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  1. Default Phoenix -> West Shenanigans -> New York

    Hello all!

    I have been lurking on the RTA forums for a few months now and really enjoyed the advice a lot of you have given people, but now I could use a little bit of my own.

    I'll start by giving you a run-down of as much info as I can:

    WHO: three 20-somethings
    WHEN: 14+ Days
    WHERE: starting point Phoenix, ending point New York
    HOW: 4-door Sedan

    My Uncle out in Phoenix, who flips cars as a side way to make some money, is willing to let two buddies of mine and myself take a car from Arizona and bring it back to New York anyway we deem fit. So our journey will begin in Phoenix right about the middle of August.

    So far, we are definitely aiming to do two nights in Vegas (only point where we won't really care about expenses), then proceed to San Luis Obispo where we have a family-friend who can house us for a night. From there, we'd ride the pacific coast highway up to San Jose / San Fran and spend a day or two with a mutual friend there. After that, the only concrete plan is Seattle, where one of us has family that can house us.

    At that point, we have a couple weeks (if need be) to do and get to New York as we please. I've mapped out the first leg / West Coast of our trip pretty extensively, but from here we don't really want a concrete schedule, but kind of just want to go, if that makes sense.

    The only absolutely necessary thing i'd like to do once heading back east, since we'll be up north in Seattle at that point, is ride the Going-to-the-Sun Road in the Glacier National Park in Montana. As a huge fan of The Shining and Scenic Roads, I'd really like to drive it.

    From there, I'd love some suggestions RTA! We have family/friends in Kansas City, Savannah, Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas and some other places, but we don't have to base our travels on their location.

    I figure since we have more than a week to get from Seattle to NY, that means we don't have to spend every day driving and can actually spend time at places. Any recommendations?

    Also we are really interested in cutting costs. How is it sleeping in your car at truck stops? Safe? Worth it?

    Looking forward to hearing some responses.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-22-2013 at 09:03 AM. Reason: New membeers may not post links to outside sites

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Iconic Sites

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While around here we don't believe in "must see" venues, there are several iconic locations in between Seattle and New York that you can get to with a bit of 'detouring'. After driving the Gong to the Sun Highway, I'd suggest that you stay in the Rockies for a while and head south on US-287 to Yellowstone National Park. Leave that park to the south using US-191/US-26/US-287 to Rawlins WY and then work your way down through Wyoming and Colorado on some 'back' roads such as WY-130/WY-230/CO-125 to the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy that park and then as you exit to the east at Estes Park be sure to stop at the Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for The Shining.

    After a possible stop in Denver head out onto the Great Plains on I-70, occasionally taking the time to sidetrack onto old US-40 and experience the small towns along the way. Your next major stops should then be St. Louis to take the unique 'elevator' to the top of the Arch, Indianapolis to visit the Motor Speedway, and Dayton for the U.S. Air Force Museum. Then drop down from I-70 using I-79 to I-68 and head into Washington to visit the museums and monuments along the National Mall. Finally, fight your way up I-95 and the Jersey turnpike to New York.

    Now, finances. I think you're making a major mistake if you really plan to blow a bundle in Las Vegas and then try to make up for it by sleeping in your car at truck stops. Yes, it's relatively safe to sleep at truck stops - they're usually well-lit with lots of activity through the night. But those same attributes and the fact that you cannot lie down mean that you will NOT get a good night's sleep. That's OK for maybe one night, but you'll feel it the next day. You certainly can't keep that up night after night for a week or more. You can usually find a Motel 6, Red Roof Inn, Super 8, or similar budget motel somewhere along the Interstates that will rent you a room with two queen beds for $50 or less. Spend your money on that rather than a couple of nights carousing. You body and your memories will thank you.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-22-2013 at 05:22 PM.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the response, AZBuck!

    I don't think I explained myself clear enough in regards to Vegas spending, especially since I've found a fair amount of good deals on Las Vegas Advisor and other sources. We're not big gamblers at all, so we don't plan on putting all out gas money on black or something like that. I simply meant that if there was one point we didn't mind spending more than less, it'd be Vegas (first time there for all three of us).

    I really like the idea of the Rockies and Yellowstone, it sounds lovely. And thanks for the back-road suggestions: I love going off the beaten path.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Just keep in mind that it's a 5 day drive from Seattle to NYC on Interstates with no sightseeing detours. Plan your time accordingly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default You need a good nights sleep.

    There is no way 3 of you can get a half decent nights sleep in a Sedan and you'll probably end up grumpy with each other real quick. Have you thought about investing in some basic camping gear to keep costs down ?

  6. Default

    We have definitely thought about it, as my uncle is also an avid camper. And yeah, I figured the truck stop sleeping in the car option was more of a last resort.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Look at it this way - showers at a truck stop are 10 bucks - and there are 3 of you. For $50 you can get a cheap hotel room which may even have a free continental breakfast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Out of curiosity, how much money do you think you're going to have available?

    It sounds like you're able to keep this trip fairly open ended, but at the same time, the longer you're gone, the more money you'll need. You mentioned 14+ days, but based on what you've already got planned, you're already going to need a good 2 weeks just for the things you mentioned in your first post, including pretty much a full week to go from Seattle to NY via Glacier. If you start throwing in Yellowstone and the other great places Buck mentioned, you're time is very quickly going to meltaway, where you could easily be looking at 3-4 weeks on the road. Not that its a bad thing, but it should be something you keep in mind.

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