Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    zulu_bear Guest

    Default 2 weeks off - end of August - random sites

    Hello!
    I'm planning a solo road trip (though I have a couple friends that keep saying they want to join) as I have the last 2 weeks of August off. I live in Boston. I used to live in California, so I have done the whole PCH / Cali road trip. I've also done the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Las Vegas, Arizona/Sedona, and visited Nashville. Aka those locations aren't on my must-see list (but wouldn't avoid if they were on my route). I very much want to see more of the south... Austin Texas interests me, as well as New Orleans. I'd also love to see Savannah Georgia.
    I'm having trouble making it all come together. I could fly out somewhere and rent a car, and make my way back to Boston. Or, I could start in Boston, rent a car, and fly back from wherever the farthest point is. I own a car, but doing a loop might be too time consuming for only two weeks.
    My interests are not so much nightlife, but more sightseeing and touristy. I also am a sucker for cheesy roadside attractions.

    I realize I'm all over the place here, sorry. Just looking for someone to give me some insipristion or insight. I've also never been to Chicago or Philly and would love to visit, but a) those aren't close to other locations and b) might be a good weekend trip with friends.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-19-2015 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One way car rentals are extremely expensive, so it would probably not make sense to fly somewhere and drive back to Boston. If you're not going to drive the whole way, you'd be better off flying someplace, doing a loop roadtrip, and then flying home.

    It sounds like you want to focus on the south, so I'd probably look at flying to Atlanta, and head over to Savannah, the perhaps up to Charleston, over to the Smokey Mountains, across Tennessee to Memphis, then down to Austin, and back to Atlanta via New Orleans. That's just a quick idea to start with - and if you do a loop, you could start/end at any point on it, be it Atlanta, Houston, Memphis, or anywhere else you find good deals for airfare and car rental.

    If you drive yourself, you might be able to still do a loop, and head down the coast to Savannah, work along the gulf coast and make your way through NOLA to Austin, and then make your way up the Mississippi River to Memphis and St. Louis, and return through Chicago (Chicago is just as far away from Boston as Savannah, and not really possible to do in weekend).

    That might be more than you want to squeeze into 2 weeks, but right now, I'm just brainstorming - and that's what I suggest you do as well. Start looking at maps, get some ideas about the places you consider must sees, and then you can start working that into a more concrete plan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Also, Solo vs. Group Matters

    It will matter a great deal for your basic planning purposes whether your friend(s) join you on this adventure or not. As a general rule, the more people going and the shorter the distance to your final destination, the more driving from your home base is favored (financially). The fewer people and the more miles, the more flying is favored. So you need to get your friends to commit, now. And that has to be a solid commitment, not something they can simply back out of later should they change their mind. You are going to be making some significant decisions and financial investments based on what they decide now, so they have to be solid in their decisions. One way to enforce this is to only assume they are going with you when they give you a substantial and non-refundable deposit, on the order of $200 each. If they won't commit to that, assume they aren't coming and plan accordingly. If they decide later to join you, then they will incur the reasonable penalty that they now have to pay for airline tickets and can't do any of the driving.

    That last point is important. If you are a group of three then it probably would be cost effective to drive your own car. You can be in the 'South' in a day's drive from Boston, spend most of your two weeks touring that area - even getting as far as Austin, and end your southern loop back in Virginia with just one last day's drive to Boston. Using your own car, your friends can help with and enjoy the driving. On the other hand if you are a group and fly to some point and rent a car, then it becomes prohibitively expensive for anyone other than the primary, over 24-year-old driver to get behind the wheel for any portion of the trip. 'Additional Driver' fees run around $25/day/driver for the entire term of the rental. So if you rent a car for two weeks, each additional driver would have to cough up $350, even if they only wanted to drive for five minutes.

    I suspect that once you confront your vacillating friends with these hard realities, they will decide not to join you. But if they do, then the next step would be for you and any companions to sit down and take the RoadTrip Compatibility Quiz to make sure that you are all on the same page as to what you expect out of the trip, thus helping to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    zulu_bear Guest

    Default

    Hello! And thank you both for your responses. I was under the impression car rentals were the same no matter if you returned them at the same place or a different place - clearly I have research to do!
    I appreciate the preliminary ideas for the 'loop'. I would love to stop along the Missisippi River - I'm glad you mentioned that. I definitely will need to get commitments this week from my two interested friends. However, my original plan was to go solo, so I think it's really up to whether or not I want to stick with that plan. So, actually, *I* need to decide this week.

    Is there a website where I can find roadside attractions along my route? (whichever route I decide). It sounds ridiculous, but I just have this weird love for them.

    Oh, when I mentioned going to Chicago and Philly, I meant more of a weekend trip as in flying there for a long weekend, not having a separate road trip for each.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natatat View Post
    Is there a website where I can find roadside attractions along my route? (whichever route I decide). It sounds ridiculous, but I just have this weird love for them.
    Yes, there is a website, and you've found it!

    The Roadtrip America Map Center is designed specifically to highlight attractions right along the route you pick. And (unlike some other websites) every place listed is personally recommended by someone on the RTA staff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    I was under the impression car rentals were the same no matter if you returned them at the same place or a different place - clearly I have research to do!
    No, most of the time, you will charged a one-way drop off fee that is usually at least a few hundred dollars or more, enough to pay to get the car back to where it started. Another thing you should consider, if it applies, is that renting a car if you're between 21 and 25 years old, will cost you at least $25/day PER DRIVER. (Honestly, I don't know if that will apply to you, but often people whose friends want to tag along, are in their late teens or early 20s. Please forgive me if this doesn't apply to you.)

    So much is available to see -- the Map Center is a great place to start.


    Donna

  7. #7
    zulu_bear Guest

    Default

    Thanks! I am 29, so the fee will not apply. The two interested friends are also 29. Oh, and my Mom, who is 60! :) We drove cross country together 4 years ago and had a blast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The wealth of information on maps.

    As well as the directions from Michael to check out the roadside attractions on this site, you will find much of what is along the road marked on good maps. These include the natural attractions, State Parks and Forests, National Parks and Forests as well as Wildlife Refuges, etc. Most of the major historical sites are also marked on good maps, as well as touristy roadside attractions, such as Carhenge in Nebraska.

    The other benefit of good maps is that besides being able to see the big picture (which is not available on a little screen), all the scenic routes are highlighted. So when you feel it is time for some respite off the interstates, pick and choose a scenic route. No knowing what other hidden gem you may stumble upon.

    Some benefits of a solo road trip is having to make all the decisions on your own. Some see this as a burden, others see it as liberating - a great freedom. There are also more opportunities to meet strangers and in particularly the locals wherever you are. It is from them you will get most of your information on what the road ahead is like, and what and where the attractions are. This applies especially in the middle States, the States where so many think 'there is nothing but corn'.

    Have a great trip.

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    No, most of the time, you will charged a one-way drop off fee that is usually at least a few hundred dollars or more, enough to pay to get the car back to where it started. Another thing you should consider, if it applies, is that renting a car if you're between 21 and 25 years old, will cost you at least $25/day PER DRIVER. (Honestly, I don't know if that will apply to you, but often people whose friends want to tag along, are in their late teens or early 20s. Please forgive me if this doesn't apply to you.)

    So much is available to see -- the Map Center is a great place to start.


    Donna
    Don't know if this always works BUT its something I've done in the past. A couple of times I've rented a car intending to do a pick-up and drop off at the same place. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, my plans have changed and I've had to drop the car off somewhere else instead. In those cases, I simply called the rental car company and explained that due to an emergency, I needed to drop the car off at a different location and they allowed it without an additional charge.

    Now, I'm not suggesting you do that but it has been my experience in the past :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    That would be an extremely risky strategy.

    Not only could they charge you the several hundred dollar fee that you'd typically expect on a one way rental - they might even charge you an additional penalty. I'd see that as an even bigger possibility if you tried to drop the car halfway across the country.

    That doesn't even get into the bad karma of trying to save money by lying....

Similar Threads

  1. Vancouver to Toronto - end of August - 6 days
    By gerionimo in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-03-2011, 11:57 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-29-2010, 07:45 AM
  3. Road Trip at end August
    By tracymg in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-26-2010, 11:14 PM
  4. Boston to Seattle at the end of August - Advice Please!
    By ekardz in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 08-30-2009, 11:04 PM
  5. MI to West Coast in 2 weeks, need suggestions on sites to see
    By Malcolm Barrett in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2004, 12:03 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