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  1. Default Help! Chicago to California

    Hey guys,

    I'm new to all this! I'm 21 years old and from England, living near London. Next summer, 2008, when I'll be 22, I want to make my way across the USA. My Father died last november and we said we'd go, but now I'm determined to do it for myself, and for his memory to. I plan on flying into Chicago and trekking my way across to California, where I want to visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. I may be alone or I might have a mate with me. I know there is'nt much to answer to, but if possible can people give me any tips? or any places that'd be cool to visit on the way through. I plan on driving, but also don't mind buses or planes! Open book really! I just want to make it from Chicago to California, a really fun interesting route, not just a straight plane journey! am I to ambitious?

    Thank you :-)

    Last edited by paul290186; 05-26-2007 at 03:28 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Not too ambitious at all!

    Hi Paul,
    Welcome to the site - you've certainly found the best place on the net for the help that you will need to put this trip together. But, before we can help, we'll need a little info from you.

    Presumably you will be looking to rent a car, as this is by far the easiest way to get to see everywhere that you want to see. In fact it's pretty much the only practical way to do a trip like yours. If you think that public transport is poor in the UK, you'll find it to be largely non-existent in the US.

    You will need to put some effort into finding a good deal on renting a car though as most, if not all, operators charge a horrible surcharge on one-way rentals.

    Have you been on a roadtrip like this previously, perhaps with your folks? If you have then it'll make things easier to plan but, when you're on the ground over there, you'll find it's simplicity in itself and it'll all just kinda happen. So, really, planning is important but there's never anything that can't be overcome when you're there. I don't think that your plans are too ambitious at all, if you search this forum you will find many many people discussing similar trips, and I like the way you plan to do this to 'toast' the memory of your father. That sounds a fantastic idea and, having done similar trips both with friends and solo, I reckon it'll be really rewarding for you.

    We'd be pleased to suggest places if you tell us what you're looking for! Whilst one man's ideal trip would be hopping from one nighclub to the next, another man's ideal trip might be hopping from one National Park to the next. I personally prefer a bit of a mix-up: some scenic driving, some exploring interesting towns and cities, maybe a baseball game, some hiking in a National Park, some tacky tourist destinations, some wacky roadside sights.

    The rest I just make up whilst driving from one destination to another - you tend to find many interesting sounding places signed off the interstates. Some prove to be VERY interesting, others prove to be a waste of both time and gasoline. But the fun part is finding out!

    Nice to see yet another Brit on the site. Where abouts are you from, exactly?

  3. Default Hey

    I'm from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. No I've never been on this kind of trip before! I fancy a bit of a mix like you said! I would like to check out some clubs, enjoy some nightlife but also I want to see some sights. I don't plan on just getting drunk lol. I want to explore a bit, see things, really see America. I'd love to visit the Grand Canyon for example if possible. I probably come across as a bit naive, as if my plans are a bit all over the place. I want to go for around a month. I guess I should research a bit more into it!

  4. #4

    Default Just along the road

    Hi Paul
    Small world, I was in Hemel only yesterday, and live not far away in Woking.

    I gotta agree with your idea to go and research the trip a little more - it's what I enjoy the most about my trips, apart from actually driving them, of course! It can be really good fun to seek out places that sound fun and are worthy of a visit and, more importantly, those which sound dull and are not!

    There are literally hundreds of threads on this very forum that will be of interest to you. Try and find a day where you have three or four hours to spare, sit down with a cup of tea, some snacks and a notepad and start with the 'related topics' list at the bottom of this page. Then simply surf around the suggestions, making notes as you go, and see what comes out of it. Personally I'd then use Google Earth to mark where each of those destinations lies and, once you're happy, try to plot route between them.

    Here are a couple more links which I always like to check out before coming up with a 'final' route:

    Hamptons Hidden Landmarks
    National Scenic Byways
    National Parks Service
    Roadside America
    See America
    Weather Channel Scenic Drives

    There are hundreds more out there, but those should get you started! Feel free to come back and ask any questions you may have and, of course, keep us up to date on your plans!

  5. Default Thanks

    Thanks alot mate, yeah I'll definately come back with my plans!

    Speak soon

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