Plane, train, and automobile - is this 3-month trip possible?
Hello - I'm a new poster and hope to learn a lot from all of you!
My husband and I are celebrating his retirement by planning a 3-month road trip starting early June. We plan to fly into Boston where our son is living and then rent a car and tour around that part of New England - around 10 days. We'll then take Amtrak to Harford, CT, rent a car and drive around CT visiting friends and exploring (4-5 days) then take Amtrak to NYC, rent a car and explore around for 3 days.
From NYC we plan to fly to Wash DC, rent a car, visit family, explore the area for about 5 days and then drive to Memphis going through the Smokey Mts, visiting Graceland, visiting family for 10 days then taking a train from Memphis to Houston, TX. Family will drive us around plus we plan to all go to San Antonio to see the Alamo, Riverwalk. This visit will take about a week to 10 days.
Then take a train from San Antonio to Albuerque, NM. Rent a car, visit Santa Fe and Taos and start our 4-Corners trip (plus driving until we reach Calif!) visiting many of the national parks - approx. 2 weeks.
Then a visit to Montana, Wyoming for a few days each, driving through Idaho and stopping in Washington for a few days to visit friends, heading down to Oregon to visit a friend for 3 days, see some of the coastline and then driving the rest of the way down the coastline to California and the Bay Area where we will stay close to 2 weeks.
Are we taking on too much for three months? How much time should we allocate for our time in the Four Corners? Should we cut corners anywhere or eliminate an area and do at another time?
We really want to see the national parks, especially: Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Bryce, Zion, Tetons. Is there anything you would do differently such as change the route I'm proposing, drive to one state first before the other to make it more time efficient? Any suggestions as to where to stay in any of the areas? We do anticipate it to cost a few dollars but it's a special trip. Any help will be so appreciated! It has taken me a long time to pull this itinerary together but I know it's not perfect. Thanks very much! Kulagal
Last edited by Mass Tim; 11-27-2009 at 06:45 AM.
Reason: Added whitespace
Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!
Originally Posted by Kulagal
Three months opens up a lot of possibilities for a trip of this magnitude. Outside of the normal budgetary concerns, you should not have too much difficulty making this trip.
A recommendation I have is to pace yourselves, which you seem to have done by mixing in visits with family with being out and about on your own.
Keep in mind that one-way rentals for cars (like you have from Albuquerque to California) tend to have expensive fees associated with them.
I don't see Yellowstone listed in your post, but you shouldn't hesitate to make a stop there during your Montana-Wyoming leg.
That's quite some celebration ! Welcome to RTA.
I think you have a good handle on things but you can find lots of detailed info on each phase of your trip by putting keywords into the RTA search engine and looking throughout the forums and road trip planning pages.
The National parks interactive map lets you locate every park and gives you details on each one. As you will be visiting a lot, it would be prudent to buy the annual pass [currently $80] that has unlimited access to all NP's for a year, it will be a big saving. There are many National parks in the Four corner States and a couple of weeks will allow you time to see quite a few, depending on the pace you set yourselves.
When you collect the car in Albu are you then keeping it untill SF or using other methods of transport ?
The other 'Y' missing is for Yosemite, I highly recommend you put that on your "to do list" while in Cali.
For the NYC portion of your trip, you can certainly rent a car in Manhattan near Penn Station (where Amtrak will leave you off), but if you are planning to spend any of that time exploring NYC itself a car will be a greater burden than help (parking at garages is very expensive and free parking is difficult to find). You'd be better off taking the subway, cabs or walking. Of course if your plan is to visit the nearby area, you will likely need a car.
Plane, Train and Automobile - July/Aug 2010 Roadtrip
My husband and I are now planning our July/Aug 2010 road trip across the country but for now I'm concentrating on the Four Corners. After flying into ABQ we will take the shuttle to Santa Fe and stay 3 days. From Santa Fe we will take the train to Flagstaff, rent a car and then on to Sedona for 4 days. From Sedona to Grand Canyon for 4 days. On to Zion NP for 4 days. From Zion to Bryce for 3 days in Tropic. Help! Where to go next? We definitely want to go to Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Durango, Mesa Verde, Arches and Canyonlands and then fly to CA either from Utah or CO. I would LOVE it if someone could help me figure out the best (or scenic) way to get to all these places (Monument Valley to Moab) but also in an efficent manner without too much backtracking. If there are any other suggestions to make as to what we must see pls do! If someone has a good suggestion as to which rental car agency to use I would appreciate this information, too. Thank you so much!
Start from Santa Fe ?
Hi, welcome back.
For the most part rental companies all offer a similar product but the prices can change for different cases so it really is a case of keep searching until you find the deal that suits your circumstance at the best price.
If you are not tied into any bookings yet and considering your wish list above I would pick up a rental in Santa FE and consider doing a trip to Sedona from there rather than getting a train to Flagstaff and going back on yourself somewhat. That could look something like so > Santa Fe >Four corners and Mesa Verde > Moab [Arches and Canyonlands ] or Durango and the wonderful "Million dollar highway" to Grand junction [Colorado NM] to Moab > Bryce canyon [through Hanksville, Capitol Reef NP to Torrey and then scenic byway 12 to Bryce > Zion > Page> Monument valley >Canyon De Chelley>Grand canyon [or visit North rim from Zion] > Flagstaff >Sedona.
If starting from Sedona then >GC> MV>Canyon De Chelley>Mesa Verde> Moab> Bryce [as above]> Zion NP and then to I 15 to Vegas possibly for flight.