When is the best time of the year to go coast to coast?
My big dream is to make a road trip from coast to coast.
To start in Boston/New York and roadtrip my way down south, (Florida) then head west through Arkansas, Tenneesse, Texas and so on, finish up in Los Angeles or maybe San Fransisco.
We where thinkning of a four weeks trip, but if we could save up some extra money before we leave, we'd be glad to to this trip in 8 weeks instead.
I'm just wondering when's the best time of the year to make a road trip like the one I described? Is it better to start in the west and head east instead?
We where thinking about to make this trip in spring 2005 or fall 2005.
Any kind of advice is welcome!
/Rickard fom Sweden:)
PS! Your gas is really cheap in the US.
In Sweden one gallon (3.78 l) cost $ 4.86
Head East to West
My only input here is travelling east to west is always better for road trips as the sun rises in the east, and sets to the west. I know this sounds silly, but I would much rather face an afternoon sun than a morning sun anytime. Usually, you will be ready to stop for the night as the sun sets, so it wont be as bad as driving in the mornings with the sun in your face for most of the day. I would start your trip in May, or the first week of June....8 weeks is plenty of time to see the wonders of America with some good planning..Hope you have a great trip!
Big Daddy's right
I agree with Big Daddy, you should start east and go west (flat land first + sun problem). I also think it would be a great idea to do it during April, May or June, it's low season almost everywhere, so everything's cheaper, less people and traffic jams.
I don't know if you like the heat, but it gets really really hot (100-110 Farenheit (about 40-50 Celsius)) in Southwestern US during daytime in June (even probably in May), so if you're the kind of people who absolutely need air conditioning all the time, I would suggest April and/or May, or if you decide to do it in the summer (June/July/August) at least make sure you'll have a car with a great A/C system.
8 weeks will definitly be enough (even if you never get tired of visiting the US) to look around, visit nice spots (Canyons, Mountains, Cities, National Parks and Monument, Museums) and enjoy the road. 4 weeks would be a little short but you could make it.
Have a great trip!
No Question about it
Without question, my favorite month to go roadtripping anywhere in North America is October. Trying to see the entire USA is four weeks is virtually impossible. I have driven several hundred thousand miles and although I have been in every US state, I figure I have only seen about 40% of the country.
While I see the point of the previous posters regarding driving into the sun -- it really shouldn't be the criteria for deciding where to start, drive or finish.
4 weeks vs 8 weeks starting east
Like Mark said, it's true that it's impossible to visit the entire US in 8 weeks, it depends on how much you want to see, how many places you absolutely want to visit. Coast to coast is possible but the entire US would take you forever, there are so many things to see, the possibilities are endless! 4 weeks would be enough to go coast to coast but you have to consider that you won't have much time to stay very long at places you like. You will probably spend most of the time on the road, if you're ok with it it's fine but unless you're used to long driving hours you might get tired easily. 8 weeks would definitly be better, but don't forget that United States is a huge country so don't put to much pressure on yourself to do it all in one shot, if you like your trip, you'll sure find a way to come back very soon.
I think you should start east mainly not because of the sun problem, but because it's a thrill just to see the flat land become steeper and higher as you drive. And in an historical perspective it's also very interesting because you follow the path of the people who experienced the quest for a new life by taking the western route two centuries ago. You can follow their trails step by step and for someone who never saw the desert or a huge canyon it's also a quest because as you drive towards the mountains you get suddenly very anxious to get to finally see your first stretch of deserted land, canyon, ghost town, historical monument,... and when you see it for the first time, it's just plain Wow, it leaves you speechless:-) But I have to admit I never started west so maybe some people have another point of view over that.
Have a great trip!
Gen, thats a neat thought.
I never thought about the travel from east to west being one of historical signifince.but it is. Starting at the original colony settlements, and working west might provide a real fascinating perspective on the historical progression of the new frontier. I am from the west coast, and can remember my first trip to Salem Mass. It was really exciting to see Plymouth, and the first colony settlements, while realizing Lewis and Clark had not even begun exploration of the west. It was all uncharted territory....kind of neato!
Now you'll have to decide what you want to see in this big country of ours. Do you want National parks, cities, small towns? Trying to see the whole country in even 8 weeks would be a huge job. You might want to look at books & maps to see what interests you.
I have to agree with the East to West plan. Also either May or October. Not too hot then most places and not too cold either. Check with the Swedish Auto Club, KAK, I think, and see if they are an affiliate of the American Automobile Club(AAA). The AAA has a reciprocal agreement with some international auto clubs to provide some services. They have an excellent tour book program and map service. You can go into their office and get tour books for the areas of the U.S. you'll be traveling through and maps and a strip map which will follow your complete route. Unfortunately they don't have a temporary membership. I suppose you could pay for a one year membership if you think the benefits are worthwhile. Besides the maps a lot of the hotel and motel chains give a 10 to 15% discount on room rates. Are you just planning the trip one way or round trip? From Boston to Florida is almost as far as going across the country. Just driving and no sight seeing at 500 miles a day will take 3 or 4 days from Boston to Florida and then to California from Florida will take 5 or 6 days. 6 to 8 weeks would be about right. 4 weeks would be cutting it short with all there is to see.
I dont really have a preference for east-west or west-east. however if you go east to west like everyone is suggesting i would definately do it in the spring or fall before it gets too warm out. I just drove from Ny to Coeur d alene Idaho by way of Nebraska, Wyoming and southern Idaho and spent most of the last 1 1/2 days dealing with bloody noses. I have adapted to the humidity at near sea level here on long island and the dry air at 8000 ft+ no longer agrees with me. Not everyone is prone to bloody noses so it might not affect you at all. Just something to think about, I certainly wasnt expecting it!!! Good luck and have fun!!
I just found your post, and it surprised the **** out of me. Mainly because I'm kinda planning the same thing, and I need some help planning too. Whatever time you leave, just make sure you're prepared for any type of weather. Here's a link you might find helpful.
Originally Posted by Rickard Gustavsson
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-04-2007 at 11:37 PM.
Reason: Link Format