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  1. Default First time road trip

    This is my first ever road trip. I live close to Nashville TN and I wanna make my way to California but I would also like to stop at as many beautiful sights and places as possible. Definitely Colorado and Las Vegas, maybe Grand Canyon. Anywhere and anything to make this the best experience of my life. I plan on going in several months. Any ideas or suggestions as to what u should do and where I should go? I'm 21 years old and I want this to be something I never forget.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing that I'd recommend, is to take out a map of the US or an atlas, and start marking the places that interest you between Nashville and LA. What you might find is that a loop trip starts to show itself -- going along a more "southern route" west and then the more "northern route" going east. Mark EVERYTHING that interests you, even if you don't figure you'll be able to do it "this trip".

    How long do you have for the trip? By the most direct route, stopping only for overnights, Nashville to Los Angeles is about 2000 miles -- a four day drive of 500 miles a day. Or, a five day drive of 400 miles a day. Stopping at the Grand Canyon will add a day (at least).

    What are you planning to do about overnights? Motels? Camping? Combination of the two? Budget? That's another thing you have to think about right now.

    BTW, you're still young, and most of us won't forget our first road trip made without our parents.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Who, what, when and how ?

    As Donna mentioned, time and budget are a big piece of the jig saw in putting the trip together. Presumably it's a round trip and you are driving back to Nashville ? Do you own your own car ? Is it a solo trip ? It would be expensive to rent due to being under 25 years of age and even more expensive if you were to add a one way drop off fee. When you say "in several months time", are you talking about Summer this year or next. In the mountains during late Fall through to Spring you face the risk of travel disruption and some restrictions due to weather and that's the period I would describe as several months away.

    Colorado through southern Utah has some incredible scenery and an array of National parks and Monuments. The canyons in Utah that include Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion National parks are quite specatcular. You could drive through Colorado [Rocky mountain NP, Colorado NM, Black canyon, Million dollar highway, Mesa Verde NP etc] into Utah and down to Vegas and home via the Grand canyon and many other attractions. Do a little research by studying a map and searching the RTA site and fill us in with a little more detail and then we can start to offer meaningful advice.

  4. Default

    I have as much time as I need. I'm thinking two maybe three weeks? I do have my own car an plan on driving. Idk if I'm gonna take anybody or not. Would be a lonely drive lol I'm not too concerned budget wise but I'm not tryna break myself completely either. I have been saving up for this for awhile. I'm thinking I wanna stay in motels and do some camping. It's my first road trip and probably going to be my only one. This has to be epic. When I say several months time I do mean this year but thanks for the advice on weather. Didn't even really consider th elevation factor of the mountains.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default I hope that is just youth speaking.

    It's my first road trip and probably going to be my only one.
    I hope that you are of good health and this is the normal 21 year olds way of thinking life ends when you get a full time job, a home, kids etc. [Don't worry most of us have been there.] Unless there is another reason for this statement then do not worry, you will likely catch the bug and enjoy lots more roadtrips alone and with family and friends over the coming years and well into retirement.

    Whereas 2 to 3 weeks seems like a lot of time, you will have to research and select the places that really appeal to your tastes. You could spend 2 to 3 months and not see everything in this region. There are many like minded solo travellers and you should not feel lonely, just chatting to locals about their town or fellow travellers in truck stops will reward and educate you about the places they have been. That's one of the good things about camping, everyone is so friendly and always willing to help if you need a hand with something. [well most of them anyway]

    Once you have checked out your options and have new questions, just ask.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Maybe your first, but not your only.

    Solo is not the same as lonely. All it takes is to speak with the locals, be that in a supermarket, campground, or wherever. They are most helpful in helping you find places to eat, stay or a route to take. [This is all even easier if you leave your gps at home.]

    Another great way to meet locals is through Couchsurfing. Even if you do not wish to use it for lodging, there are many members who do no more than entertain travellers or take visitors around their little patch of the globe. Often this will end up in long term friendships.

    No knowing where this may lead. You might end up taking trips out to see them, or even hosting them when they come to your neck-of-the-woods.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    I don't necessarily wanna stay at someone's house. I just have a hard time figuring which places I really wanna go to and honestly I have no idea. Yeah I'm 21 but this is something I've always wanted to do. Not going solo tho. Best friend is officially down. Word.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-14-2014 at 10:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Hit the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeyJoe1123 View Post
    I just have a hard time figuring which places I really wanna go to and honestly I have no idea.
    That is exactly how I was, the first time I landed in Los Angeles. All I knew was, that on a certain date I had to be in a certain place for my son's wedding. So I grabbed a car (a relocation car) and headed for the horizon (in the direction the car needed to go), just to see what was there. Any town which looked interesting along the way I stopped to check out. When I saw a sign which intrigued me, I turned the way it pointed.

    That trip was an amazing trip. I relocated a dozen cars for some 25000 miles, always choosing a destination of which I had never heard. I have wonderful memories of the many small unpublicised gems upon which I stumbled. I am still friendly with some of the folk I met along the way.

    Why not hit the road with a date of when you need to be back and a rough idea of how far you can go, and just go for it. No knowing what you might discover. Just make sure you carry good maps.

    Lifey

    p.s. As I heard someone say once, when you come to a fork in the road, take it, but make sure you wash it before you use it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    If you are going with a friend, the two of you should sit down together with a good map or atlas, and decide what's important for you to see. Make sure you're on the same page when it comes to the types of overnight lodging, meals, and driving habits, as well. Plan to do some things apart -- unless you're married, being together 24 hours a day for weeks at a time can get you on each other's nerves. (Come to think of it, even marrieds get that way periodically!)


    Donna

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default compatibility quiz

    A good way to start that process is to have both of you take the road trip compatibility quiz and then discuss the answers with each other.

    Mark

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