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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,985

    Default

    I would imagine that Atlas would work just fine. My favorite is actually the Rand McNally Atlas.

    I'll also mention that both the Rand McNally and the National Geographic can be purchased through the Roadtrip America Store for less money than the link you posted.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    Hotels vs. camping is going to depend on your own personal preferences. My husband and I have tent-camped, owned and camped in a pop up (tent trailer), owned and "camped" in both a travel trailer and a fifth wheel trailer, and we enjoyed each of them. Now we use motels, only because storing an RV in San Diego is obnoxiously expensive -- our next one will probably be when we retire (NOT in California!).

    We happen to prefer the Rand McNally atlas. Nowadays, our favorite is the large scale map - so much easier to read! You can get it through RTA store (as MWMichael pointed out) or at your local bookstore or big box store, since you're in the Kansas City area. (Walmart carries them, or most of the WM's do, anyway.)


    Donna

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default Accommodation

    As mentioned, the choice of accommodation is a personal one. Since you are on your own, you could even check out hostels.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Hey guys, Thank you for the responses! I just got my Rand McRally atlas today! Super cool maps but I still have no idea how to use it. So far I only used Google Map to figure out how should I get to Seattle from KC (I will ride on I90 for a long time), and this is the fastest route https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Kans...47.6062095!3e0.

    So how can I decide where to visit, when and where to stop, and generally just how to plan a trip? :/

    Thank you!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,696

    Default Using paper and electronic together.

    Google maps will show the quickest route while trying to keep you on Interstate at the same time. You only get to go exactly where you want by planning it out for yourself. The maps will show you all the other roads available and what attractions are along them. Take a look and see what appeals to you and make notes and then you can go back on-line and do some research, whether it be a small town, a City, or State or National park. Once you have some places you want to visit you can start to see how to join those dots up, you can check mileage via Google maps, but time estimates are way to optimistic. If you average a drive along the highways as covering 55miles in one hour you will get a good idea of how far you can get, but that's not allowing for major sightseeing stops, just the basics for food, fuel and rest. Once you have got those 'Waypoints' you can even drop and drag the blue route line on Google to see how much mileage it might add. You can do this multiple times for each day, you just need to start breaking things down into smaller portions and then piece it all together. When you get to this point and you have specific questions, we can help to 'fine tune' your options.

    Also, when would be the best time to drive/sightseeing each day? I'm thinking driving in dusk, and then visiting during day light
    There is no 'best' time to drive, other than it being light for the main part so you can enjoy the ride. The rest will depend on how your plan comes together. For example you might spend the night in town and your main focus for the day is 5 hours away, so you set off after breakfast. Another day yo may wake in the place you want to explore and will then set off in the afternoon /evening depending on how far your next destination is. It will come together as soon as you have started to break it down.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default This may help you.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonymuu View Post

    So how can I decide where to visit, when and where to stop, and generally just how to plan a trip? :/
    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.
    It takes a little practice, but at least it will be YOUR trip and not Mr Googles.

    Lifey

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    So how can I decide where to visit, when and where to stop, and generally just how to plan a trip?
    Lifey said it takes a little practice, but there are tips. If you aren't sure how to read a road map at all, you may want to find someone locally who can show you. Then:

    In an atlas, open up to the full map of the USA. Start placing a small sticky note on every place that sounds interesting to you, especially (if you're crunched for time) along the route you want to take.

    Use your electronics to figure out how far it is from point to point. Bear in mind Google, Mapquest, etc., will use the fastest route to determine mileage. DO NOT rely on the travel time they give you, as those are best case scenarios and never include time for gas, food, pitstops, stretch legs and see something from a viewpoint stops. Take the mileage and divide by 55 or 60 for interstates, and that's how many hours you can expect to take to travel, NOT INCLUDING sightseeing stops! Add time for those!

    Our rule of thumb is: around 600 miles/day if traveling on an interstate and not wanting to do any sightseeing stops. Around 350-400 miles/day if towing or if traveling on 2-lane highways. If we want to sightsee something along the way, we cut back on our mileage. Yes, these are rules that we have broken here and there, especially now that we are no longer towing. Last rule about this is rarely broken: no more than 3 600-mile interstate days in a row.

    Always do a little research about places you want to stop at to sight-see, either by asking us on the forum, reading websites or travel guides. It will usually give you a good idea on how much time to plan to spend at a place. Our rule of thumb is a full day for most national parks unless they're huge or we want to do some hiking or another activity. Some museum websites have shown us that "this is going to be 2-3 hours" or "this is going to be a couple of days" (National Museum of the US Air Force comes to mind, there).

    Lifey's right, though, it's YOUR trip, not Mr. Google's or Mr. Mapquest's.


    Donna

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