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  1. Default New member, road trip looming..........

    Hello All,

    This is my first post, I wish I had found this forum sooner!

    On October 10th - a couple of weeks time - my family and I are attending a wedding in Wisconsin. From there we want to optimize out trip to the U.S. and go on a road trip, heading west and ending up in Yellowstone. From there we will see what time we have left and decide where to go, possibly south to Monument Valley/Grand Canyon if possible.

    My question is, what is the best way to go about accommodation? Is it best to book in advance and plan where to stay or, at this time of year, is it easy to find a motel room on the same day?

    I want the security of having a room yet don't want the pressure of having to make a certain place in a certain time in case of delays occurring which they inevitably will.

    I would welcome any and all advice please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Closest to 'best of both worlds'.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There really is no 'best' when it comes to road tripping and it's the same here, some people like the security of having a bed for the night and others like to remain flexible, but you will always find a bed for the night. The closest you can get to the 'best of both worlds' is to do a little research and find places where you would like to spend the night, if all goes well. Check out what lodgings are available in those areas that suit your budget and tastes and that appear clean and comfortable and make a note of 2 or 3 numbers in each location, then you can always ring ahead during the day when you know you can make it and check availability. If none, call your second choice and so on.

    If you do decide to just walk in, you can always ask to see the room before committing to booking in for the night, they shouldn't mind at all unless they have something to hide.

    If you need any help/suggestions with the rest of your trip, just ask here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    October is often a great month to travel, in large part because it is a relatively quiet time at most major tourist spots. That means you can often get better rates, and reservations aren't as important.

    However, on the flip side, some summer tourist spots and services will really be closing down for the year. For example, many of the lodges and restaurants. within Yellowstone will be closed, even though the park is still open. I'd think you'd be able to find a place to stay outside the park, in a place like West Yellowstone relatively easily, but I'd make reservations if you want to stay inside the park (recommended, if you can afford it.)

    How much time total do you have for this trip? Have you figured out your flights yet?

  4. Default

    Hi Gents and many thanks for your replies.

    We're bound by attending a wedding in the Green Bay WI area so will be flying into and out of O'Hare in Chicago.
    Our trip will start on Monday 14th October and our return flight is on the 31st.
    Our rough plan is to head west, see the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Little Bighornand and then a couple of days in Yellowstone.
    From there we intend to head south to Grand Canyon and Monument Valley before heading back to Chicago via Colorado.
    Am I being too optimistic?

    Best Regards,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No! not too optimistic.

    In seventeen days there is no reason why you should not enjoy that trip. However, I would put South Dakota on the return trip to Chicago, and head to Yellowstone first. That is where your biggest challenge could be, with weather.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'd have to disagree with Lifey, if your plan will have you going all the way to the Grand Canyon, simply because South Dakota would be a big detour on your way back to Chicago, while it would be right on your way from Wisconsin to Yellowstone. Weather could be an issue at Yellowstone, certainly, but stopping in SD on your way there will only change your arrival date by a couple days at most, whereas hitting SD on your way back from the Grand Canyon is would add nearly a full day of driving to an already pretty full trip.

    The loop you're looking at is certainly possible, but you won't have time to linger long in any one place. You're talking about a loop of roughly 4000 miles, which works out to about 8 full days on the road. That means about half of your time will be spent driving, and you'll basically need to drive one full day for every one day you are exploring an area. You'll have to decide if that kind of pace sounds appealing to you.

  7. Default

    Thank you again for your replies Gents.

    No disrespect to Lifey but I also think the trip to SD on the return leg will be a bit too much trouble and I am willing to sacrifice a delay of a couple of days getting to Yellowstone. I don't want to pass things by and then have to go back to them.

    I realise the amount of driving is going to be huge but it's one of those things when you have to maximise the opportunity presented. We can't see everything we would want to but I hope we can see the most important!

  8. Default Government budget row implications?

    I've just been catching up with the news over the last 24 hours and it appears the U.S. Congress have failed to agree a budget to fund the Government.

    Apparently, this means that National Parks will be shutting, access denied and accommodation within refused. As a forthcoming road trip was centred around visiting National Parks, what implications does this have? Is it worth embarking on a road trip if the sights we planned to see are no inaccessible?

    I am now considering cutting short our U.S. trip as it will be a waste of time and money to drive around the country not seeing what we wanted to or planned to..........?

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about this trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-01-2013 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Merged

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If the shutdown remains in place for more than 2 weeks, then it will have a major impact on your trip, as many of the locations you are planning to visit will be closed.

    It doesn't mean you have to cancel your trip, as there are still lots of things you could still see and do, and it could be a good reason to dig a little deeper and start looking into the many great state parks and other not-as-famous, but still fabulous attractions in the US. You might also look at some of the National Parks of Canada, since you'll already be starting in the Northern US.

    It also might be early to call your original trip a washout too, as there is at least a reasonable chance that the situation will be resolved within the next 2 weeks.

    But ultimately, you will have to weigh the chance that many of the things you want to see won't be open, against the possibility of seeing other things, and what your situation is in regards to cancellation/rescheduling fees if you decide to do this trip at a later date. There's just no easy answer at this point.

  10. Default

    Apologies for the other thread, I though it might have repercussions for other road trippers at this time of year hence the reason I started a new thread as it relates not just to myself.

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