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  1. #1

    Default Roadtrip for beginners summer 2014

    Dear all experts,

    I could really use some inspiration. We are a family of 5 (Mother, Father, Mother inlaw, son (13 Years) daugther (24 Years). We are thinking of taking a roadtrip coast to coast for 4 weeks next summer.

    We have some cities / places that are must see, but besides that we are open for ideas.

    Of cities / places that are must see are:

    - Washington D.C.
    - New York
    - Niagara Falls
    - Memphis
    - New Orleans
    - Las Vegas
    - Yosemite
    - San Francisco
    - Highway 1 (south)
    - Los Angeles

    We are thinking of starting in Washington D.C. and end in L.A. Now my questions are.

    - Are we to ambitious?
    - Which route should we take?
    - What else to see on the way?
    - Which car should we rent?
    - Where should we rent it?
    - Where are the best indoor outlets on our tour (both in the beginning and the end)
    - Ideas of cheap hotels / motels on the route?

    Hope you can help me. Thank you very much.

    /Lars Jensen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    4 weeks should be a very nice amount of time to do a one-way cross country trip, hitting all the places you have mentioned, and more.

    The route you should take is the one that takes you to all the places you want to go! There are lots of options for things to do in between the places you have listed.

    For example, between Niagara Falls and Memphis, the most direct route would take you past Cleveland where you could stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cuyahoga National Park. It would also take you right past Mammoth Cave National Park. Just to name a couple of stops. However you could also head towards Chicago, and go down through St. Louis, and follow the Mississippi River to Memphis. You could also look at the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smokey Mountains NP as a way to get to Memphis - although if that looks most interesting to you, it would actually be a little shorter to start in NYC, then go to the Falls, then DC before Memphis.

    As you get out west, I would strongly suggest you do some research on all the great natural wonders of the 4 corners area of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Places like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks (just to name a few!) could easily fit into your plans.

    With 5 people, I think I would be looking at a minivan or large SUV with 3 rows of seating would be your best bet so everyone has elbow room to be comfortable. There's no one place that always has the best deal, so you need to shop around, but you might want to look at one of the consolidators based out of Europe, like carhire3000 for example. Those companies have been known to give pretty good rates, especially when it comes to things like one-way drop off fees, and underage driver fees (which will come into play if you want to let your 24 year old drive).

    Similarly for hotels, there's no one single best place to get cheap hotels, as it will always vary by city and what's going on at the time. However, you can get some ideas on prices and possibilities for both car rental and hotels, by checking out RTA's Reservation Service.

  3. Default

    yeah it is ambitious but that's what makes it fun. New york is a definite must see in my view. maybe you should come up to canada too its always fun here, i live in montreal so i could suggest tons of fun spots to go to and stuff to do in summer time. make sure that at least two of you guys would take turn at the wheel, if not you'll be exhausted and cranky. I've heard tons of amazing things about Yosemite, but you have to make sure its open and safe, because in summer time if it gets too hot there is the danger for fires, so make sure you have a backup plan for when you visit the area. Camping is always fun, there are many parks that you could go to to camp and have some outdoor fun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by elahehsaadat View Post
    . I've heard tons of amazing things about Yosemite, but you have to make sure its open and safe, because in summer time if it gets too hot there is the danger for fires, so make sure you have a backup plan for when you visit the area.
    That's not really an accurate statement. Yosemite, like pretty much everywhere in the American West certainly can be impacted by wildfires. However, they aren't caused by things getting too hot, and they rarely are a safety issue for tourists.

    This past summer, there was a large wildfire that burned a portion of Yosemite. It is the first fire to impact the park in several years, and even though it was one of the largest wildfires in California History, the vast majority of the park was open to visitors and there was no safety issue whatsoever. Officials simply closed the effected area, which did mean people had to look for alternate routes in that section of the park, but it didn't mean people couldn't enjoy Yosemite.

    And as I mentioned, Wildfires are a potential issue anywhere you've got large forests, which includes the vast majority of national parks. There are hundreds of wildfires every year, and it is relatively rare for any of them to have a major impact on a national park. When they do have an impact, it usually is a major national news story, and it isn't something that is real likely to surprise a tourist.

  5. Default

    That's what I was referring to wildfires and the one that happened over there this summer, because i was there. I just thought it would be worth mentioning to check up before scheduling if any of these were happening:)

  6. Default

    We have also did a road trip the hardest part of the trip was finding a cheap hotel. I used to use sites like*
    Travelocity, but I quickly found the better way to find deals is to go to the second level - those sites who compare the*
    hundreds of diffrent booking sites in one single* search. So you not only see trivago or expedia deals
    but ALL of them in one place. I must've save alot of money since I started using them.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-01-2013 at 01:16 AM. Reason: New members are not allowed to use outside links.

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