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  1. Default Planning Road Trip. Newbie needs to get organized.....

    Have time and opportunity to travel. Budget is decent. Wanting to go everywhere. Would like to make a systematic tour of the states. I have about $3000 monthly to travel. No time frame. How does one figure out where one wants to go and what to see.

    Along the way I want to see the national monuments and I want to strop and take pictures of abandoned America along the way. Some states will be longer stops than others. When in Florida I would like a cruise and in California, I would like Hawaii. I've been to Alaska but another opportunity would be nice. I don't want purely strict roots, as I would like to see some of the heartland and meet some of the backbone of American people.

    All suggestions welcome. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    What are you planning to travel in? How long do you intend to be gone? What kind of suggestions are you looking for? How soon do you intend to leave?

    My first thoughts would be:

    Get a large map of the United States, or an atlas. Start tagging the things you'd like to see. Get on the Internet and start searching under "abandoned towns". As you tag things (perhaps with small sticky tabs), a route will start to form. If you are a member of AAA, get to the nearest office and pick up the maps for your trip, plus the ones for Western United States and Eastern United States. The state maps will have additional things to see and do.

    There are several types of nationals -- national parks are the bigger ones (usually) and the most well known. National monuments are smaller, usually set aside because of a historical significance. National battlefields are just that. National historic lodges, just that. National recreation areas usually have scenic interests as well as, well, recreational interests.

    Going to Alaska -- well, most sane people usually do that between May 1st and September 15th, so that they don't encounter too many weather issues along the way. The Alaska Highway, AKA Alcan, is open year-round, as truckers must use it. You could also get there via the ferry, which runs more often in the summer than in any other time of the year. You can use the Alaska Highway in one direction and the ferry in the other, but bear in mind, this is not a cheap trip by any fashion.

    Going to Hawaii -- planning to fly or take a cruise? Not a cheap trip. I flew to Hawaii years ago and it was expensive then.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Different approaches.

    The advice above is exactly what I would give. There is lots of advice on this site as well. In particular I would seek out the Roadtrip Field Report Forum, where roadtrippers log their experiences. On that forum I would look for those trips which take up the most pages, i.e. relatively long trips, which may have suggestions of which you have not already thought.


    You could just hit the road, speak with the locals wherever you are and ask about the sites you long to see. Locals usually have the best and most up to date information about their own community. I don't mean only the tourism and information authorities, I mean the lady/gent you meet when shopping or strolling down the street, filling with fuel or when eating in a restaurant. I have also found law enforcement officers, librarians and local rangers often have intimate knowledge of their surroundings.

    Really, besides getting good maps to help you while on the road, there is no need to spend months researching and planning a trip such as yours. $3K a month should make for an enjoyable trip, depending on your travel style. Wish I had that much.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 06-04-2016 at 12:40 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The Milepost.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Going to Alaska --
    If you are considering including AK in your roadtrip, you cannot do better than to invest in a copy of The Milepost. It is the Bible of all those who take the trek North, and has the answer to all and any question you can possibly think of.


  5. Default

    I've been lucky enough to be able to go to Hawaii a few times. If you're looking to manage airfare cost the best from the US (or find the most "saver" availability when using miles for a flight), try going in late winter - anytime after about January 6th or 7th until early March, and fly midweek - Tuesday and Wednesday flights in both directions. Significantly cheaper than trying to book Friday/Saturday/Sunday flights during the summer, Christmas/New Years, spring break, or any other time schoolkids in the US are on vacation.

  6. Default

    You have a unique opportunity to take the time to visit unusual places and go off the beaten track. Here are some examples.

    In Key West Florida, take the 70 mile ferry trip to Dry To Dry Tortugas National Park. For even more adventure pack up some camping gear and spend several nights on the island.

    In California, spend a day or two exploring the ghost town of Bodie.

    Instead of just making a short visit to Zion National Park, do the NARROWS hike down the Virgin River. You can spend hours or even sign up for the complete two day hike.

    For a real wilderness adventure in the desert southwest, explore the area known as the SAN RAFAEL SWELL. Hours went by before I saw another car along the miles of dirt roads.

    And to greatly add to your adventures, check out one of the GEOCACHING sites. Search an area you are interested in and look for those geocaches with a lot of FAVORITE votes. Many times these will be in very interesting areas or spectacular scenery. You'll see things you would have otherwise missed.

    Hope this gives you a few ideas to get you started.
    Last edited by travelingman; 06-05-2016 at 06:07 AM.

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