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  1. #1

    Default Advice on planning my first extensive roadtrip.

    Hi, my name is Naomi and I currently live in Boston, MA. I'm planning my first ever cross-country roadtrip, but the honest truth is that I have no idea where to even begin. I'm a little skeptical of internet forums in general, as most seem to be filled with all this overwhelming, irrelevant jargon, but I'm putting my faith into this one. I've read through a lot of the threads on this site and people seem to be genuinely interested in sharing knowledge with each other about traveling here, so.. I'm hopeful. Kudos :]

    I have a lot of questions, from best routes to travel, gas conservation, ways to successfully "rough it" - meaning no hotels.. Also I'd like to get some real facts and figures from experience about the kind of money I'm looking at spending here, even when being as frugal as possible.. I have so many questions. A lot more than this, haha. Maybe there are some books and websites I should check out? Just need a starting place, really.

    The true reason for why I want to do this is actually that I'm planning this trip as a gift for the Love of my life. He was recently admitted into an inpatient hospital for various reasons, and right now is suffering from more than one kind of ailment, although I will say the damage seems to have affected his spirit more than anything... I can't see him, and I rarely get to speak with him so all of this planning I am doing is secret. He will be released within the next couple of months, and when he does I want to be ready - financially, mentally, emotionally and practically - i want to get some answers so I can find stability within this endeavor. This is not just a road trip. This will be the final stage of a grand metamorphosis for my love and me. It's all about unshackling ourselves from our fear and doubt, freeing our spirits and our minds, running wild with abandon and spreading our love and light to everyone we meet, as well as soaking up all that this amazing country and its people have to offer. I know I must sound a little hokey, but forgive me. It's hokey even in my head :]

    If you're reading this, I know you we are complete strangers and the story above may not mean a thing to you. That's okay. But if you can help me in any way to get all my lose ends together in one pile, your compassion and contribution will be more appreciated than you could ever know, and your karmic inbox will be filled to the absolute brim - you really have no idea how much this will matter.

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default First Steps

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, some resources you may may not have stumbled upon in your wanderings through the RoadTrip America website. There are pages and pages devoted to planning a RoadTrip including the all-important daydreaming phase. Costs, of course, vary with your travel style and inflation, but here is a discussion of what needs to be considered and an article on the Art of the Cheap RoadTrip.

    The basic advice for setting up a RoadTrip that will best suit you is to just sit down with a good map or atlas of the U.S. and start marking the places you would like to go, that would interest either of you, or that would contribute to the spirit you're trying to create for your journey. Then connect the dots in some logical manner, and in particular look for those roads indicated (usually by a dotted green line) as scenic. Once you have a basic plan we can be much more help with the logistics, specific recommendations for places to see and roads that connect them. But that first important step of deciding where to go and how much time to spend going and being there is up to you.

    For both cheap and excellent camping accommodations, it's tough to beat the various state park systems. So wherever you decide to go, those are the first websites I'd be checking for smaller, quieter venues with camping.

    One other thing to keep in mind as you set this up is whether your cohort will need continuing medical attention during your drive, and how far into the 'backcountry' you want to get. It may be good for him or it may be too much to handle, so you might want to check with his caregivers on what they think of your plans,


  3. #3


    Speaking from my own experiences, and my my moniker I think it's an indication of my job on road trips, I always try to get us far enough from civilization that we can relax and enjoy the scenery, but close enough to said civilization that if there is a problem we can get help. I try to keep a route that puts us through a city of some size every 15-20 minutes. Most will be around 200-5000 people size-wise. Generally speaking, you are never too far from a hospital if needed, or even a mechanic if you should have car trouble. There are stretches in each state where you are out in the boonies, at least every state I've been in and I'm up to 17, but even then we've gone past the occasional house where I'm sure if we had to we could get help, i.e. a phone book to call an ambulance or tow truck. Most maps won't show every city on a stretch of road, but that doesn't mean they aren't there, just that the map doesn't feel them big enough to mention. Now, I do put us in a "large" city at the end of the day, meaning usually 20,000+ poplulation, or at least a city that's maybe right off an interstate, making for a better chance of finding a hotel.
    You've definitely come to the right site to get some good info. Welcome aboard and have fun on your trip. And I will ditto AZBucks last paragraph as well. Done even only partly right, road trips are a blast. Have fun.

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