Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default 2 month road trip


    My partner and I are just starting to plan a 2 month road trip to America next September 2016- November 2016. We are doing this instead of a wedding, our plan is to elope on the western coast and drive throughout America as part of our honeymoon.. We are both Australians who are not experienced travellers so please excuse my ignorance in this post. We are planning on starting in LAX and spend 30 days on the road to get to New York with a rental RV. From New York we have another 30 days to get back to LAX and we were looking at doing Chicago, Montana to Seattle and then Seattle to LAX. I don't know if flying or driving this part of the trip is better, I have a few concerns with driving this part of the trip as we are planning on doing this part through October - November, will the roads be okay to drive during this period? I would prefer to drive as I don't want to miss out on the scenery! My partners main priority is trying American food and beer so he is really looking forward to New Orleans and I am just excited to see the national parks and wildlife Yosemite and yellow stone are going to be on the agenda in the first 30 days. We are going to do a tour from NY to Niagra falls.

    We are mainly wanting to go camping through the national parks and in the big cities to stay in hotels/ BnBs. Basically is 2 months achievable? We are really only wanting to stay 2-3 days at each city due to budget on accom, LA, Las Vegas, Denver, New Orleans Florida, New York etc.

    We are both extremely excited and eager to do as much possible in the 2 months but both know that this may not be possible, we are both use to driving long distances so we aren't too concerned with spending time on the road but what the road conditions will be like during that time is making me a bit concerned as we have not driven in cold/frozen road conditions!

    Thank you Heaps!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Things to think about.

    Hi Alice and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    It would be interesting to know where you live, so I can reference this to what you are used to. However, here are a few suggestions to start with.

    See if you can get hold of a good wall map of the US, put it up on the wall where you see it constantly to become familiar with what is where and the distances between them.

    Equally important get hold of some good maps of the US states, good detailed maps. If you cannot get these locally, I suggest you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. These maps are invaluable while planning a trip and essential when you are on the road. These detailed maps show you all the roads, towns and cities of all sizes and the many attractions to be seen along the way, natural attractions, historical attractions and some touristy ones.

    While planning I suggest you look at going north first, before heading east. Yellowstone basically starts to close down in September and there are very few services/roads open in October. Up at the altitude at which Yellowstone is located winter comes early. However, I know that this could possibly have you miss out on Tioga Pass in Yolsemite, which closes when winter comes to the high Sierras.

    Once you have the maps, I suggest you check out this paragraph, and soon your route will start to appear.

    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.
    With two months you have the time to do a loop trip from LA back to LA, however, I am not at all sure if an RV is going to be the best choice for your trip. I know they are often spoken of as the American way to travel. But you need to understand that it will be considerably more expensive than travelling with a car and using hotel/motels. Check out this thread, which gives a fair bit of information. It is not just the rental, it is the cost of the kitchen kit and the bedroom kit and the limited mileage and the extra cost of fuel - maybe as little as 8mpg - and the slower progress. The campground fees can often be as much as the cost of a cheap motel. True you can cook your own meals, but with a little ingenuity there is no need to rely solely on restaurants. (Though I imagine on a honeymoon you might want to.) As well, an RV, especially if you are not used to them, can be a real handicap when in a city or larger town.

    You could head from west to east and hit Niagara on your way to the east coast, and still see NOLA for the food and beer - though he ought to know that the US is covered in boutique breweries, some of great renown, and there are many cities besides New Orleans where the local cuisine is unique.

    Then you could be in the great national parks of the south west at the end of your trip.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 11-24-2015 at 12:40 AM. Reason: typo

  3. Default

    Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I will buy an atlas tonight, I was just trusting on google maps.

    I live in Brisbane Queensland, however have lived in Townsville and regularly drove from Townsville to Brisbane approx 15 hour drive.

    I think either way we go north or south we run the risk of missing out on certain parts unfortunately. I looked at going in August but that looks like it is peak season and all the prices are ridiculously high.

    Once again thank you so much for taking the time in helping me, it's all a bit over whelming!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-24-2015 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Removed Quote of Entire Previous Post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Rv ?

    Bringing your trip forward by just 2 or 3 weeks could help your cause considerably with the weather in some of the parks you wish to visit, starting out by mid September. Make sure you check all the costs with renting an RV as they get expensive really quick by the time you add all the charges, high fuel consumption and mileage charges. Combining it with hotel stays makes it even more expensive than just taking a car and motels/cabins. You may not be able to take advantage of all the campers facilities either, once the night temps drop below freezing as you would need to empty all the water tanks to prevent damage. We love to RV BTW, but consider it carefully for this trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Further thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Clare View Post
    I live in Brisbane Queensland, however have lived in Townsville and regularly drove from Townsville to Brisbane approx 15 hour drive.
    That is 841 miles, further than you can safely drive in a day, in the US - even on interstates. Do not take travel times from a computer program. They are pure fantasy and do not relate to real world conditions. And since you will be travelling at the cusp of autumn the daylight hours will be considerably less than you are used to in Queensland. Besides, in the US you do not have the long stretches of road without a town or other small settlement or attraction. You are likely to be stopping much more frequently than you would between Townsville and Brisbane..

    If you are a member of RACQ, be sure to take your membership with you. It will give you access to free tourism information and maps from the AAA anywhere in the US. Another thing you might think about is getting a small flag to put in the rear window of your vehicle. Let them know you are not a local, and hopefully they will forgive any little indescretions on the road.

    I think either way we go north or south we run the risk of missing out on certain parts unfortunately.
    That is true, and none of us can see it all.

    Do you have your dates set in concrete? If not, and you do not yet have your tickets, think about a little earlier, going the full month of September and October. It will benefit you visiting Yellowstone, and may even have you come to Yosemite before Tioga Pass closes. (This year the Pass has only just closed this last week or so.)

    ... it's all a bit over whelming!
    Don't let that worry you. You have lots of time.

    As you do your research and have further questions post them here and the members will help you refine the trip.

    Happy planning.


  6. #6


    My 2 cents: I recently completed a road trip from the East to the West and back, the end of Sept until around Oct 20th. I had originally planned to make the trip in April 2016, but moved it up for various reasons including the discovery that most of the parks in the West were effectively closed from mid-September through mid-May. One reason the parks close is the cold weather from the high altitudes. Southwest Dave is spot on about moving your trip up by a month if at all possible.

    Even if you can't move your schedule up there is still plenty of options to keep you busy over two months and many of the parks are not completely shut down, e.g., Yellowstone NP, but your options become much more restricted.

    The RVs make life a lot more complicated in the cities. Parking becomes a lot more challenging not to mention the ease of driving around in crowded surroundings (especially so in cities east of the Mississippi River). For the cost of RV rental expenses you could buy plenty of camping gear. Be sure that you buy suitable sleeping bags and pads/mats because it will be cold at night in most of the elevated Western parks.

    If you were to choose a regular vehicle be sure it is a mid-size or larger. A rental car classified as "large" would be a good choice if camping; a minivan or SUV would be even better. The smaller cars just don't have enough room for moving things around on a camp trip and usually aren't comfortable enough for road trips. A minivan comes in handy at times, e.g., if you suddenly get some rain you can at least stretch out and sleep in the vehicle.

    Suggest making up a grid or large calendar so you can map out the open/closed dates of the parks you hope to visit and plot your trip accordingly. Rule of thumb when plotting out your point-to-point driving objectives using most on-line mapping programs: either multiply the estimated travel time by 1.2 or divide the distance by 55 or 50, to get a more accurate travel time estimate (due to traffic, meal breaks, restroom stops, scenic pullovers....). Some of the real scenic drives in the mountains, e.g. Beartooth Hwy, take even longer (more like 35 mph, not 55 mph). I found using a simple spreadsheet a useful aid in plotting out a plan.

    Great beer/brew pubs hops culture in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado. Brew pubs all over the USA these days but those areas are king.

  7. #7


    Well, I'll give you my contribution . . . I know you know this, but everything up here is just the opposite from down under. That's why everyone is urging you to do the northern loop first, before winter sets in. Your plan seems okay other than that, and you should have time to see a lot of the country.

    I grew up about 15 miles from Niagara Falls, so I can help you there. There are some things that are really worth seeing and some not so much. My recommendations are Goat Island and Cave of the Winds, Luna Island and the Maid of the Mist of the American side, which also gives access to the walkway beneath the American Falls. Some of those are absolutely free, or very inexpensive for what you see.

    If you go into Canada, they have their own version of Cave of the Winds that actually lets you walk partially behind the Horseshoe Falls. The Spanish Aerocar is also good, a cable car ride out over the Whirlpool Rapids. And if you're into hiking, there is Niagara Glen, also on the Canadian side beyond the Whirlpool with hikes down into the gorge. If you want a nice dinner with a view, try the Skylon Tower, and make it late enough to catch the colored lights that illuminate the falls after dark.

Similar Threads

  1. 6 month road trip - planning
    By GaborFarkas in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-02-2012, 01:00 PM
  2. Two Month Road Trip
    By Kirby in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 05-06-2008, 08:17 AM
  3. A month Long Road Trip
    By SamanthaLee in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-15-2008, 09:10 PM
  4. Month long road trip
    By fatso89 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-26-2006, 06:08 AM
  5. 2 month US road trip - UK tourists
    By James Jones in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-23-2005, 05:03 AM


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