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  1. Default

    Hi Guys, I have never visited these States before, and people have been warning me about carjackings, mugging, lack of gas stations, and racism (especially from cops), particularly in the more rural parts of my route. These stories sound a little less than credible to me, but I have no way of knowing if they are actually valid concerns.
    I would also love to have recommendations for cheap but decent lodgings along my planned route - Tahlequah, Lawton, Oklahoma City, Dodge City, Ogallala, Fort Robinson, Pine Ridge, Rapid City, Custer, Keystone, Deadwood, Billings, Cody, Yellowstone Park, Jackson Hole.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Don't believe everything you read and hear.

    Over eight trips, for a total of more than two years, I have driven more than 200000 miles in North America - US and Canada. I have crisscrossed the great plains dozens of times and visited all States except Hawaii. Never have I been subject to any of the stories you have heard. Common sense and your own good judgement will keep you save. .Be yourself, just as you are at home. Be friendly to all you meet, and you will find that the vast majority of the folk you meet are only too pleased to see you, and answer any questions you have. Of course they may have questions of you too. I always have a small flag of my country in the rear window of my vehicle.

    All police I have had interaction with have been polite. When I have been pulled over for doing something incorrectly, they have explained it to me. When I see a law enforcement officer anywhere, where I am, I will always introduce myself and have a chat with them. They are always helpful when I want to know something. They know the place like no one else, and their advice is always the best. Regardless which race they belong to, they are all the same. Treat them with respect and you will get the same in return.

    Me thinks you worry too much!!

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Lifey, thanks buddy! On the road, if I meet people half as nice and helpful as you, it will be a really great trip! Yes, me too thinks me worries too much!
    By the way, if you know of any cheap but decent lodgings on that route, or a source for the most cost effective one way rentals out of Tulsa airport, do please advise.
    I am so glad I stumbled on this forum - it clearly has great people with lots of experience and encouragement!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Maybe I am not the best person to ask - I rarely rent cars or go to hotels/motels.

    For car rental, the best way is to go through one of the consolidators.... find them on the internet. However, renting at the airport is always going to be more expensive. The best way is to rent from an off airport location. (I rarely rent, I have my own vehicle over there.)

    When on the road you will find at rest areas, welcome centres and some fuel outlets, hotel and motel discount coupon books. Sometimes there are good deals to be had in those. Others prefer to stick to one chain and benefit from their loyalty programs. (I rarely use accommodation, as I have some family to stay with - and my van has a bed etc in it, so when I travel I sleep in my van.)

    Lifey

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    To answer the lodging issue:

    My husband and I, over the years, have relied on the coupon books that Lifey mentions. We find them at any of the places she mentions, and they're usually for accommodations on the interstates rather than the US or state highways. That can be a drawback if you're planning to get off the interstate. Coupons can introduce you to a number of different chains; sometimes the mom-and-pops (independents) will advertise in them, but often not. The nice thing about the coupon books is that the ad will usually state whether there is a pool, if it's pet friendly or not, and often will say "restaurant next door" or "restaurant nearby".

    We are members of Choice, Wyndham, and Best Western, these days. This past trip we did all Choice and Best Western with a couple of mom-and-pops thrown in, and managed to build enough Choice points to get a free night on the last one of our trip and some leftover for a getaway this school year, if we want one. Maybe we are just getting pickier as we get older, but we enjoy the Quality Inn and Comfort Inn/Suites of the Choice chain, and the Best Westerns was a new thing for us to try this past trip.


    Donna

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    162

    Default

    I've had pretty good luck using sites like Expedia, or Trivago. When I arrive in a town I've never been to, I pull up the website, enter the name of the town, and the site shows me everything that's available right at that moment. You can compare prices, amenities, and location at a glance; you can read recent reviews, and there's always at least a small discount off the rack rate. On some occasions, I've walked into a place off the street, and been given a firm price higher than the price quoted by the website. I've actually saved money by walking back out to the parking lot and booking through my phone, instead of dealing directly with the front desk.

    The only downside: booking through a 3rd party site, you don't get any loyalty points from the chain hotels. Instead, you get them from Expedia (or whatever).

    I used to dislike these sites, but I've become a believer. They can save you a lot of driving around in search of a deal.

    Rick

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