Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default 2 Aussies needing help to plan a West to East trip in May/June

    My husband and I are keen to drive across the USA from West to East but being from Australia are completely in the dark on distances, amount of time we should allow, best routes to take, hiring a car, booking accommodation etc. etc. etc.

    Any suggestions of where to start with planning this would be really appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your help with this.

    Regards
    Sharon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There are no single 'best' routes or attractions. These come into line with the time you have and what you want to see based on your interests, of which we know nothing about. Rather than thinking of how much time to allow, you should ask yourselves how much time can you afford, both in time and money. Once you have that figured you should start by studying a good map of the USA and researching around this site for ideas and suggestions. Once you have a few dots on the map a route will start to form, we can then make meaningful suggestions and answer any specific questions. Putting it into some sort of perspective, you could drive across the country in 6 or 7 days but if you had a year you would not have time to see everything.

    You can get an idea of car hire costs and lodging options simply by taking a look at the RTA reservations link to the right of each page. Some people like to book in advance and others like to 'wing it'. You will always find a bed some place, but popular attractions like National parks get booked up. Also keep in mind that if this is a one way trip you will face a one way drop off charge on your rental and for this reason loop trips are popular. I understand that people want to drive across America but for me, it's more about the road taking me to places where I want to go and not me just following a route number.

    So to get started, get a good map, do some research and keep asking questions 'as' and 'when'. Enjoy the planning, it's a fun part of the adventure !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Getting hold of good maps.

    Dave is perfectly correct. Good maps are essential, not just when you are travelling, but when planning. Especially as you are going to a place about which you really do not know much.

    The best is the National Geographics Map of the US which is available from Mapworld. I like the large one for all the information it has on it. Put it up on the wall somewhere where you will see it everyday, and become familiar with where things are, especially in relation to one another.

    For more detail, I would highly recommend you get a Rand McNally road atlas. If you order it now you'll have it in a couple of weeks. It is invaluable, especially when you are on the road.

    You don't say in which state you are, but I would recommend you take your automobile club membership (RACV, NRMA, etc) with you. It will entitle you to free maps and tourism information from the AAA all across the US. I like to travel with the Rand McNally - buy one every trip - the AAA maps as well as the free maps issued by each State. Invariably you will find something on one map, which is not on the others.

    It all depends on how long you have, but I highly recommend that you think of a loop trip. Picking up a car on the west coast and dropping it on the east coast could cost you many hundreds of dollars. I have heard of some folk who have paid more than four figures.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Thank you heaps!

    It gives us somewhere to start and I like your perspective of 'the road taking me to places I want to go'. That helped me get a better idea of what I want to achieve here and that is a great holiday in a country I know very little about. So every day is going to bring something new.

  5. Default

    Thank you for your input. We are from Western Australia and have driven extensively within Australia (West to East, South to North) and are keen to explore the USA in a hands on way rather than a bus trip.

    I will check out Mapworld and get a Rand McNally road atlas too. I particularly like your idea to put the map up somewhere we can see each day. That way we can add things bit by bit over a some time. I think it will make for a much richer experience.

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

    Default Driving in the US is nothing like in Oz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon006 View Post
    We are from Western Australia and have driven extensively within Australia (West to East, South to North) and are keen to explore the USA in a hands on way rather than a bus trip.
    Driving the Nullabor or the Stewart highway is absolutely nothing compared to driving in North America. For one thing, there is a single road from Perth to Adelaide and Adelaide to Darwin. A similar trip in the US would see you having the choice of at least half a dozen routes, and often many more. You will be pleasantly surprised as to how easy driving in the US is. That country is made for the motor vehicle.

    I will check out Mapworld and get a Rand McNally road atlas too. I particularly like your idea to put the map up somewhere we can see each day. That way we can add things bit by bit over a some time. I think it will make for a much richer experience.
    By far the best thing you can do. By the time you leave you will know a lot about the country you are about to visit. That really helps so much. Also helps to minimise getting lost, but probably won't prevent it. LOL

    By the way, is this trip for 2015 or 2016? and how much time will you have for the road trip? Very important information for those who will be responding, so that advice can be relevant. When you travel also has great relevance to advice, especially with accommodation, and whether you choose to wing it, or book everything in advance. I have only once booked a hotel in advance. Though you do have to have your fist night booked. On arrival you will be asked for the address where you are staying.

    Enjoy the planning. Whenever you have a question, feel free to ask..

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default So much on offer.

    Of course 'West to east' is a huge target area when you consider Southwest/Northwest to South east/Northeast etc and which areas you target in between. For example if you are starting from LA or SF then I would suggest you look at the west and see what attracts you, the middle then the east then a basic route line will start to appear from which to work from. If, for example, you wanted to take in some of Americas amazing and diverse scenery then you cant beat visiting the National Parks and linking them with scenic highways, State parks, scenic drives and so on. One of my favourites is in California, Yosemite NP. Of course the Grand canyon is on many peoples 'wish list' and rightly so ! In southern Utah you have a cluster of amazing parks, Zion, Bryce canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands, all linked with beautiful roads, and thats before you set eyes on the Rockies in Colorado !!

    As I mentioned previously, once you have some idea of 'where' and how much time you have we can be of more help. You will find so much info and planning advice searching around RTA and then anything you are unsure of, just ask here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Planning

    You are going to have a fantastic time. What we did before our first trip was to stick a map of USA on the wall. My wife also read the Lonely Planet from beginning to end and put stickers on different pages where the may have been something of interest. Had a lot of stickers, believe me lol. We studied the map and marked lots of places we wanted to see. We were also very lucky to have come across this site, RTA and the help we received for that trip and another later was massive. To shorten the story, we planned what we wanted to see and then with advice from RTA cut it in half and then in half again. There is so much to see in each state and everywhere you look is beautiful scenery and very friendly people. We have been twice now for a total of 64 days and still only been in 9 states. We have been to some places like Grand Canyon twice but those are the places we like best. Dont stress to much about the dollar difference at the moment. We found it cheaper to eat and sleep than here and i think im right in saying that gas prices are down compared to when we went. So, a lot cheaper than here to fill up. All the best. Very exciting times to come.

    Keith

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-02-2013, 10:07 AM
  2. Please help me plan the best East to West Coast route!
    By bansheebeat in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-12-2009, 01:21 AM
  3. South West Road Trip 20th May - 4th June
    By edwhite in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-04-2008, 10:52 AM
  4. Nevada & Arizona roadtrip - Aussies needing help
    By 1000hound in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-11-2007, 08:07 PM
  5. Help me plan my East Coast road trip!
    By Kami McLochlin in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-01-2005, 10:47 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES