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  1. Default Cross Country Road Trip

    I am looking for advice on how to plan a cross country road trip in August. I just graduated college and I am hoping to see some more of America, as I have never been west of the Mississippi. The rough plan now is to start in the DC area. Go to Michigan in a day, stay with family. Head up the mitten, across the Upper Peninsula, see the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore in S. Dakota. From there make our way to Seattle, WA (our final destination). The return I am hoping to go south, see the Grand Canyon and eventually stop in Chicago before making a last day back to Maryland. My girlfriend and I have about 20 days to spend. There is a lot in between and I am looking for advice on places to see, stay, eat. Any advice is welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd recommend that you plan to drive a maximum of 600 miles in one day. Example where you would be pushing it - trying to do Chicago to Maryland straight through. If you are not taking Interstates, cut that number back even more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Too many options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    In these early stages of planning I would look around the RTA site [there are millions of idea's] with a good map to hand and start filling in some of the blanks. With such a broad outline it is impossible to start listing things on a trip that crosses the country twice.

    To start planning, think of 500-600 miles a day on the road as a full day with only time for short breaks for food, bathroom breaks and to fill with gas and stretch the legs. To do this trip you would then be looking at 11 or 12 days of driving with detours into City and attractions, but not sight seeing. Therefor you will have to pick and choose carefully where you want to spend the remainder of your time and experience the places on your "wish list".

    If you have other questions when you have chipped away at your plans just ask, enjoy the planning !

  4. Default

    Driving across I-90, you have to stop at Wall Drug on your way to Badlands. Touristy, yes - but such a piece of Americana. And plan to be at Mt Rushmore in the evening for the lighting ceremony.

    And stick to your road trip plan - you won't have time to do this once you get a "real" job, then kids, then.....

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


    What type of lodging you are planning to use will also impact your decisions. If you're planning on doing a lot of tent camping to save some money, you'll want to have time to set up and take down your tent. If you're doing hotels/motels the entire trip, you won't have to add in this buffer so you'll have more time.

    Quote Originally Posted by arsenana View Post
    you won't have time to do this once you get a "real" job, then kids, then.....
    That's not necessarily true. There are many visitors to these forums who have included their children in with their dreams of taking trips of this nature.

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