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  1. Default Clueless about how to plan a road trip?


    We are wanting to plan a road trip for our family leaving from Lexington, KY or Murray, KY travelling to either Albequerque, NM or Sedona, AZ. We just are not sure if we have enough time to get to AZ and have time to enjoy it or if we should just go to NM instead? We want to stop at a zoo in Wynnewood, OK, but other than that, we don't know what would be good stopping places or great sights to see? So, are there any experts out there that can tell me what would be best for us? We have around 8 days, leaving the evening of Dec. 18 & arriving back to KY on the 27th. This will probably be our last time for a family vacation before our kids are getting married. They are 24, 22, & 19. Hoping to have a memorable trip! :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What are your interests?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Nobody can really tell you what's best for you and your family, that's the beauty of the road trip, getting to go where you want to go and seeing what you want to see based on your interests, of which you have told us nothing about. Rarely is it a good idea to start out a road trip at night unless it's just to get down the road a couple of hours, trying to get a jump start and driving through the night is counter productive as you will all be tired the next day and your body clocks will be out of whack. What I can tell you is that to drive to Sedona and back would be 7 days of driving for around 9 hours a day which might not be much fun for a family of five. Making Albuquerque your destination would shave off about 1.5 days of driving but what I would suggest you do is sit down with the family and look over the maps to see what stands out and appeals to you. Think about taking a different route each way so you see more of the country.

  3. Default

    Great, thanks. We love hiking, nature, national parks & forests. We want to see the outdoors and what makes each of these states interesting and fun to visit along the way. We want to eat at those places that are special to that area. We would only drive around 5 hours or so that first night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default That's all on the maps.

    Quote Originally Posted by LastminuteJackie View Post
    Great, thanks. We love hiking, nature, national parks & forests. We want to see the outdoors and what makes each of these states interesting and fun to visit along the way.
    In that case follow Dave's advice. All those places are marked on good detailed maps, such as those produced by AAA and Rand McNally.

    Once you have your maps, you might like to follow the advice in this paragraph:

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    As said above, you need a map. A paper map, not the kind you see on a 5” screen (GPS or your phone) or a 15” screen (your computer). A road atlas of the US will do for starters. Take a pencil, some sticky notes, or other way to mark up the map: what do you want to see? What looks interesting? After a few marks, you'll see a route starting to form.

    Next comes the nitty-gritty: planning how long you'll need to get to the places you're going. Beginners, unless you drive for a living, probably won't want to plan to drive more than 450-500 miles in one day. If you're going somewhere further than that, plan an overnight someplace along the way. Can't figure out mileage on the maps? Well, either do it the long way (use a calculator), or use a mapping program like Google Maps. You can get exact mileage. But do NOT use their “driving time” estimates. Plan on averaging 55 mph – 500 miles would be about 9 hours on the road, including food, fuel, bathroom, and stretch-your-legs stops.

    Tip: it's not conducive to a good vacation, to drive non-stop straight through to your destination, if your destination is more than 600 miles away. Two drivers does NOT help, because the passenger should be keeping the driver from drifting off, and they should change out every few hours. Three drivers may help, but in reality, you arrive so tired at your destination that you don't want to do anything for hours. I've had experience with this, and will never do it again.


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