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  1. Default entire summer off

    I live in Maine and have the entire summer off. I plan on traveling alone, (unless I get various people to join me at various places) which I've never done before. I want to explore the northwest part of the country but do not know where to start. Flying to a west point(Las Vegas?) and renting a car may be the way to go . I don't really camp but would. I also don't want to stop and find differnt a place to stay every night as that gets old for me and isn't relaxing. Should I pull a teardrop? Buy a VW camper? Then again I know squat about cars so probably not wise. I'd like to spend three weeks or more, if I can. Any suggestions are welcome.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    So much of your trip depends upon how much time you want to spend on the road (just 3 weeks or the entire summer), and what things you really want to see. If it is 3 weeks, then flying and renting a car is probably your best bet, but if you've got more time, then you might enjoy driving from coast to coast. If you want to explore the Northwest, then flying to someplace like Seattle or Portland would probably make more sense than flying to Las Vegas or somewhere else in the southwest, but that also will be up to you.

    Purchasing a vehicle just for one trip rarely makes sense, and if you don't like camping, then I don't know why you'd camp or even consider buying a camper. If you're buying such a vehicle or trailer, you're certainly not going to save any money on this trip vs. just staying in hotels.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Three Week-Long Vacations?

    If you want to explore the northwest during a three week long vacation and don't want to be changing motel rooms every night, then one possible solution is to fly into a gateway city in the northwest (not Las Vegas) and take three separate week-long vacations in three separate towns each separated from the other by about a day's drive. Just as one example, you could stay in Seattle WA, Grants Pass OR, and Missoula MT with a final day's drive back to Seattle to catch a return flight home. The advantage is that you can rent entire small homes for a week for not much more than you would pay for a motel room, and you get a kitchen to help lower food expenses, and you don't have to pack every morning and unpack each evening. There are several websites that specialize in hooking up owners of such houses for rent with travelers looking to stay in them. Among these are VRBO, HomeAway, CyberRentals, RedWeek, and others. So, think about that and check it out a little bit. Of course, other city combinations are possible - you really haven't made it clear what it is you want to see and do in the northwest.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    So much to see and do in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I have spent several vacations in that region and still haven't seen it all.

    WA - besides Seattle, the Space Needle, and other things in the cities - Olympic National Park, the WA coast, Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, North Cascades NP (best in July or August), Mt Adams, Grand Coulee Dam.

    OR - OR coast, Mt Hood, Three Sisters, Crater Lake, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon Caves National Monument.

    ID - Coeur d'Alene area and points further north, the Bitterroots, the Sawtooths, Craters of the Moon NP

    WY - Yellowstone of course.

    My husband and I have researched the RV vs car-motel bit extensively. For us, the car-motel is about the same price as the RV, mostly because of food and fuel vs the cost of RV parks and motels. Where we found a problem was the issue of rig storage when we aren't using it. If you live in a place like my parents, where storage is $30/month, you may not think anything of that. In our area, though, storage is $120/month on up for RV storage. That adds up and makes our car-motel vacations look a lot nicer.

    Many hotels now have rooms that can be considered for more than 2 or 3 days stay. Some will give you discounts if you stay a week! Also, we've found that most motels were okay with a person using either the room microwave or your own hotplate/fry pan to cook in the room, as long as it didn't leave a lingering odor. (Don't cook fish.) Some have BBQ grills outside that you can use, if you ask. We go completely by car, and pack a way to cook only because we get tired of eating out all the time, even in local places.

    If driving your own vehicle, you know it best. You can get it checked before you leave, as a peace of mind, and get a AAA membership if you don't already have one. If you fly and rent a car, the maintenance is the rental company's problem. However, the AAA membership also comes in handy for the maps, tour books and other services that it provides.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default An alternative

    Have you heard of.... have you considered Couchsurfing? I know most folk use it purely as cheap/free accommodation. But it is much more than that.

    Not only will most hosts allow a stay for three days or more, but there are many couchsurfers who, although not in a position to host a guest, are most willing to be a tour guide for visitors. Of course, lots of members do both.

    Most of my guests have remarked that the places I have taken them, they would never have seen by simply sticking to guide books, the internet or even tourist bureaux.

    Establish an email relationship with several members in an area. Find out what they have to offer and let them know what you are looking for. It is a great way not to be 'alone' when you are a solo traveller.


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