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  1. Default First time and overwhelmed!!

    Hi all. This forum is opening my eyes to so much as I am planning my first trip overseas and where better than America? I Hope I can get help from here as the idea of going to America is very daunting at the moment.
    If I throw down my wish list here, I was hoping that I could start to build my itinerary with the help of everyone here.

    Plan is 3 weeks max and hopefully in May 2011.

    Wanting to do some driving at some stage but dont want to be driving too long distances as I think I may be trying to cram too much in as it is.

    Well here goes and this will be in no order. I will begin to build itinerary based on opinions from here.

    Los Angeles
    San Fran
    San Diego
    New York
    Memphis New orleans

    Things to see and do are
    Helicoptor over GrandCanyon
    Stay at Bellegio
    Sea World
    Universal Studios
    Golden gate bridge
    Fishermans Wharf
    American Indians

    Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated and of course I will keep everyone updated with my itinerary progress and also my experience once I have had my holiday.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default breaking it down

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think a big reason you're overwhelmed is because you are trying to cram the entire US into one trip. Even if you do decide you can fit in everything you've already listed into 3 weeks, you're going to be much better off breaking things into pieces.

    I assume you are thinking of flying from the west coast back to NY? What about your stops in the Southeast - are you going to drive to them from NY, or are you looking at another flight somewhere?

    You've got a lot you want to do, and it might be too much to do in 3 weeks, but the easiest way to figure out is to start by mocking up an itinerary, and get a rough idea of what you would do and how much time you'd have to do it. That should give you a better idea of how you want to go about doing your trip, and if it is too much. Once you've got that down, we can help you decide what will work, what won't, and what you can do in between the stops you've listed.

  3. Default

    Ok thats what I thought. I have started an itinerary that I will attempt to attach. It does show that I do not know how to finish trip and also I need to start fleshing out activities and how to get from place to place. How do i attach a file? Said was invalid. Just an excel spreadsheet!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO

    Default Attachments

    The only types of files you can attach are images. I'd recommend you simply copy and paste the spreadsheet into the reply box. Hopefully, it will format okay.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Ambitious.

    Yeah, that's a lot to attempt in 3 weeks, especially as you don't want to do long drives. If you were to drive the entire route it would be in the region of 6000 miles. If you were to spend just 2 day's at each of your destinations listed to see the sights, you would need to drive for about 9 hours a day for the remaining 13 day's of your trip ! That's without travelling to and from the US so that's already quite a squeeze.

    You could of course fly between certain area's, but that can be time consuming and expensive with a number of car rentals, subject to one way drop off fees plus the flights. I think you will get more out of the trip by doing less, perhaps by either driving around the Southwest and flying to NY, or drive across the country via Memphis etc, but either way leave the South and Miami for another day.

    It's probably best just to jot your thoughts down in the reply box for us to look over.

  6. Default

    Ok well here goes. This is just regurgitated thoughts so happy for anyone to start talking about best ways to do this. I will then start an itinerary and post again. Happy for any suggestions here.

    X Fly to LA and stay at Anaheim do Disney, Universal Studios and walk of fame etc. think 3 days. Should I add another day for San Diego Seaworld?
    X Go to Vegas. Not sure on how to get there yet. Fly or drive? Do Grand Canyon from here and Hoover Dam by hiring a car. thinking 3 days here.
    X Fly or drive? to San Fran. Do Alcatraz, Golden Gate and other recommended. Not sure how long to stay here. Yosemite?
    X Fly to New York. Do the tourist stuff. Any recommendations here? Bit lost for time and activities here.
    X Now want to include Nashville Memphis Tennessee New Orleans if possible in some way.
    X Florida Orlando Miami if possible
    X Fly back to Australia. Not sure where from.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I don't think 3 weeks is enough to see all the sights you want in the West, Northeast, and South. You could very easily burn up 3 weeks just doing what you want to do in the West!

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


    That's a better start, but you've still got quite a lot to work out.

    I'll say this: the only things you've laid out times for are in LA and Vegas, and with just those 2 stops you've already burned up your first week. You've got 7 more cities listed you want to see - and most of those are on the opposite sides of the continent.

    Just from a first glance, I think you'll want about 2 weeks just for the west coast, It would probably be easiest and cheapest to rent a car and do a big loop LA to Grand Canyon to Vegas to Death Valley/Yosemite to SF and possibly back down the coast to LA. With your remaining week, I think I'd pick from one of the other three options: New York, Florida, or Tennessee/NOLA. Otherwise, I think you're going to have to fly from city to city, spending almost as much time in airports as you do actually exploring places.

  9. Default

    How about this as a different approach and then I can flesh it out.
    Fly to San Fran 2 days
    Fly to LA on 3rd day. 2 days
    Fly to Vegas 3 days.
    Fly to New York 3 days?
    Fly to somewhere around kentucky memphis. Want to do elvis tour, bourbon tours and new orleans. Not sure on how long? Fly from Memphis to New Orleans?
    Fly to Orlando? To do miami florida etc but not sure how long.
    Fly back to either LA or straight to Australia.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's what you want.

    Are you sure this is what you want from your trip ? If you want to fly in and out of a few major City's, then you can pretty much make things fit as you want to, to the time you have available. We are happy to offer advice where we can, but being a Roadtrip forum with like minded people, we are generally about getting out on the road and exploring America rather than flying over it. There is nothing wrong with your choice's if that is what you want to do, I am just not sure that you will get the experience you are after going from City to City, and airport to airport.

    Note that you can't visit Grand canyon from Las Vegas as a day trip in a car rental, it would require at least one overnight stop. If you want to see different aspects of the US, then I would re-visit Michael's advice in his previous post, if you are after City breaks then you can make it fit to your own preference's.

    I would urge you to do some of your own research, as there are some pretty amazing sights in the US that doesn't involve everything being 'man-made'. At least then you can make some informed decisions on how to get the best from your trip.

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