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  1. Default Orlando to Los Angeles - Help! ;)

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a New Zealander who is going to be in Orlando at the start of June (I'll be flying there from Los Angeles) and I want to drive back from Orlando to Los Angeles. I have some questions and would appreciate any help:

    a) My research tells me its about 2,512 miles from Orlando to Los Angeles. I was going to allow 10 days for the whole trip so would that be enough? I'll be stopping at interesting places along the way back so don't want to be in too much of a hurry.

    b) I don't want to be too structured in terms of where I am staying each night (hotels/motels are my preference) so do you think its wise that I just find somewhere to stay each night? Or is it better to book ahead as you go?

    c) Can someone suggest a possible route I can take or should I just get a map of the USA and take the most logical way? Is there a way that would be fastest/safest on that route?

    d) I have a short list of places I really want to see on the way so here it is:

    - Kennedy Space Center, Florida
    - The Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville, Tennasee
    - Graceland (the Elvis Estate) in Memphis, Tennasee
    - The Martin Luther King Center - Atlanta, Georgia
    - the place Where President John F Kennedy was assasinated in Dallas, Texas
    - the Grand Canyon in Arizona
    - Las Vagas (maybe)

    e) I've set aside about $400 US for gas costs. Would that be about right for a medium sized car?

    f) Can anyone give me an average idea of meal costs in the US per day?

    g) How much should I budget for accomodation costs per night for one? I'm not looking for five star but don't want really cheap places either. Just middle of the road.

    h) Can you suggest a car rental company that has good rates? Avis looks good at about $39.00 US a day.

    Can anyone suggest anything else to see that I could fit in?

    Lastly, I really love to see some western ghost towns if they exist (maybe thats just in movies) and also some of those classic small towns where there is just a gas station and a diner (if they exist too). I'd really really like to see that diner with neon lights actually ;)

    Perhaps I should be trying Route 66 as everyone raves about parts of that go along the route I've chosen?

    Thank you for your help!
    Last edited by kiwitogo; 05-24-2008 at 03:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default America A to Z

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    And, OK, you only got up to 'H' in your questions, but herewith, some answers:

    A) Mileage would be in the low 2500's by the most direct route (I-10), but by the time you add all the spots you've listed that you want to see, you're over 3,000 miles and I suspect there will be more you'll want to see and do before you're done. Still 10 days can be sufficient. We normally recommend trying to drive no more than 500-550 miles a day. You would have to maintain an average of 300-350 leaving, on average, 3-4 hours each day for sightseeing. I've done trips like that, and it can make for a nice mix of driving/exercise/amusement/eating/etc that can be kept up practically forever.

    B) It is quite possible to find a place to stay pretty much anywhere in America without reservations. This is particularly true along our major highways where it seems every exit will have one or more motels. The exceptions would be around major parks and attractions during peak weekends, and inside the big national parks for most of the summer.

    C) Your basic route would be I-75 to Nashville, I-40 to Memphis, I-40/I-30/I-20 to Dallas, US-287/I-40 to the Grand Canyon, I-40/US-93 to Las Vegas, and I-15 to Los Angeles. But there are many other side attractions and other roads that will take you there. By all means get a good atlas of the US, mark that route lightly, and see what else is around that appeals to you. I can't think of a single road in America that I would avoid.

    D) See above, but that is a very short list indeed. There is so much more to see along the way.

    E) To be on the safe side, because both your mileage and the cost of gas are inevitably going to increase, I'd look at something a lot closer to $600.

    F) This can be anywhere from a couple of dollars for a meal that you make yourself from items bought at a supermarket to over $100 for a meal at a 5-star restaurant. I tend to like nice family-style restaurant meals and expect to pay $15-20 by the time I include the tip (15-20%).

    G) Again, I too am a middle of the roader and tend to pay around $75 a night, maybe a bit less.

    H) Pretty much all the major and mid-major car rental companies in the US offer the same basic cars and level of service, so your best bet is to go to one of the travel search web sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia or the like, put in your pick-up/drop-off points and dates and take the best deal that comes up. If the company will let you take the car across country, you can pretty much guarantee that it's one of the big boys.

    Finally, everyone travels with preconceptions, but it's best to be open as well to the unexpected. Yes, you can see Route 66 including some that will remind you of the old Wild West, but everywhere you'll be traveling will be new to you, so just enjoy.


  3. Default

    Thanks AZBuck! Your reply was really helpful....I just got a mapbook and a Lonely Planet for the USA so I'll map out that route you suggested.

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