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  1. Default Honeymoon Roadtrip

    So glad I found this site! My fiance and I are contemplating an extended roadtrip honeymoon through the American west. Right now, we're based in Texas, but that will change after he finishes school this time next year. Our plan is like this:

    -Leave Texas and head to Moab/Zion through New Mexico/Santa Fe
    -Grand Canyon (North Rim)
    -Las Vegas
    -Cut across California and up Pacific Coast Highway
    -San Francisco
    -Napa Valley
    -Northward through Cali/Oregon (is it worthwhile to make our way over to the Pacific, or are there more interesting things to do inland? If so, should we change the order of seeing the PCH/SF/Yosemite, all of which we both want to see)
    -Crater Lake
    -Mt. Ranier
    -Olympic National Park
    -Drive west on Canada Hwy 1 to Glacier NP/Banff
    -Glacier National Park
    -Yellowstone (we're worried about this being crazy overrun, but it seems a worthwhile stop since my fiance has never seen it)
    -Grand Teton
    -Begin making our way back along Colorado Rockies (we went to Rocky Mountain 3 years ago, so we don't necessarily need to revisit)

    We estimate this trip will take about 5 weeks. We've never attempted something of this scale, but 1) it's our honeymoon and 2) we will both be transitioning jobs, so this is a unique opportunity to take this long of a vacation. We will splurge on the nights we spend in cities (estimating an average of $100/night, probably more for SF but less for Vegas) and camp, on average, about 4 nights a week and stay in cheapo motels the other nights. We'll eat out of a cooler when we can and make foil packs a staple of our diet. We have pretty nice camping gear, including a propane gas stove, that will make "roughing it" easier. With food, gas, lodging and miscellaneous expenses, we estimate this will cost about $6,000, but that's honestly a (very) rough guess.

    Our end point will be his parents' house in Louisiana. We are moving after my fiance graduates, meaning we have to orchestrate a move before we embark on the roadtrip. On the upside, we won't have the cost of maintaining a house while we're on the road (no rent, utilities, cable or the like to worry about.) On the downside, we'll come out of this adventure with no home base to come back to, and will probably set out after a chaotic couple of days as we wrap up our lives in Texas.

    Here are my concerns:
    -We won't be traveling with any set itinerary; are we trying to cram too much in for a 5 week trip? 35 days seems like a long time, but then again, we're talking about driving approximately 8,000 miles. The end date is kind of open-ended, but we probably have to get back to the real world eventually.
    -Also, we don't have a firm timeline throughout, so will some of the areas we're visiting (I'm looking at you, Yellowstone) require advance reservations?
    -Has anyone squeezed in roadtrips between moves? What was your experience? This will be our honeymoon, so coming at this after being stressed out by packing seems like a bad idea
    -How can we make this as romantic as possible? We both want to approach this as a wherever-the-wind-takes us kind of trip (within reason - I always like to have a plan, so that doesn't come naturally) but I also want to have some really nice moments. There could be some really nice classically "honeymoon" places in Napa that I think would be perfect.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Addressing Concerns

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, my congratulations to you and your fiancÚ. Secondly, the bottom line is that a moderately extended RoadTrip can make a wonderful honeymoon and you've done a pretty good job already by choosing to travel through some of the most scenic and romantic areas of the country. On the 'Big Picture' side, 8,000 miles over 5 weeks is not an unattainable goal, but it does mean that you'll have to average about 225-250 miles a day. Over that long a period, being constantly on the move, even at that relaxed a pace, might end up detracting from the experience. So you might want to cut back a bit, particularly those stops at the extreme range of your itinerary, and spend more time savoring the places you do get to. Similarly, $6,000 would probably just fund what you have laid out, but if you could add $1,000 then you could make this a less stressful, once-in-a-lifetime experience. And I'd also try for another $1,000 put away in reserve against the unlikely event of an accident or illness.

    There will generally be no need to have a set itinerary. If you are traveling at 'this time of year' you will be ahead of the peak summer crowds for the most part. For example, the facilities at Old Faithful in Yellowstone open around late April, early May. But - if you plan to stay in the park's lodges, reservations would probably be in order even so. Every so often in your travels, be sure to stay in a remote or quaint B&B for a day or two and just soak up the ambience. Again the time of year means that you won't need reservations, but you should spend some time beforehand researching possible facilities in areas you'd like to explore in some depth. Thus armed with knowledge, you can decide which ones fit in with your actual needs while on the road.

    The nearest I've ever come to the kind of RoadTrip-as-move that you're contemplating is when I moved to New England hauling all my possessions in a trailer, and nowhere to live when I got there. It all worked out in the end - it always does. So just relax and enjoy your new life.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Careful Consideration

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've done an excellent job of thinking things out things and coming up with a very well designed plan.

    The only thing on your routing I would recommend changing is that I would do Vegas then Yosemite (going through Death Valley) then to the Coast (possibly also adding in Sequoia NP) and then head north up the Coast. I'd also take the coast at least up to the Redwoods before cutting over to Crater Lake.

    I think going without reservations will be perfect, as you'll be able to adjust things to your own liking while on the road. There may be some places, like Yellowstone and Yosemite, where finding a place is a little challenging, and if you can work it out so you avoid those places on a weekend, that would probably be good, but you should pretty much always be able to find something. The lack of needing to "be somewhere" after the stress of packing and presumably your wedding will also be a nice break.

    However, since you are up in the air at the end of things, I wouldn't hesitate to come back a few days earlier than you'd planned just to recover from your time on the road and to give you a few days to slowly get started on your move again when you get back. That should keep you from having a cloud over your trip and will let you focus on enjoying yourself.

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