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  1. Default Route - Comments please

    I'm planning a Road trip either in October this year or March/April next starting in Dallas, then driving in car rental one way stages through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. Then Vegas, LA and San Francisco. If money allows I may add an Amtrak to the East Coast and possibly back to Dallas.

    I'm UK based and I would welcome any comments on best time of year, expected weather, must-sees along the way and whether I would run into problems maintaining an Internet connection at various hotels and on the train. I have to keep supporting customers in the UK as I run a small IT based business.

    Thanks
    Luca

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Are you saying you will be using a series of one-way car rentals? That is going to get very expensive, because each one-way drop will carry a substantial fee.

    Almost all hotels have wi-fi these days, that should not be a problem. Amtrak has limited bandwidth wi-fi in select stations and trains.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Timing and Connectivity

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For a trip through the desert southwest, spring and early fall are the preferred times of the year. You avoid both the heat of summer and the hoard of tourists that are on the roads while schools are out for the summer. Personally, I like May and mid to late September. One (of many, many) routes that you could take would head northwest out of Dallas into northern New Mexico to explore some of the Spanish and Native American cultural influences, then continue westward taking in the many national parks of the Four Corners area ending up at the Grand Canyon. If you come in early May, the North Rim may not be open, but the South Rim will be. Then a sampling of decadence in Las Vegas and finish off with either a drive up the California coast or a crossing of the Sierra Nevadas through Yosemite to San Francisco.

    There is, however, a real problem with your hopes to take Amtrak between California and the east coast while still remaining in digital contact with your work. Neither of the main eastbound trains from the California coast, the California Zephyr from San Francisco or the Southwest Chief from Los Angeles, has WiFi available. You might find some service at a few stations along the way, and most hotels and motels in the US have connectivity, but nothing even remotely resembling continuous service for the bulk of the trip.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-24-2013 at 08:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    As far as the Internet connection is concerned, I wouldn't expect to maintain a continuous connection. But if you can schedule around expected times of connectivity - such as when you arrive at a hotel - you should be okay. I am guessing that you won't be expecting any sudden surprises where you'd have to have a connection that very instant, are you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you must have instant connectivity, you should probably buy a no-contract pay as you go aircard for your laptop that uses one of the major carriers' networks.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    Are you saying you will be using a series of one-way car rentals? That is going to get very expensive, because each one-way drop will carry a substantial fee.

    I've done a few costings trying to make the distance travelled between drops fairly reasonable. In most cases I would drop the car off, spend a day or two there and move on with another rental. Although not the best way of doing it, I was expecting it to be a lot more expensive than it was.

    It's difficult for a UK resident to purchase a car in the US. There's also the question of maintenance if something should go dramatically wrong. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

    Luca

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    For a trip through the desert southwest, spring and early fall are the preferred times of the year. You avoid both the heat of summer and the hoard of tourists that are on the roads while schools are out for the summer. Personally, I like May and mid to late September. One (of many, many) routes that you could take would head northwest out of Dallas into northern New Mexico to explore some of the Spanish and Native American cultural influences, then continue westward taking in the many national parks of the Four Corners area ending up at the Grand Canyon. If you come in early May, the North Rim may not be open, but the South Rim will be. Then a sampling of decadence in Las Vegas and finish off with either a drive up the California coast or a crossing of the Sierra Nevadas through Yosemite to San Francisco.
    AZBuck
    That sounds like an ideal route, although I'm still not definite about Vegas. I wanted to see the Hoover Dam and the large crater near Wilmslow.

    I'm going to have to make a compromise on the Internet connectivity also and maybe nominate someone trustworthy to take care of any unforeseen emergencies by text or voice.

    Thanks
    Luca

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim View Post
    I am guessing that you won't be expecting any sudden surprises where you'd have to have a connection that very instant, are you?
    It has been required in the past but very rarely. I could also talk some key people through fixes over the phone.

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

    Default Keep the one car?

    If you are only spending a day or two at any destination, why would you not just keep the car? Often two days rental will be cheaper than the drop fee, and longer rentals can also work out more economical.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If you must have instant connectivity, you should probably buy a no-contract pay as you go aircard for your laptop that uses one of the major carriers' networks.
    Any suggestions regarding which network?

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