Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. #1

    Default Summer 2014 35-Day roadtrip Atlantic to Pacific?

    Hello all!

    I've been browsing around the forums and researching our family road trip for Summer of 2014. We'd like to hit the road for about 5-weeks. We're leaving from Orlando, FL (Well, we'll probably actually leave from Daytona Beach, FL, because we'd like to do an Atlantic-Pacific trip).

    Here's what we know so far --

    1. My husband would like to hit as many states as is possible. We'd ideally like to take the kids to all 50 states before they graduate high school. His current theory is that we would do 1. West trip 2. Midwest Trip 3. East trip 4. Hawaii 5. Alaska over the next 7 years or so.

    2. I really want to take the kids to the Grand Canyon on this trip.

    3. I really don't want to spend crazy amounts of hours on the road on each day. My limit for a day is really about 8 hours. If there was some reason to really push a day or two here and there, I'd be OK with it.

    4. Ideally, we'd come up with an itinerary that included - Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon. Any other national parks (or Mt. Rushmore) that we could reasonably include would be a huge bonus.

    5. Husband would like to go through Kansas City to see family, and is also a huge fan of the Alamo.

    Does anyone have a route saved that hits these highlights? Suggestions as we go about mapping the route? Other National Parks that are must sees?

    I'll appreciate any and all feedback immensely. We've never really attempted a road trip on this scale before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default 28 States in 35 Days

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For the kind of RoadTrip you're contemplating, I would not recommend an Atlantic-to-Pacific trip, but rather an Atantic-to-Pacific-to-Atlantic trip. Believe it or not, such a 'loop' trip could save you both money and miles. If you try to get to a lot of states while simply going 'west', you'll end up doing a lot of north-south zigzagging that will add miles to your total. I'm also assuming that, since you currently plan to start in Florida and end somewhere on the west coast, that you're going to be doing this in a rental car and, since you haven't listed a specific end point, that you will then fly home. Well, it's typically cheaper both to get simple round-trip tickets (home to Orlando to home) rather than sets of two one-way tickets, and it is always cheaper to return a rental car to the place where you pick it up rather than some place 3000 miles away.

    So, with those thoughts in mind, what can you do in 35 days from Orlando/Daytona? First, head up through Georgia to Nashville, then westward through St. Louis to Kansas City. Head north up the Missouri River, crossing occasionally to pick up the states on both sides, to Sioux Falls. Turn west again and follow I-90/US-14 to hit the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Devils Tower on your way to Yellowstone. US-89 will then take you north through Montana to glacier National Park and US-2/US-395 will get you across southeastern Washington to the Columbia River and on to Portland and the Pacific Ocean. Head south, using I-5 to make speed and US-101 to enjoy the coast and redwoods, to Mount Shasta CA. CA-89/CA-44/US-395 will then take you to Reno and US-50/US-95 will get you near Death Valley and on to Las Vegas. Turning East, US-93 and I-40 will get you to AZ-64 and the Grand Canyon. From there, head northeast up to Monument Valley and the Four Corners area, using US-160 across southern Colorado and hitting Mesa Verde. At Walsenburg, use I-25 south to US-64/US-385/US-87/US-287 to Amarillo. I-40 will then take you east through the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma to Little Rock. Then turn south on US-65 to Tallulah LA and I-20 to Jackson MS. Finally, US-49 will take you down to the Gulf Coast at Mobile and I-10 will return you to Florida.

    Grand totals for the above: 28 states and 7,500 miles (plus side trips). Given that you have 35 days, you'd have to average only 225 miles a day. So, while you'd have to drive most days, none of those days would have to entail more than 8 hours in the car. If you can do three 2-3 hour stints separated by stops at parks or other attractions on a 'standard' day, then you can take a day off every 3-5 days to spend in a major national park or just to relax beside the motel pool.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-25-2013 at 08:20 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Yes, actually, I was thinking Atlantic to Pacific then home! We just bought a new vehicle (Ford Flex) in January and got an extended warranty to be able to take it on this trip. I'm plugging in your itinerary now -- thanks for helping me sort out some ideas...

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

    Default

    My husband and I took a similar road trip last summer. We went from our home in Southern California, over to Orlando FL, then up the east coast to NJ, wound around up to Maine, through upstate NY heading west through the Midwest, stopped in UT on the way home. You can read about it here. I think we touched 30 states.

    I think it's commendable that you want to see if your kids can see all the states before they're 18. It's a lofty goal, and I think if you can show them a LOT, you'll interest them in seeing the rest themselves. My parents had a similar goal for my brother and I -- they didn't quite make the 50 states, but after each of us grew up and got married, we did hit the rest of the states. It just took me a longer time to do it than my brother! (My brother got to travel as part of his career.)


    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you for the link to your trip, Donna. So cool that you hit your 50th state! It also gave me a lot to think about in terms of logistics and planning. Are the coupon books just the ones you pick up at restaurants/road stops? How often do those coupons work?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    The coupon books I was speaking of, are the ones you find at truck stops, visitors centers, restaurants, and occasionally in other places. We've found that they work VERY well, normally. However, when you are in a tourist-y area on a weekend, they may not work at all. I think we found them useless twice -- both in a tourist area, and both on a Saturday evening. (Once was in Myrtle Beach SC, and the other in Portland ME.)


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    As Donna mentioned, the one potential danger of the coupon books is that there is some fine print, the biggest being that if they've already booked up many of their rooms, they don't have to accept the coupon, and then you have to pay full price or go elsewhere.

    Also be careful about the number of people and days on the coupons, as there are times where they will only be good for 2 people or on weekdays, with extra charges for more people or weekend dates.

    I use the coupons pretty frequently, and it's pretty rare when it is a problem, but it can come up from time to time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I have used coupons. They are almost always only valid Sunday through Thursday, and are never valid with a reservation, walk-ins only. The coupon rate is almost always cheaper than any affinity discount (such as AAA, AARP, etc.).

    Speaking of walk-ins, I have only had issues on weekends, late arrivals, and in popular areas in season. The way I travel, I'm normally on the road early in the morning and try to be off the road by dinnertime.

    I have only had a major issue once. It was a Saturday and I was on my way from Death Valley to the Grand Canyon. I came over the mountain into Las Vegas around 7pm and didn't really want to try to stay in LV, so I decided to proceed to Boulder City. There was not a room to be had in town. Rather than backtrack to LV, I pressed on to Kingman and arrived around 10pm. The first 2 hotels I went to were booked up, I got the last room in the 3rd one I tried.

    Another thing about coupons - if you are a member of the hotel's affinity program (I belong to Wyndham Rewards) and use a coupon, you usually cannot get points for your stay. I do get points for just using my AARP discount.

  9. #9

    Default

    In general, have you been better off Priceline-ing or using the coupons?

    We definitely are trying to keep this very big trip budget friendly. We're hoping to stay primarily in hotels with breakfasts included, but for cheap enough, I guess we'd provide our own.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    On the road on weekdays, coupons work better for us. Priceline works better in tourist areas, especially on weekends. My daughter uses Orbitz, rather than Priceline, but the idea is the same.


    Donna

Similar Threads

  1. Roadtrip western USA 2014
    By NickNL in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 08-20-2014, 06:15 AM
  2. Cross Country trip for Summer 2014
    By greenjackson16 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-09-2013, 02:48 PM
  3. Spring/Summer 2014 - SF - Grand Canyon - New Orleans - Philly - NY
    By Questor in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-14-2013, 02:58 AM
  4. What's the best Atlantic to Pacific route?
    By Little Red Wagen in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-29-2009, 09:58 AM
  5. Pacific to Atlantic, Northern Route
    By ferniestu in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-11-2007, 02:14 PM

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES