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  1. Default Road Trip Advice from California to Wisconsin then El Paso Texas

    Hi,

    I badly need a road trip advise about driving from Los Angeles, California to Forth Atkinson, Wisconsin then after a month go to El Paso, Texas then come back to Los Angeles, California to study. I am from the Philippines and don't know much about America so your advice will be very helpful.

    I will be traveling with my boyfriend who is an American but been away here for so long and seems like a foreigner already. We want to see a lot of scenery and national park on the way if that is possible. Our budget is tight so please recommend a cheap but nice place to stay during night time.

    Thank you very much for your help and God bless you! :)

    xoxo

    B
    Last edited by Bruhilda; 06-26-2014 at 10:38 AM.

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing that the two of you should do, is to get a good map of the US. Flag the starting place in California, the Wisconsin place, the Texas stop. Then, start looking in between to see what looks interesting. Flag those as well. (Using a sticky-tab is how many people "flag" a point.) A route will start to form using those tabs. We can't be much more help to you without knowing where you're starting in California (it's a BIG state), and where you want to go in Wisconsin and El Paso, Texas (which is another BIG state).

    Another thought is to go to the National Park website. Thinking of national parks and beautiful scenery between Los Angeles, California and Wisconsin: Yosemite, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Rocky Mountain NP, Mount Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, Badlands. Between El Paso, TX and LA, California: Carlsbad Caverns, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree.

    As for finding cheap but nice places to stay, check out The Art of the Cheap Road Trip. They not only give great pointers about lodging, but also about food on the road. We don't really recommend sleeping in your car as a good way to save money. Unless you happen to have a van conversion with a bed in back, you won't get the restful sleep you need to be able to drive the next day. Many people get a small tent and a couple of sleeping bags, camping out for 2 or 3 nights and then finding a cheap motel on the 3rd or 4th night for the comfy bed and a shower.

    So, let us know a little more information so that we can be even more helpful to you!


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Specifics Matter

    We really can't help you much with suggestions for a trip from 'California' to 'Wisconsin'. Those targets are just too big to be meaningful. For example a route from San Francisco to Superior would have absolutely nothing in common with a route from San Diego to Milwaukee. We would have the same problem with 'Wisconsin' to 'Texas', and 'Texas' to 'California'. We can only go on the information you give us, and so far that's not much.

    AZBuck

  4. Default Thank You

    Hi Donna and AZbuck,

    Thank you for responding and sorry for not putting a more detail info about our trip. I totally forgot America is so big compare to where I came from hahaha:))

    We will be driving from Los Angeles, California to Forth Atkinson, Wisconsin then after a month go to El Paso, Texas then come back to Los Angeles, California.

    Thank you Donna about the lodging advise and the link. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by Bruhilda; 06-26-2014 at 09:45 AM. Reason: info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Tenting would be the way to go.

    You do not say when this trip is to take place, but since it is in Summer Road Trips, I am assuming it will be during the summer. In which case there is another reason for avoiding sleeping in a car. It would be far too hot with two people in a car, as well as all the other reasons given above. You simply cannot get a night's restful sleep in a standard car. It is almost impossible to get changed, and where would you put your luggage while you are making room to sleep? Where would you park. Rest areas are rarely safe and nearly always illegal. State Parks and Forests are a good and cheap option, as are truck stops. However, you do need to design your route with those in mind. (And as stated above, we have too little information to help you with that.)

    By far your best option is, on arrival, to go to a big box store and purchase a small tent, sleeping bags and sleeping mats for the price of a couple of nights in a motel. That will set you up for State Parks and Forests, which really are widely scattered. You'll never be too far from them. In between you could check into a motel or even a larger commercial campground, which cost almost as much as a motel, and where showers and other facilities are more readily available.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    Thank you Lifey. After reading 2 comments about the lodging... sleeping in the car would be a bad idea. We will definitely look for a motel. For some reason I haven't grasp how things are here and most specially this is my very very first road trip so I really don't know what to anticipate on the road. Thank you very much for your advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    You do not say when this trip is to take place, but since it is in Summer Road Trips, I am assuming it will be during the summer. In which case there is another reason for avoiding sleeping in a car. It would be far too hot with two people in a car, as well as all the other reasons given above. You simply cannot get a night's restful sleep in a standard car. It is almost impossible to get changed, and where would you put your luggage while you are making room to sleep? Where would you park. Rest areas are rarely safe and nearly always illegal. State Parks and Forests are a good and cheap option, as are truck stops. However, you do need to design your route with those in mind. (And as stated above, we have too little information to help you with that.)

    By far your best option is, on arrival, to go to a big box store and purchase a small tent, sleeping bags and sleeping mats for the price of a couple of nights in a motel. That will set you up for State Parks and Forests, which really are widely scattered. You'll never be too far from them. In between you could check into a motel or even a larger commercial campground, which cost almost as much as a motel, and where showers and other facilities are more readily available.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default National Parks and Low Cost Lodging

    There are a number of national parks on your routes, and the best part is that if you buy an annual pass ($80) at the first one you come to, it will be good for entry for both of you to every park that you visit on this trip. Unfortunately, it doesn't get you camping as well. Just some of the parks on or near your way include: Mojave National Preserve, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Colorado National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park, Saguaro National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and Saguaro National Park, as well as national grasslands and national wildlife refuges.

    As far as relatively low cost overnight stops, your best bets if you camp are state parks. If not, and often for not too mush more there are budget motel chains such as Motel Six, Red Roof Inns, Super 8, Travelodge, Econo Lodge, and others. You should also stop at welcome centers on the major highways as you enter each state where you can usually get coupons for discounts at motels.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Not really "for not too much more".

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    As far as relatively low cost overnight stops, your best bets if you camp are state parks.
    On my current trip I have found that these cost up to $17 per night, without showers and with vault toilets. Sites with electricity and water are around $25.

    ... and often for not too much more there are budget motel chains such as Motel Six, Red Roof Inns, Super 8, Travelodge, Econo Lodge, and others.
    These hotels/motels are usually around $60 and up, per night.

    You should also stop at welcome centers on the major highways as you enter each state where you can usually get coupons for discounts at motels.
    These invaluable booklets are also available at rest areas as well as some truck stops. You can, if you are lucky, pick up a motel as low as $45. However, when you do that, make sure you check out the room before you decide to take it. By law you are allowed to see the room. If they refuse it is time to go somewhere else.

    (Driving through MO today, I noted an old motel advertising $33.95 + tax.)

    Lifey

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