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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Cookham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5

    Default Need tips for a road trip starting in Missouri

    Hi there!

    I am hoping to embark on a road trip next year around July time, beginning in Missouri as that's where my American friends live.

    I'm in the beginning stages of planning and will hopefully be there for around a month. I was wondering if there are any places you would recommend I definitely visit.

    We are still unsure of the route, as we were going to head towards New York, but are now leaning towards visiting the likes of Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas etc. We will stay in hotels/motels most nights but would also like to camp along the way depending on where we are.

    Anyway, as you can tell, nothing is in stone at the moment so any advice would be wonderful, whether it concerns places to see, stay, or just general advice.

    Thank you!

    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Since you are starting to plan a year ahead, you have plenty of time to get yourself a paper map of the USA or a road atlas. (If you don't have one, scroll down to the RTA store link and order one - it will be there in a few weeks!) Once you get it, get your American buddies (assuming they're going to travel with you) to do the same on their end, and start making notes on it about places you'd like to visit. A route - or series of routes - will start to form.

    Camping will take some equipment to tote along. What we used to do is camp for 2-3 nights, then stop at a motel on the 3rd or 4th night to get showers, etc. If we weren't in an area where a campground was close by, like when in a city, we'd stay in a motel. Either way, though, you might want to have a tent and sleeping bags along. You'll also want to discuss with your buddies, how you want to handle eating, as hauling equipment to cook at a campsite takes a lot more space than just a tent and a few sleeping bags.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Cookham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hi Donna!

    Thank you very much for the advice! Our American friends are indeed going to be joining us and providing the car (your insurance is much better than ours in the UK, here each individual person needs to be insured rather than the vehicle!).

    I have ordered an up-to-date road atlas of the U.S. and will be sure to get our friends to do the same, that's a great idea as we were unsure of the best way to plan a route when we're so far from each other with a rather inconvenient time difference!

    The way you alternate with camping and staying in a motel is a great idea too, as it would be cost effective which is something we will pay attention to.

    I really appreciate all the help!

    Just out of curiosity, have you ever travelled to the likes of Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana or Tennessee? As these are states we are most likely to visit.

    Thanks again,

    Joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Joe, I have seen a LOT of what there is to see in Missouri -- have family there. What part of the state do your friends live in? No doubt that they will have ideas of where they want to take you in their state, when you're there. I've also been to many places in Texas and Colorado. While I've been through Louisiana and Tennessee, I am not as familiar with those two states as I am the other three.

    You'll probably have to do a lot of your planning with your American friends, by email. Try to get a mix of everyone's wishes, in your final list.

    Places to camp -- when we tent-camped, we always preferred the public campsites - state parks, national forests, and national parks. They usually had water available, pit toilets, and occasionally there were showers (but not often, and were coin or token operated). The problem with these are that they are a little bit off of the beaten track, requiring one to leave the main highway 10-25 miles. Private campgrounds usually catered to the RVs, were more expensive, but had amenities like shower rooms and flush toilets. They were closer to the highways. We rarely used these until we got an RV ourselves.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Cookham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Donna,

    My friends are from Springfield, MO, so I'm sure they'll have plenty of things for us to see near where they live. I will be sure to do as you suggested and each get a map and find things we want to see, then plan a route from there.

    That's really great info on camping as I had no idea about the difference in distance from the highways between private and public campsites. I think we'll definitely look to stay in public ones and then motels every few nights as you do.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to help me and my friends!

    Joe

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

    Default The practicalities.

    For a step by step process to plan a road trip, you can't do better than this paragraph posted by one of the senior members on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Cookham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Awesome advice! My huge road map of the US is in the mail as we speak!

    Cheers Lifey!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Your friends can get a free one from AAA if they, or at least one of them, are members. Otherwise, they can get an inexpensive road atlas at Walmart.

    Places to see around Springfield -- probably the best known is Fantastic Caverns. There are quite a few caves around Missouri! There are several lakes within an hour's drive, including Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. If you like history, or someone in your family loved books, Laura Ingalls Wilder's last home is just east of Springfield in Mansfield. (She wrote all the "Little House" books.) Branson, the capital of entertainment in MO, along with Silver Dollar City (theme park) are also a short drive away.



    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Cookham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Oh great, I'm sure they know that about maps but I'll let them know just in case.

    Gee that's a lot of things to see, all of which sounds really interesting! I shall research each and every one of your suggestions today and begin to plot out first few days!

    Thank you for all your help Donna, I really appreciate it.

    Joe

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