View Poll Results: Where should I travel to first, after leaving Chicago?

1. You may not vote on this poll
  • Leave Chicago and begin in seattle

    0 0%
  • Leave Chicago and begin In arizona

    1 100.00%
  • Take a plane home after the trip, or....

    0 0%
  • Take the plane to whatever first destination I end up choosing.

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Default COME TOGETHER, RIGHT NOW...and help me plan my first road trip down the east coast!

    Hey everyone!
    I am looking to take a road trip this year. I want to surprise mg boyfriend with it, and leave on his birthday, September 2nd. We live in IL, about an hour or so from Chicago. I want to leave from Chicago September 2nd and need to be back in IL no later than September 14th. my boyfriend loves the upper east coas, the places he wants to see are Washington and Oregon, and the redwoods in Cali. I want to spend as much time possible on hwy 1. The main place I want to hit is San Francisco, the haight ashbury district. I would also love to see los Angeles, like the walk of fame, the Hollywood hills, the nicer areas of LA...I AM trying to think of what the easiest, quickest way to drive along the east coast from Seattle and go as far as Phoenix. I really have no idea what I am doing, my mind is going in a million different directions trying to figure this out. We have A3 year old child who would be with us, I should probably mention that LOL. We plan on taking a plane either home or two are starting destination so the little guy isn't stuck in the car for two weeks straight. I guess I am just looking for any tips or pointers anyone may have on the easiest quickest cheapest ways to hit all of the areas I have mentioned. Should I start off in Arizona and work my way up? Or start in Seattle and work my way down? I really have no idea I didn't know planning a road trip would be this confusing! So please any help would be greatly appreciated :-) I am also looking for some friends that might want to join us on this little road trip or maybe at least meet up at certain places to hang out. Whoever can help me make this trip as easy as possible will be MORE than welcome to join us in our adventure, or if they just need to hitch a ride out of state, we can help as much as we get helped! :)
    Last edited by Westcoastgirl821; 05-06-2016 at 07:47 AM.

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

    Default Start at the beginning.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Ok, lets start with getting out to the WEST coast ;-) As you are planning on flying one way it would appear you plan to rent a car. If that's the case then I would look at flying both ways and doing a loop trip starting and finishing in the same city. This way will give you more quality time exploring the west and you won't suffer the one way drop off charge when dropping your car thousands of miles from where you collected it. The fee can be significant ! Now if that works for you, you can start checking out which City's, in your loop, offer the best flight deals from home. This could be LA, SF Seattle or Phoenix if you really want to visit the city, or even Vegas. Now there are thousands of possibilities out there, so you really are going to have to start at the beginning and do some research, look over the maps and see what appeals, once you have some dots on the map we can help fill in the blanks and make suggestions. Driving south down the coast has the advantage of ocean and it's scenic pull outs being on your side of the road, so consider that when planning.

    Our recent RV trip went from LA to Seattle [area] and back in 16 days and it might give you some idea of the possibilities in doing a loop. Click here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I'm in agreement with SWDave. A loop trip, in your case, makes a whole lot more sense.

    I will say, though, that surprise trips are not always taken well by the receiver. They have little time to plan and prepare, and often want a say-so in where you go and what to do. Of course, you know your BF better than we do; this is just been my own experience watching people trying to surprise significant others and then get their own surprise when it backfires in their face.

    Chicago to Phoenix is about 3 days of very hard driving (600 miles per day), Chicago to LA is 3.5 days. There goes 7 of your days right there. That's why a fly/drive loop trip makes more sense in your case, and would save you a bunch of money on that one-way drop off fee.

    My daughter had a 3 year old and a 9 month old when they drove from MO to San Diego last summer. It was 4 days and the 3 year old was a fairly good traveler -- but Mama had to keep her occupied. (The 9 month old just slept about half the time.)


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default That surprise thing.

    Like Donna, I have seen surprises like that backfire. You might like to think about giving him the surprise a month or so before his birthday, or even now, so you two can plan the trip together.


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