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  1. Default New York to Los Angeles or Miami in November

    me and some friends are from europe and want to to do a road trip this November due to really cheap flights at that time. We will stay around 25 days. So we are discussing what are possible road trips for that, the flight destinations are fixed but one can choose the combination. Destinations for arrival are New York or LA and for Destination Miami or San Diego.

    Our thoughts we're that a trip from LA to San Diego with a RV is to short for 25 days (isn't it?). So either New York - Miami or New York - San Diego.

    So is is it realistic to go from New York to LA in 20 days in November? Or is it suicide? And do you think it would be enjoyable?
    Or would you prefer the New York - Miami trip?

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing you should do is get a paper map of the USA and take a good look at it -- all of you. What interests all of YOU? That's more pertinent to this road trip than what any of us would prefer.

    You'll notice that it's about 3000 miles from NY to LA. In an RV, that's about a 7-8 day trip. It's about the same from NY to San Diego. It's 100 miles -- or thereabout -- from LA to San Diego. So with 20 days, one way, you could feasibly go from NY down to SDiego. New York to Miami is considerably shorter, about 1400 miles, and in an RV would be 3-4 long days. These are just driving days. I didn't leave any time there for sightseeing; you'd have to add time for that.

    That said -- why RV? If it's a lifestyle or travel style choice, then, GREAT! If you're thinking it will save you money.....well, that will depend on a lot of different things. Normally, they don't. It's also a bit more difficult to RV during the months of November and December. In many areas, it will get below freezing temperatures at night and those fragile components need to be treated. Then there would be the one-way drop off fee, which for an RV could be twice the price of a one-way drop off fee for a car. An RV costs a lot more to rent upfront, it costs a lot more money for fuel, so your only savings is how much you spend to park it for the night. You can't just pull up anywhere in the US and camp overnight, so overnights will still cost between $15 and $50. (If you pull into a truck stop to sleep, it's just to do that -- no BBQ grill or chairs outside, etc. But it will be free.)

    So get out a map, look at your options, see what looks interesting, and then we can help you put the trip together.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Either west or east there is a wealth to see.

    As mentioned above, much depends on the purpose of the trip, on what you are planning to get out of it, and the interests of the party. How many friends?

    As you follow the advice above, make sure that each of you has taken this quiz. You want to make sure you are all on the same page, as you make your decisions.

    LA to SD may only be 100 miles, but it could create a wonderful trip. You could go to San Francisco, or further north along the Pacific Coast. There is Napa Valley for the wine buffs in the party. Inland could take you through Lake Tahoe and Death Valley to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. There are many other places in Utah, Arizona and California you could visit on a 25 day trip.

    But I agree with the above. An RV may not be the best vehicle at that time of the year. Especially if you are not experienced in RV travel.

    The same goes for the East of the country. There is a wealth of attractions inland between New York and Miami from which you could choose for a trip of this length.

    You may find that not going cross country could be a smaller one way fee. I have heard of folk paying almost a thousand dollars for a one way cross country fee on a rental car.

    So fill in the quiz and with some good maps, decide what each member is looking for. Feel free to come back with more questions at any time. There will always be someone to answer them.


  4. Default

    Thank you very much for your replie.
    You're right with the RV, we thought it would be cheaper to do it with one but we only thought about accomodation expenses and didn't thought about the higher fuel costs (and one way drop off fee). There are special student offers by "Alamo" for rental cars with which you end up at 1000 USD for 20 Days with the one way fee and state taxes included.

    I searched a little bit in the forum and found a trip which i think is very nice, but was planned for a 5 week trip:

    NYC-->Chicago-->Yellowstone-->Monument valley-->Grand canyon-->(Las Vegas)-->Yosemite National Park-->San Francisco-->LA--> SDiego

    Is this a trip for 20 days?

    Edit: I haven't read your post lifemagician when i posted this.

    So for the quiz: we are two people (me and my girlfriend, the other friends can't afford it at the moment) and she want's to see New York, so i think we start there and stay for 3 or 4 days. Money does play a role, i think our bugdet would be below 2000USD each for the whole 25 days. we are much more into nature than urban areas (except of NYC and maybe LA).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Yellowstone closed in November.

    Yellowstone is out of the question. It has a very short season due to being at very high altitude. It closes by the latest the end of September. The roads will be closed to most vehicular traffic.

    It is always preferable to create your own trip, rather than follow another's itinerary. But keep digging through the forums to get ideas. As you do, mark them on your maps so you get some idea of routing.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Very Rough Outline

    Lifey is correct that you want to (and the beauty of a RoadTrip is that you get to) design your own itinerary that includes exactly the places you want to see and bypasses those that you don't. I also understand your dilemma in trying to plan such a trip in a foreign country. So the best help we can give you is to lay out what the possibilities and best options are, given what you've told us so far, and then let you decide which of those appeal to you. The object here is not to completely design your trip but to build a basic framework along which you can find attractions and activities to meet your tastes.

    For starters, we can rule out much of the northwestern United States. As Lifey has noted, Yellowstone is essentially closed in November except to snowmobiles, X-Country skis, and other forms of winter travel. The same is going to be true of many of the national parks in the northern Rockies. On the other hand November is peak leaf-peeping season in the Appalachian Mountains of the east coast and can make for some spectacular drives. Similarly, it will be too cold to enjoy the seacoasts of the Mid-Atlantic region, but the Gulf Coast will still be warm enough for some swimming or boating. Then, once you're Down South, the drive across the southern tier of states to Los Angeles will take you by some of the great scenic wonders of America. And no matter where you go, you'll have access to America's national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges for outdoor activities.

    Without getting too specific just yet, a basic routing that might work for you would be to head inland from New York to use I-81 as your first major 'backbone' for your trip. This follows the Great Valley with the Appalachians off to your right (west). A parallel alternative, slower but incredibly scenic and rustic is the Blue Ridge Parkway. The jewel of the Appalachians is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You could then continue on that general heading through some historic sections of the South, he added for the Gulf around Mobile. If you're interested in Creole culture and bayou geology, the Creole Nature Trail is worth consideration. Next up might be a jog north into the Ozarks for some more Americana and another scenic drive. Heading west through Oklahoma, you'd be traversing real Cowboy and Indian country into New Mexico, where the influence of the Spanish explorers becomes more noticeable. Northern Arizona contains Monument Valley, the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, and a number of other great sites. You could then head up to Las Vegas and Death Valley, before finally rolling into Los Angeles by way of the Mojave National Preserve.

    Finally, a bit about costs and keeping them down. An RV rental is flat out. It would chew up most of your available funds. The car rental works better but note: there is no need to pick it up (and start paying for it) until you leave New York City. Driving and parking in the city are a nightmare, best left to the locals. You can ride the subway to within a few blocks of anywhere in the city and avoid the hassles and especially the costs of having the car until you're ready to leave. Another place to save money is with a national parks pass. These are good for entrance fees, for everyone in the car, to almost all national parks and monuments and are only $40/year. The year starts at purchase, so just buy yours at the first park you come to where they charge such a fee. Finally, one of the best places to save money is on food. Once you have your car, pick up a relatively inexpensive Styrofoam cooler and keep it stocked with snacks, drinks, and the makings of a meal or two. That's a lot more cost effective than eating all your meals in restaurants. Also note that many American motels provide 'free' continental breakfasts - make full use of everything they offer you. You can also find a few more hints (although the prices are a bit out of date) here.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Buck made a typo - the parks pass is $80.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    It's also quite possible that parts of Yosemite will not be accessible in November and that snow chains may be required depending on the weather. I would advise you do some research and see exactly what appeals to you and the type of trip you are after. The weather is totally unpredictable, but you could see temps in the 80's in desert areas and well below freezing in some mountain areas and anything from sunshine to deep snow. If you decide on an all east coast trip, or a west coast trip, you could simply do a loop trip and start and finish in the same city without back tracking. I wouldn't rule out LA and SD because there only 100 miles between them, you could create an amazing loop trip that takes you to the Grand canyon, a drive through the iconic Monument Valley and into the National parks of Utah, Las Vegas, San Francisico and down the coast through spectacular Big Sur. Also keep an eye out for 'Young driver fees' if you are under 25 years of age.

  9. Default

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions. As you mentionded we realized that it will be a very rough outline and propably not the best trip for us. So we combine the flights and land in NYC, stay there for 3 days and then take a domestic flight (it's about 160$) from NYC-LA. LA will also be our airport of departure so we can spare the one-way-fee for a rental car. So the outline will be 20-25 days in November with start and end in LA.

    I thought:

    Los Angeles-San Francisco-Napa Valley- Lake Tahoe-Death Valley-Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-(SDiego)-Los Angeles

    would make a nice trip. What do you think of that? Are there any any great national parks/monuments etc you would suggest to visit? Is this even a 20-25 day trip? Google Maps says it's about 2000 Miles.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    That sounds very reasonable. Other places that you might like: Joshua Tree National Park - sections of old Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman AZ - Hoover Dam - Ancient Bristlecone Pine National Forest (check locally -- it's supposed to stay open through the end of November, but it IS up at higher elevation so the snows could close it).


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