO) and see what looks like fun. Off-hand, from Phoenix you could go north through Sedona to the Grand Canyon, then northeast into Monument Valley, look at Petrified Forest, head over to Albuquerque and up to Taos, then into southwestern CO where you could get into the Rocky Mountains - Durango-Silverton, Mesa Verde NP, and more.


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default It's real.

    never been to the US before, and want to do quirky - Phoenix, Monument Valley, Taos, Alberquerque - have 16 days and don't want to spend all day driving, do want to discover, sorry, the "real America", and meet people and not do tourist traps,
    'Real America' can be found in major City's, small towns, State and National parks, well just about everywhere you look really. The 'Tourist Traps' are very much a part of 'Real America', just check out the history of the forming of the National Parks, Monument valley and Taos Pueblo could be described as tourist traps as that's what they are all set up for.

    The point being is you will find friendly people, great scenery, history, solitude and different cultures [and more] wherever you go, 'Real America' is everywhere. So now we get down to what your interests are, other than quirkey of course. If it's wide and varied then the Four corners are perfect for you with all of the above. Donna has come up with some great suggestions and I would throw some of the National Parks of Southern Utah into the hat, Zion, Bryce canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands would all be achievable in a loop trip from Phoenix with wonderful drives and towns in between.

  7. Default

    open a paper map of the four-state area (AZ, UT, NM, CO) and see what looks like fun.
    Donna
    Hi Donna,
    I've posted re "Las Vegas to Los Angeles via Yellowstone" and specifically asked advice re sourcing 'paper maps' - I'm sure an Atlas would be too superficial compared to a 'paper map'... any ideas where from when not American based?

    thank you - and to the original poster, we too are planning our trip around a 30th Wedding Anniversary :-)
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-08-2013 at 05:55 PM. Reason: fixed quote format

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Maps.

    Your local book store should hold some paper maps in stock and if not, will be able to order them. I usually buy a paper map of each State I am travelling through for more detail. If you would prefer to order on-line, simply put your cursor on the 'Shop' link in the tool bar above and select 'Atlas and Maps'.

    Dave.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Me thinks not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lianne View Post
    ... I'm sure an Atlas would be too superficial compared to a 'paper map'...
    Every trip I get paper maps from AAA and a Rand McNally atlas, and I have to say that the atlas is pretty much up there with the paper maps. Rarely do I find things on the maps I get, which are not in the Rand McNally.

    As Dave suggested, try your local bookstore or map shop. If that fails, you can order them online.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    Thanks Dave and Lifey (fellow Aussie!),
    online would be my preference but this site only sells the Atlas' as best I can see (and we do have one already - interested to note your high praise Lifey) so I'll try AAA :-) thanks

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