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  1. Default Need suggestions: Road trip from Portland, OR to Austin, TX

    My employer is transferring me to Austin, TX from my present location in Portland, OR sometime around June, 2015. I am planning to drive down with a friend (both of us in our mid-20s). Here's my plan:

    1. I intend to drive my car (a Mazda 6). I understand that the trip I'm planning is around 2200 miles but if I'm driving my own car, I don't have to go through the hassle of shipping it and I can carry as many things as I can stuff in.

    2. During my road trip, the 2 cities I definitely want to stop in are Salt Lake City, UT and Denver, CO.

    3. I'm not much of a hiking or nature person (and neither is the friend with whom I'm travelling), but if possible, I'd definitely want to stop by Yellowstone National Park.

    4. For my last stop before Austin, I'm torn between Albuquerque, NM and Oklahoma City, OK.

    Taking into consideration that I don't want to drive for more than 8-10 hours per day, can I do all of this in 4-5 days? In mid-June, are there any roads I should avoid? I don't really have a budget for this trip and I'm looking to spend nights at budget hotels along the way. Also, this is the first time I'm going to be doing such a thing. I would welcome any suggestions or advice for my trip.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Taking into consideration that I don't want to drive for more than 8-10 hours per day, can I do all of this in 4-5 days?
    No, not if you want to see Yellowstone. A 2200 mile drive is a 4 day drive all by itself. Your desired stops in SLC and Denver also don't lend themselves to logical overnights so you would be looking at 5 days now.

    Neither Albuquerque or OKC are on the fastest, most direct route from Denver to Austin. Amarillo is, and you will be driving on a lot of non-Interstates. So - if you choose either ABQ or OKC, you may even be looking at a 6th day.

    To do this in 4 days, your overnights would be Twin Falls ID, Cortez CO, and Lubbock TX. You would be going through SLC and ABQ, but not at the end of either day. This goes nowhere near Yellowstone or Denver.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I am inclined to agree with GLC -- Yellowstone and Denver are really out of your way. If you can stretch this several more days, you might stand a chance. BTW, Yellowstone is a HUGE park. We spent 3 days in that park last summer and barely scratched the surface. Traffic is slow and "animal jams" caused by some animal next to or on the road are constantly blocking traffic further. Then there's parking, an issue all in itself, anytime during June-July-August.

    Budgeting for lodging, and how to stay within your budget, is not difficult. You could go with one of the online hotel booking sites, such as Priceline/Travelocity/, but it's hard to see what you're getting before you pay. Next up are hotel coupon books, available at state visitor centers and truck/travel centers along your routes. (However, in many locales, those are not good on Fri-Sat nights, and in other locales, "the coupon rooms" are full pretty quickly.) A third idea is to stick with a motel chain that you like. Motel 6's are about the lowest priced. They are also often on the very edge of town and about half the time, we find that there's no restaurant within walking distance. My husband and I have become partial to Super 8, a mid-range budget-priced motel. The other one we like is EconoLodge.

    The only times you should have to book lodging ahead is if you are stopping in a tourist area during the summer, in a beach/recreation area on the weekends spring through fall, or during a holiday period such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Eve. The other exception is if you hit a city when they've got a huge convention in town.

    If you stay in any larger city during your trip, put yourself on the "far side" of the city so that you don't have to compete with rush hour the following morning.


  4. Default Final Itinerary of your trip?

    Hi there,

    I am in the same spot now. Planning to do a road trip from Portland, OR to Austin, TX in summer 2016 for work. I plan to drive my 2015 Toyota Corolla. I was wondering if you could share your final/actual itinerary and road trip details from PDX to AUS? Also, any tips/suggestions for not-to-miss places/things will be appreciated :)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum, snarula003!

    The original poster of this thread hasn't logged onto the forum since creating this thread - in fact, they haven't even returned to read the advice they were given!

    If you'd like help planning your upcoming trip, you'd be much better off creating your own thread and asking your own questions.

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