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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    20

    Default 7 Weeks across America - Realistic or Delusional?

    Hi,

    I am planning a 7 week roadtrip across america.

    I want to:

    begin in chicago (entire Route 66)
    Las Vegas 3 to 4 days
    National Parks
    grand canyon ofcourse
    San Francisco
    entire Route 50
    niagra falls
    and finally new york city

    i will be travelling all alone.

    Begin: Mid July 2015

    my total budget for 7 weeks is 8000$

    have a look at the map i created.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...k.k7ajHyeyxMJk


    Am i somehow being delusional? or is it doable?
    Last edited by GST; 01-31-2015 at 05:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Seven times over.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Considering one is able to drive across the continent in 7 easy going days, with seven weeks you could have a nice leisurely trip.

    Is this a one way or round trip?

    First thing you need to be aware of is that Route 66 was decomissioned decades ago, and whereas there are remnants of it here and there, as a complete route it would be difficult to find. At the Missouri Welcome Centre on I-35 you will probably find the most comprehensive collection of free literature on Route 66. But why stick to a route which really does not go near many of the other great attractions you mention?

    You might like to think about going through the Rockies on I-70, possibly the most scenic interstate on the continent, or Rocky Mountain National Park and the Trail Ridge Road if it is open. Into Utah for the many spectacular parks there, the Grand Canyon and Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco, and north to Glacier NP and Yellowstone, taking in the Mt rushmore and Badlands region on the way home.

    Of course there is lots more. Take out a good detailed map of the United States and have a good look at what is where and what you would like to visit/explore. When it comes to the finer details many here can help with that.

    Budget looks fine. Many would envy you.

    BTW your link takes one to a commercial page, not a map.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Hi,

    The Map should be working now.

    Why Route66 and Route50? Just for the sake of the routes.

    Route66 and Route 50 are the 2 routes i have always wanted to do and now i want to do both of them in a round trip.

    In the map i included the drivable parts of route66 after extensive research.

    8000$ is my total budget including EVERYTHING. Air Tickets, Hotels, Food, Car Rental and Gas.

    i would begin in chicago. take the mother road to santa monica and then after a few short trips in california i would begin with route50 from west sacramento to maryland.

    From maryland to newyork via atlantic coast route.

    I would return the car in new york because the public transportation is more than ok in NYC.

    thats the plan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    20

    Default

    oops double post.. sorry

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

    Default That makes a huge difference.

    Air tickets from ???? (You did not mention that. I assumed you live in Chicago. Replies are always more accurate when we have the full picture.)

    Why would you start in Chicago and finish on the east coast, thus incurring a possible one way drop fee of maybe many hundreds of dollars?

    With flights and car rental you might want to adjust that budget. Think of $100 minimum per day, maybe more. Travelling alone is always more expensive.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Sorry. i should have been more precise.

    I live in Vienna, Austria, Europe.

    The car situation is really confusing me. I don't know how to solve it properly.

    I have also planned to visit san francisco and newyork. 2 places where you don't need a car because of good public transportation. so the car would just cost me extra money.

    so i thought:

    Vienna > Chicago
    Car Rental in Chicago
    Begin Route66
    Finish Route66
    drive to San Francisco
    Return the Car there
    Enjoy San Franciso for 4 days and then Rent another car
    Start Route50
    Finish in Maryland
    Take Atlantic Coast Road to NewYork
    Return Car in New York
    Enjoy NewYork for a couple of days
    NewYork > Vienna

    I thought this would be less expensive...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Flawed plan.

    Your plan would have you paying TWO one way fees, which could very well cost much more than keeping the car in SF. In fact I would not be surprised if it ran into a four digit amount.

    Maybe do some more research on rental car costs both through the agencies and consolidators, and see what you can come up with. But your present plan looks to be the most expensive way to go.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-31-2015 at 07:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    20

    Default

    i won't have a problem keeping the same car for 7 weeks if i could find cheap parking space somewhere in san francisco and new york.

    New Plan would then be:

    Vienna > Chicago
    Car Rental in Chicago
    Begin Route66
    Finish Route66
    drive to San Francisco
    park the car in a cheap garage or something
    Enjoy San Franciso for 4 days
    get the car
    Start Route50
    Finish in Maryland
    Take Atlantic Coast Road to NewYork
    park the car in a cheap garage or something
    Enjoy NewYork for a couple of days
    get the car
    drive back to chicago
    return the car
    Chicago > Vienna

    i am google searching cheap parking spots in new york and san francisco.

    some tips?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Several ways to go.

    As one who does not use rental cars, this is what I have learned over the years from other sources.

    Just as it is always cheaper to drop off a car from the place where it was rented, so it is also often cheaper to fly into and out of the same airport. How flexible are you? Have you compared the prices of car rental + air fares into and out of NYC or San Francisco or Chicago, or for that matter any other city with an international airport along your routes.

    Then also try different days of the week. Sometimes that can make a difference.

    As for keeping a car in the cities, in NYC it is much cheaper to find long term parking in NJ and taking the train into the city. Just as it is cheaper to rent in Newark than in NY. In SF there is long term parking a ways out of the downtown area.

    I am not surprised you are confused, there are so many variables available. Only research will find the one that suits your budget best.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Some thoughts and alternatives

    There is page on RTA dedicated to Route 66 here and this site in particular is a good one with 'turn by turn' maps in each State. I agree that one rental would most likely be the most cost effective, perhaps spending a couple of day in New York at either end of your trip. In SF there are a few Hotels that offer free parking a little way from the centre. One such area is around Lombard and Gough which is not far from Fishermans Wharf and the Cable cars into the City. One that offers reasonable value [for San Fran anyway] is the Buena Vista Motor Inn.

    Personally speaking I think you will be dissapointed with the west rim after having seen the 'real thing' in the south rim NP area. It's nowhere near as spectacular and is not part of the NP system, it is more expensive and you are not allowed to take cameras on the Skywalk. Instead you could visit Monument Valley and I would also consider spending a few days travelling into southern Utah and Bryce canyon and Zion NP's. On the way back you should also consider visiting Arches and Canyonlands NP's near Moab just off I70/US50 and when you get to Montrose CO on US 50 take a couple of days to drive the spectacular 'San Juan Skyway'. This would take you through the wonderful mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton on the 'Million dollar Highway' to Durango. You would then drive towards Cortez and Mesa Verde NP before heading up to Dolores and to Telluride before driving to Ridgeway and back to Montrose. SPECTACULAR !!

    One other thing, if you really wanted to drive route 66 'proper' then you really are missing an iconic section from Kingman through Needles to Santa Monica. You could track back from Vegas and then from Santa Monica spend a couple of days driving the spectacular coast highway around Big Sur to SF and then head inland to the mountains, either heading to Sequoia first or having the option to just visit the giant Sequoias at Maripose Grove in Yosemite. From Yosemite you would have the option of driving over the amazing Tioga Pass to Mono Lake and north to Lake Tahoe.

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