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  1. Default 8 Week US wide Roadtrip. Any advice helpful!

    Hi there!

    My girlfriend and I are Aussies on a working holiday in Vancouver, BC at the moment.

    To finish off our Overseas adventure we are planning a road trip in our 1994 GMC Safari Minivan. We are planning (roughly) to go from Vancouver to Vegas via the Oregon coast then back up through Salt Lake City and Rapid City to Chicago. From there we want to go to Toronto then Boston, New York etc. then South to Memphis and New Orleans before heading back across to LA where we will be flying home to Australia.

    We have a budget of roughly $9-10,000 and will be leaving at the end of July/start of August. We will be sleeping in either the van or camping in a tent for 80% of the time and cheap hotels/hostels where we can.

    I am a little worried that this is a long way to travel in only 8 weeks! i think we have it at about 15,000kms. Is it possible to do it and still enjoy our time?

    The minivan is quite comfortable and has A/C and Cruise control. I am also setting up a bed in the back with plenty of storage space inside and on the roof of the van.

    We will have a small BBQ for cooking some hot meals so we should be getting most of our food from grocery stores and supermarkets.

    Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for your time.

  2. Default

    Hi there.

    Sounds like a very nice trip you are planning there. There are plenty of things to do on your way. Don't forget to enjoy the fountain show in Vegas at the Bellagio for example or to enjoy the Blue Man group. Boston and Western Massachusetts have also plenty of opportunities to offer. There are a number of museums available in the area of Hampshire College for example and not to forget the botanic garden and the Forest Park Zoo. In New York I would try to see a Broadway show or the Statue of Liberty. That was just of the top off my head and I wish you a wonderful experience.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Should be a great trip!

    And you seem to be well-prepared. Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    I get just over 13,000 km when I plug your route into a mapping program. But you really need to add at least 25% to that for all the times you'll be leaving the main route for food, fuel, lodging, exploring, etc. In fact, I usually add 30% myself. 13,000 + 30% = 16,900 / 8 weeks = about 300 km each day. So, really, this is very feasible. You won't have time to linger a long time but, at the same time, it's not a speed run either.

    I suggest you take the 2100 km each week you would need to average on this trip as your benchmark. So instead of daily travel goals, you would have a weekly travel goal. This should keep you on-track.

    I might suggest that you see Las Vegas when you're on the last leg (New Orleans to Los Angeles). That just makes far more sense to me, saves you about 300 km, and gives you an opportunity to travel through a marvelously desolate section of desert in northern Nevada.

    I hope that you're planning on seeing the Redwoods in Northern California, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, Washington DC, and the Grand Canyon. You'll be traveling fairly near all of these locations and they are quintessential America. If you would go from the Redwoods to Salt Lake City, you could even dip down to Yosemite and see that on the way.

    Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon are the real jewels of our National Park system. Well, worth seeing if you can tweak your route to make it work.

    Washington DC is amazing. Most everything is free to see and I think it certainly gives foreign visitors some insights into our national character. Highlights might be Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial "The Wall", the Smithsonian, the National Archives (to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights). Of course, visiting the Capital building and even seeing Congress in action should be a highlight if they're in session. The building is worth a visit if they're not in session. There is a KOA Kampground near Washington DC that offers a $5/day shuttle to take you to the excellent subway system for that city from which you can easily travel to all the places to see (although you can walk from one to another, too, once you get into the city).

    I might also suggest that you take the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry over to the Olympia Peninsula in Washington state and start your journey down the coast from there. Or the Seattle-Winslow ferry if you want to explore Seattle a bit, first.

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