Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    9

    Default Miami (FL) - San Francisco (CA) - March/April 2017

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this forum and was impressed by the level of detail and insight in some of the replies that I'd thought I'd pick this community's collective brain as well. I am 29 years old and live near The Hague in The Netherlands.

    I'm planning a 2-month (road) trip from Miami (FL) to San Francisco (CA) in March/April 2017. I'll be traveling most of the distance by myself, but friends might join me for certain shorter stretches.

    I've got the following itinerary in mind:
    Miama, FL
    New Orleans, LA
    Austin TX
    El Paso, TX
    San Diego, CA
    Hollywood, CA
    Los Angeles, CA
    Palm Springs, CA
    Joshua Tree National Park, CA
    Las Vegas, NV
    Death Valley National Park
    Sequoia National Park
    Salinas, CA
    Yosemite National Park
    San Francisco, CA

    I will definitely travel parts by car, but I don't want to make one big road trip out of it. If possible (and whenever it makes sense) I'd like to travel by train/bus as well. Preferably, I will divide my time 50/50 between city and nature.

    What do you guys think of this plan, given the 2-month period, my transportation preferences and the fact that friends will join me for certain parts of the trip (probably in the beginning and/or end; I expect to be on my own in Texas..).

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be very much appreciated!

    Best regards,

    Patrick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    My initial thought is that for a 2 month trip, is that outside of Miami and California, you only listed 3 places you want to go. Really, other than New Orleans, Austin, and El Paso, everything you listed is in California. That's not necessarily a problem, but you're closing off a whole lot of opportunities to see other things across the country - and when you say you want a 50/50 nature and city trip, you're leaving off a lot of amazing wonders you can't find anywhere else on the planet.

    I will also say your transportation plan could be problematic. Train/Bus Service in the US is extremely limited. Train Service can be expensive and there are very limited routes for a cross country trip. Bus Service can be extremely slow and uncomfortable. Even if those options work for getting from city to city, mass transit options in most US cities are very limited and again can be a slow and challenging way to get around. The US is built around the car. Renting a car for only parts of your trip may actually be more expensive, as you'll typically pay a substantial fee for dropping off a car in a different city, and if you do that multiple times, the costs end up being far more than just renting one car, having it the whole time, and returning it at the end of your trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Niet zo makkelijk in Amerika.

    Welkom.

    Just to confirm some of Michael's comments, the US is not like Europe, where you get on a train to (almost) anywhere.... or even a bus.

    Long distance bus travel in the US can be both uncomfortable and unpleasant. Having had to do some, I would not recommend it.

    Driving in the US is extremely easy, and can be very enjoyable and educational, especially when you get off the Interstates and use the minor roads which go through small town America. With two months, you have the time to do that.. Experience some of the local culture, rather than whizzing past each town at 120kmh.

    Depending on when you plan to take this trip, there are many places of interest, national parks, and quirky tourist attractions along the way.

    Like Michael, I'd encourage you to drive the whole way - not just for the economics, but you will get to see so much more, along all the way, and you will be able to stop when you see something which interests you, or of which you would like to take a photo.

    Years ago I drove with a cousin from Amsterdam to Geneva, and back. It was on busy roads the whole way, and we got to experience very little along the way. Driving in the US is nothing like that. I feel sure you will get home with more memories than you ever thought possible.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Hey Michael,

    Thanks for the reply and thoughts, much appreciated. You are absolutely right, there is so much to see. Part of why I chose this part of the US is because I haven't been there before -- I've seen a fair bit of the East coast, Chicago and parts of Virginia -- and because I'm assuming weather-wise it makes sense in March/April to travel through the South to the West coast. Are there cities, parks or other sights along the way from Miami to San Francisco that you think I should swing by?

    Regarding transportation you are probably right. I'd still prefer though to not drive days on end just by myself. Are there good ride sharing/carpooling websites that you could possibly remind?

    One final question, looking at the 2 months I'm planning to spend traveling: do you think my 'schedule' is realistic? I don't want to feel rushed; leave room for (short) detours. Total distance is roughly 6.500 km.

    Thanks!

    Patrick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Hi Lifey,

    Thank you very much! Perhaps you could weigh in on some of the follow-up questions that I posed to Michael in my reply to his post?

    One addition: You mentioned I have time to take minor roads, do detours et cetera. Could I, in your opinion, also do a loop? And if so, what would you recommend? I'm not married to starting off in Miami; it's all pretty flexible.

    Appreciate it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default More information please

    Patrick, (eigenlijk toch geen Nederlandse naam.)

    Do you actually have a good map of the USA? Where, other than Miami would you fly into? When are you planning to take this trip?

    Those are vital questions to be able to respond to your latest questions.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Time for a loop, detours and minor roads.

    You certainly have time to drive a loop across country and back and it would give you the opportunity to see more of the country without so much Zig-zagging. To put it into context, by a direct route from Miami to SF you could cover the distance in 6 days of solid driving, so 12 out and back. Or, averaging it out daily you would only need to cover 105 miles a day which is minimal. [A 315mile/6 hour day would give you 2 days off from driving] Of course you will add miles to the direct routes and take more time on more minor roads but even an extra 1000 miles would be not really be significant over your time period.

    I think your trip would be far more relaxed with one car rental and taking a relaxed pace with days off from driving when you are at places of interest to you. It is usually an advantage for overseas visitors to book their car in advance through an on-line consolidator and the one we have had the best results with are rentalcars.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default How a loop could work.

    If you were to do a loop trip, which as Dave outlined would give you ample time to explore places, and not be driving the whole time, I would start with a northern leg.....


    Perhaps heading for places like Memphis and Dallas on your way to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, then through Death Valley, Yosemite and Sequouia on the way to San Francisco. After that you could head down the Spectaculr Pacific Coast Highway to LA and San Diego. Visit all the other places on your list on the way back to Miami.

    There are of course thousands of things to see in between all the places you mention. Good maps will show you most, as will some research on this site and the web. If you cannot get good maps 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. It is highly recommended that you have good maps when on the road, so you may as well have them for the planning stage.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for putting the distance into perspective. The loop idea with just one rental car is starting to sound more appealing. Do you also know any reliable ridesharing websites? I've heard good things about rdvous.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-24-2016 at 12:02 PM. Reason: preferred URL format herein

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Hi Lifey,

    Patrick is ook een bekende naam in Nederland :-), alhoewel ik moet bekennen dat mijn ouders mij een soort van hebben vernoemd naar de zoon van John McEnroe...

    I've decided on doing a loop and renting a car for the entire two-month period. That's the most practical. I will definitely get the road atlas you mentioned and browse through information on this site and others and some travel guides I intend to purchase over the coming weeks.

    My rough itinerary is as follows:
    Miami, FL
    Atlanta, GA
    Nashville, TN
    Memphis, TN
    Dallas, TX
    Albuquerque, NM
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    Las Vegas, NV
    Death Valley National Park
    Sequoia National Park
    Yosemite National Park
    San Francisco, CA
    Salinas, CA
    Hollywood, CA
    Los Angeles, CA
    San Diego, CA
    El Paso, TX
    Austin TX
    Baton Rouge, LA
    New Orleans, LA
    Miami, FL

    That's about 11.000 km or a daily average of 180 km. That's not too crazy I think. I'm planning this trip for the period between 1 March - 1 May 2017.

    Thanks again for your help.

Similar Threads

  1. Planning for April 2017
    By Burbo in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-21-2016, 01:31 PM
  2. Miami to San Fransisco (Spring 2017)
    By Eaves in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-04-2016, 06:33 PM
  3. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-30-2011, 03:54 PM
  4. From San Francisco to Miami in March
    By gezi in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-06-2009, 12:26 PM
  5. New York to Miami & Orlando - March / April
    By Clairerosey in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-23-2009, 03:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES