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  1. Default Our trip of a lifetime

    Hi guys,

    Been a lurker of the forums for a while and love it. It's been really useful in planning our trip so far!

    The background is that my Fiance and I are getting married in 2011 and are planning on doing a 3 month trip round America for our honeymoon. We've just got back from an amazing 2 weeks in Florida but want to see more of America than Disney theme parks.

    So far I've got as far as making a vague route on Google maps and trying to make a list of the things we want to do. So far it's 102 days not 90 days so going to have to cull a few things I think. I've put together this rough plan...

    Day 1 Boston Whale watching cruise, Salem,
    Day 2 Boston Freedom Trail, Cheers Bar, USS Nautilus
    Day 3 New York 5th Avenue, Broadway
    Day 4 New York Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty
    Day 5 New York Giants game
    Day 6 New York Central Park, Times Square
    Day 7 New York Guggenheim Museum
    Day 8 New York
    Day 9 New York
    Day 10 Philadelphia National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Independence National Park
    Day 11 Philadelphia Harrisburg National Civil War Museum, Gettysburg National Military Park
    Day 12 Washington DC National Air & Space Museum
    Day 13 Washington DC National Museum of the American Indian
    Day 14 Washington DC White House, Lincoln Memorial
    Day 15 Washington DC Arlington National Cemetery
    Day 16 Richmond American Civil War Center, WIlliamsburg?
    Day 17 Atlanta
    Day 18 Orlando Discovery Cove
    Day 19 Orlando A Few days in theme parks
    Day 20 Orlando Kennedy Space Center
    Day 21 Orlando
    Day 22 Orlando
    Day 23 Orlando
    Day 24 Orlando
    Day 25 Miami Segway Tour?
    Day 26 Key Largo Theatre of the Sea
    Day 27 Key West Scuba Diving
    Day 28 Key West
    Day 29 Miami
    Day 30 Tampa
    Day 31 Tallahassee
    Day 32 New Orleans Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
    Day 33 New Orleans Steamboat Cruise
    Day 34 New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Tour
    Day 35 New Orleans
    Day 36 Memphis National Civil Rights Museum
    Day 37 Memphis Graceland
    Day 38 Dallas
    Day 39 Dallas
    Day 40 Austin
    Day 41 San Antonio
    Day 42 San Antonio
    Day 43 Tucson Old Tuscon Studios
    Day 44 Tucson Tombstone, Catalina Highway
    Day 45 Tucson Airplane Graveyard, Air & Space Museum
    Day 46 Tucson Titan Missile Museum
    Day 47 Phoenix
    Day 48 Flagstaff/Desert Out of Africa wildlife park, Meteor Crater
    Day 49 Flagstaff/Desert Grand Canyon, Navaho Bridges
    Day 50 Flagstaff/Desert Monument Valley
    Day 51 Las Vegas Zion National Park, Death Valley
    Day 52 Las Vegas Quad biking in Valley of Fire, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    Day 53 Las Vegas Casinos
    Day 54 Las Vegas Shows/Cirque Du Soleil
    Day 55 Las Vegas Atomic Testing Museum, Pinball Hall of Fame
    Day 56 San Diego Calico Ghost Town
    Day 57 San Diego San Diego Zoo
    Day 58 LA Griffiths Observtory
    Day 59 LA Warner Bros Studio Tour, Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre
    Day 60 LA Hollywood Sign, Venice Beach
    Day 61 LA Getty Museum, Sequoia National Park
    Day 62 San Fransisco Seal Viewing Area, Madonna Inn, Hearst Castle, Wild Things Inc
    Day 63 San Fransisco Napa Valley Wine Tour, Alcatraz
    Day 64 San Fransisco Golden Gate Bridge, Segway Tour
    Day 65 Lake Tahoe
    Day 66 Lake Tahoe
    Day 67 Lake Tahoe
    Day 68 Lake Tahoe
    Day 69 Lake Tahoe
    Day 70 San Fransisco Budweiser Brewery Tour, Jelly Belly Factory
    Day 71 West Coast Heceta Lighthouse
    Day 72 West Coast Mount St Helens
    Day 73 West Coast
    Day 74 Seattle Future of Flight, Museum of Flight
    Day 75 Seattle Microsoft Tour, Space Needle
    Day 76 Vancouver
    Day 77 Vancouver
    Day 78 Seattle Cedar Creek Treehouse
    Day 79 Stop Off
    Day 80 Yellowstone Yellowstone National Park
    Day 81 Yellowstone Crater Lake
    Day 82 Rapid City Mount Rushmore
    Day 83 Stop Off
    Day 84 Minneapolis Mall of America
    Day 85 Minneapolis
    Day 86 Chicago Navy Pier
    Day 87 Chicago Architecture Tour
    Day 88 Chicago Sears Tower
    Day 89 Chicago Millenium Park
    Day 90 Detroit Motown Museum
    Day 91 Detroit Funk Brothers Gig
    Day 92 Cedar Point Cedar Point Amusement Park
    Day 93 Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
    Day 94 Buffalo Niagra Falls
    Day 95 Toronto
    Day 96 Toronto
    Day 97 Ottowa
    Day 98 Montreal
    Day 99 Montreal
    Day 100 Stop off Ben & Jerrys Tour
    Day 101 Stop off Mount Washington
    Day 102 Boston

    This is in the early stages of planning and I'm aware I have too much to do in some cities and not long enough to do it in, or that some cities have nothing planed for them yet, but putting it together has led to a few questions....

    1) There's a lot of stuff to do in the desert and some of it is a long way from Flagstaff/Vegas. Can anyone suggest some smaller towns to stay in?

    2) The longest drive of the route is San Antonio to Tucson. Can anyone suggest a way of breaking it up a bit?

    3) Is there anything I've put in so far that people would not bother with? I've got to cut 12 days out!

    4) Anything obvious I've missed?

    I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions over the next 2 years about car hire, budgets etc. but there's plenty of time to plan.

    Any help would be much appreciated :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Lists

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Let's be honest. Your 102 line list may be meaningful to you, but it won't be to anyone else. When I travel, i also make lists of possible sites to visit, but I research many more places than I'll ever be able to visit. At least I know I can drop things, rather than be at a loss for things to do or miss something for lack of research. If there's a particular area or theme that you'd like help with, we can offer suggestions, but trying to fill in a complete century of days is well beyond the scope of this (or any free) website.

    1) A good example. In which direction? Sedona is a good base to the south, Page to the northeast, Cedar City to the north and Baker or Barstow to the west.

    2) It is a fairly solid two day drive from San Antonio to Tucson with Van Horn, TX being about half way. This is a case where your list is deceiving and days 42 and 43 would not be in San Antonio and Tucson, but on the road between them.

    3) and 4) Even though 3 months seems like a lot, North America is huge and you'll have to resign yourselves to the fact that all you can do is sample some of the major attractions, get a once-over-lightly sense of the ambience of the places you'll be driving through, and get ideas to put on a list for future trips.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    What time of year are you planning?

  4. Default

    Thanks AZBuck.

    I know I'm being vague at the moment and that list is fairly meaningless but I was just after some generic advice really. E.g. is it sensible to try to do that much in 90 days? Should I be looking to stay in big cities and day trip from there or would it be more sensible to book into small motels in small towns etc.

    As for time of year it's not definite yet but it will probably be early summer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Your call

    Quote Originally Posted by jonhobbs View Post
    (I)s it sensible to try to do that much in 90 days?
    Since some of what you list over multiple days could conceivably be completed in one day (eg Memphis - Civil Rights Museum and Graceland), you certainly could try to see all of his in 90 days. As a related example, I went to New York City yesterday and visited the following:

    -Times Square
    -Battery Park
    -World Trade Center site
    -Wall Street
    -Central Park

    and managed to find a great, relaxing Italian restaurant for a late lunch near Central Park.

    Of the things I had listed that I wanted to do for that day trip, there were things I did that weren't on the list, and things on the list that I didn't do.

    The point being, as you travel on for three months, you will find that you're going to see a sign for an interesting place and you will visit that location. However, that will mean that something on your list will have to make way. Hopefully this will happen more than once over the course of your trip. It's okay and expected, and is one of the great things about travel.

    Along with that, there may be days on your trip where you just want to stay put and hang out at the hotel pool. That is also fine. The worst thing you can do is try to cram everything into a trip and turn it into work.

    Should I be looking to stay in big cities and day trip from there or would it be more sensible to book into small motels in small towns etc.
    Looking at your list, the days are primarily centered around being in particular cities and nothing of note in between those points. Pick a few of the cities on your list and look at what is on the map in between that interests you.

    For your question #2: San Antonio and Tucson is about 880 miles of travel, which puts it in a comfortable two day time period. Look at what's in between the two locations.

    One thing that sticks out to me is the proximity of Big Bend National Park. Would that interest you? Sure, it adds perhaps 150 miles to the distance, and you'd certainly want to spend some time in the park, so maybe even another day is added on this route. Add to that you could go on I-10 or US-90, and maybe you'll find something else along the way that interests you that isn't readily obvious from looking at the map.

    Another place along the route is Marfa. Maybe you're into unexplained phenomena, such as the Marfa Lights.

    Have you read any books or watched any films that make mention of particular locations along your route? Do you have any personal heroes and want to see what the town they grew up in is like? Do you have any particular useful manufactured products around the house and want to see how they are made? Do you want to eat a bowl of chili and win a t-shirt? Anything like this can be fodder for ideas of what to do and see on the road.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    From a cost standpoint, it's generally cheaper to stay in motels away from big cities. You can find cheap hotels in cities, but they are generally in less desirable areas and can be quite run down. I usually stay in low to mid price chains at or near Interstate exits in smaller towns and rural areas. It all depends what you want, but if I'm in a city or close-in suburb, I don't feel comfortable in any place that's less than $100 a night. Out in rural areas, I'm generally happy at $50 a night.

  7. Default Round trip car rental

    Hi Guys,

    We're planning a big road trip in Summer 2011, starting in Boston and doing a complete circle, ending up in Boston 3 months later.

    I'm trying to put a budget together but car hire is a nightmare!

    The maximum length of time you can rent with most companies is 6 weeks, which means we're going to need 2 or 3 one way rentals. The one way fees are large and we're currently looking at over £4k.

    Without the 1-way fees it would be much cheaper and we'd much rather have the same car for the whole journey and drop it off where we hired it in the first place.

    Has anyone got any ideas?

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-04-2010 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Merged - Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default contact direct

    The best thing I can say is to contact the rental car offices directly - don't go through the internet and even try to avoid the national booking office if you can help it.

    I'm quite certain there are companies that will allow you to do a 3 months rental - although you'll probably have to stop and check it in about once a month. Its just a matter of getting beyond the mindless computer program or the minimum wage phone jockey, and talking to someone who is actually on the ground and whose job depends on making sure that cars at a particular location are rented out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Another Option

    There is another company which focuses on longer leases, that you may like to check out. I have heard good reports about them, but have not used them..... yet.

    Lifey who checked them out years ago

  10. Default

    Thanks Guys, and thanks Michael for merging this with my old thread. I had lost it but have now subscribed to it so I don't miss anyone's answers!

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