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  1. Default Dallas, Tx to Banff national park in July


    I am a 22 y/o recent college grad looking to plan a road trip from where I live in Dallas all the way to Banff National park in Canada for what may be my last summer vacation ever. My plan is to go from Dallas to Denver, Denver to Grand Teton National Park and then Yellowstone, Yellowstone to Glacier National in Montana and lastly, Glacier National to Banff in Alberta. I have no road trip experience what-so-ever and have never been to any of these parks that I am hoping to visit. I would like to go in mid July and am wondering if anyone here has advice on the following. How long would you recommend I take to complete the trip (4 days? 1 week?)? I will be going alone unfortunately, so is it even worth it? Where can I get the rental car from (again, I'm 22 which I am told may be an issue)? What kind of car should it be (an SUV or van? I want to go from Grand Teton to Yellowstone directly, maybe on the same day if possible). Any other general advice would be much appreciated. I've got no road trip experience at all, have never been to any of the states these parks are in, have actually never driven through a large national park, and know nothing about the driving conditions or weather I'm going to face.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I suspect you might be biting off a bit more than you can chew, in some ways.

    When you're asking how long you need, and you're starting with 4 days or a week, I'm afraid you might be in for a rude awakening here. You need at least 4 days just to drive from Dallas to Banff, before you factor in any extra stops, and that's one way. To visit all the places you want to go, and have time to see anything, and drive home, you're going to need a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks.

    A few other thoughts with your specific plan. Dallas to Denver is 800 miles, and too far to drive in a single day, especially as a solo driver with no road trip experience. Despite what online mapping programs might tell you, that's a good 15-16 hours on the road, and you need to plan for an overnight stop along the way (Raton, NM/Trinidad, CO would be a good place to look).

    Grand Teton is only a couple hours south of Yellowstone, and they are directly connected by a road - however, if you are hoping to see both parks in one day, you're in for problems. You're talking about a huge area, and you need a minimum of 3-4 days to see just the highlights of both parks. If you want to do both parks in one day, all you will have time to do is drive through, with basically no time for any stops.

    At 22 years old, almost any major car rental company will allow you to rent a car. However, you will be looking at a significant underage fee - typically about $25 per day. If you shop around, you might find some deals, but pay attention to the restrictions, as many companies may not allow you to drive beyond neighboring states - and even if you are allowed to drive anywhere in the US, you might not be able to drive into Canada.

    For the type of vehicle, a sedan is going to be much cheaper to rent than any kind of suv or van, and as a solo traveler, I don't see why you'd really need to extra space anyway. With your age, you might also not be allowed a SUV or van, as they are often considered "specialty" vehicles, that come with a 25+ age restriction.

    So those are some of the challenges you're looking at. I will say, if you do need to scale back, don't worry about it. The idea that age 22 this will be your last chance for a summer vacation is frankly, silly. You've got your entire life ahead of you, and there will always be opportunities for exploration. Do what you can do today, with the time and resources you have available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Keep dreaming.

    Michael has laid out for you the challenges of taking such a trip at your age, and with the resources available. I have to agree with him, do today what you can there is so much to see within easier reach than even Yellowstone.Get some experience as a solo roadtripper. It may be the only solo trip you'll ever make.

    In years to come you will get the opportunity to visit all those places you long to see. Just don't ever stop dreaming.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are planning on a one way rental, that will be either impossible or very expensive. US rental agencies don't like their cars left in Canada, and the one way surcharge would be steep enough for them to pay someone to bring their car back.

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