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  1. Default September 2014 Roadtrip in the planning

    Hello to all you roadtrippers.

    We are a British couple in the early stages of planning a 30 day road trip from Chicago to SF in September this year.
    As you can imagine we are quite excited about this and may be getting carried away a bit with what we are trying to achieve. So I thought I would pass it before your experienced eyes.

    At first the plan was to drive the whole way but we are wondering if the drive between Memphis and Pheonix via Oklahoma would be too long and 'boring'? so decided to drop down to Dallas and fly to Pheonix before continuing.

    Chicago - Nashville - Memphis - Dallas.
    Fly to Pheonix
    Pheonix - Las Vegas - Santa Barbara - Highway 1 - SF
    (obv this is the bare bones of the trip will flesh out as we progress, but I hope you get the gist)

    Is this too much for 30 days?
    Are we missing much by flying between Dallas and Pheonix?

    I'm sure we will pick your brains as the planning progresses.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Default

    You haven't mentioned any national parks - would they interest you? As well as the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, there are a large number of other great parks in the western states, including Yosemite in California.

    Instead of flying from Dallas to Phoenix, you could - if you wished - consider flying to Denver instead, which would not only allow you to see some of the best scenery in the Rockies, but also some superb and very different country in Utah.

    But obviously if your main focus is cities then these probably wouldn't be appropriate suggestions.

  3. Default

    No focus on anything in particular.
    I'm kind of treating this as two trips. Chicago, Nashville, Memphis - music trip; Gracelands, Sun records, Johnny cash, Blues, Country etc.
    Phoenix - SF; Scenic trip; Grand Canyon, Death Valley, national parks, mountains etc.

    My first question was regarding the Dallas/Oklahoma - Phoenix bit. Whether it was worth doing or if missing it out will free us up to spend more time on parts one and two of the trip.

    If we fly to Denver, that's a long trip down to Vegas via Grand Canyon etc.


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

    Default boring?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There is nothing wrong with flying from Dallas to Phoenix, if that's what you'd like to do. This is not a drive that is filled with impressive mountain vistas or great ocean views, obviously; the beauty is much more subtle. Rule #1 of planning a good roadtrip: there are no boring places. If you go into a drive expecting to to be boring, then that's exactly what you're likely to find, but that will always be more about you than what's actually around you.

    I will say, if you choose to fly, it will likely increase the costs of your trip substantially. One way trips generally mean you're going to pay several hundred dollars in drop fees. If you drive one way to Dallas, and then Drive one way again in the west, that means you're going to be paying two drop fees.

    Either way, 30 days is a nice amount of time for this trip. As John mentioned, there are a whole lot of things you could be looking to add, especially if you want to see some of the natural wonders you'll only find in the American West, but those are things you can consider as you move forward in your planning.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    It seems to me that you'd save a lot of money (as suggested by Michael) by treating this as one road trip that has different facets. When my husband and I are planning our trips, many times there ARE places where we will drive two days to get to the next major stop, only stopping for a place to rest/sleep overnight. We did the Phoenix to Dallas route (we took I-10 to I-20) two years ago...1100 miles or so. Phoenix was one major stop, a place outside of Fort Worth was another major stop, and we used Van Horn TX as an overnight. For us, one overnight, a few meals and the fuel was cheaper than you'll pay in one-way drop fees and then one-way air fare. You'll use one day just to fly, anyway, so why not use two to drive and enjoy what you see? The desert of southern Arizona is absolutely beautiful, and it was fun looking at the expanses of ranches in western Texas...not to mention, counting the numbers of oil rigs we saw!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Scenic routes.

    As well as all the reasons Donna mentioned, you will see on your maps (I suggest you get one for each State) just how many scenic routes will be close to your main route. Get off the high speed interstates from time to time for some variety. An internet search will tell you a little about them before you even start.


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