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  1. Default Planning one way trip PA to AZ or vice versa HELP...

    We are a family of 5 (3 kids 16,13,and 9)planning our first cross-country trip from PA to AZ, wanting to see Grand Canyon, Arches, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Grand Tetons. We have approx. 16 days max next June-July. I know we would like to rent an RV, planning to fly there or back? not sure what's best? I am just wondering if this is our best option for a one-way trip? Most of our vacations are camping in our pop-up, so we are fine with the camping aspect. I have looked at so much information I'm on overload, I'm at the point where I would love someone to tell me to visit here and stay at this campground (basically give me the perfect itinerary). Help???

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With the amount of time you've got available, and the list of things you want to see, have you considered flying out west - and just doing a loop from say Denver or Salt Lake City? If you are going to rent an RV anyway, I suspect the costs won't be all that much different - especially with the one way drop fee on the RV. That would give you quite a bit more time to get to all he places you want to see.

    Otherwise, the order of your trip would probably be Fly into Phx or Vegas, then Grand Canyon, (other Utah Parks?), Arches, Tetons, Yellowstone, Rushmore, Badlands, Home. You could just as easily do it in reverse, and I'd say the cost of the airfare and rv rental would probably be the most important factor there - as it could be quite a bit different depending upon the direction.

    As a one way trip, it would still be possible, but with 7 places to visit, and about 6 days worth of driving, you wouldn't have time to spend more than a day in more than one or two places - with the note that Yellowstone is so huge you really need a minimum of 2-3 days to see the highlights.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamacita View Post
    I have looked at so much information I'm on overload, I'm at the point where I would love someone to tell me to visit here and stay at this campground (basically give me the perfect itinerary). Help???
    Most of us have got to that point at one time or another. I take it you already have good maps, so you can see what there is, and the routes along the way. There simply is no such thing as a perfect itinerary. Each trip is unique to those planning and enjoying it. But there we can help you with your planning to make your trip a trip to remember.

    Have you thought of doing a loop trip, this time, and concentrate on the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and all the great national parks between those two, and may be leave the places closer to home, Badlands and Mt Rushmore, for another time. Fly into and out of LV or SLC, which ever gives you the best deal in both flights and rental It would be more economical. You would not be up for the potentially huge fee for a one way drop - which can be in the four figures.

    If you do not already have maps, I recommend you get some and look at all the national parks in UT, WY, CA and AZ. Even then there may be too many to fit into a 16 day vacation.

    The ideal plan for national parks, especially in an RV is to stay within the parks, but you may find that spots will be hard to get for June/July. National parks accommodation is limited and much sought after. People book their spots half a year, or more, ahead.


  4. #4


    Have you been out west before or is this your first time?

  5. Default

    This will be our first and possibly last until kids are older. That is why I would like to do as much as possible before the oldest is off to college.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I think Michael's suggestion of lying out and back and doing a loop trip is an excellent idea, especially as you seem to want to focus on the west. You should also consider the fact that 'trying to do as much as possible' is a fine line between that and being so much that you are just rushing from place to place and not really enjoying any of them.

    I'm at the point where I would love someone to tell me to visit here and stay at this campground (basically give me the perfect itinerary). Help???
    I would start by working on a day to day itinerary, it's a good way to see how things can, or can't fit into your time schedule. First off, can you, and do you want to fly out and back ? We are here to help you with the finer detail, but the moment someone tells you what to do, where to go and when, it is no longer your trip. Planning can be a fun part of the adventure so try to embrace it. Once you have the basics down it will start to fall into place.

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