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  1. Default Final roadtrip before we leave the country!

    My fiance and I moved from Melbourne, Australia to Boston in May 2010 and will be leaving the country in May 2011.

    Our flight home is booked from LA so we were thinking of driving across country to take in some of our last US sights for a while.

    We will have about 10 days in total to make it to LA... can anyone suggest a good driving route, how many hours we should expect to be driving each day as well as some good places to stop in between?

    We really appreciate it!

    Thanks! Vanessa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What's your 'thing' ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    On a multi day road trip you shouldn't try and cover more than 500-600 miles in a day, about 9-10 hours on the road with time for short breaks, no sight seeing. Allowing 6 days for the drive should be comfortable and leave you a little time for sight seeing. There is no 'hard and fast' rule' and you can mix it up a little so that you spend time in places that appeal to you, covering more ground on certain day's and not so much on others. The 2 obvious route choices would be taking I80 to I70 through Colorado and Utah or through St Louis to I44/40 that replaced much of route 66. Both take similar time to travel but you should look at the map, see what interests you, what little detours appeal and get a couple of dots on the map. Once you have done so we can certainly help to 'fine tune' it and make suggestions.

    My 'thing' is National parks and I would be looking at exploring a couple on the way through Colorado and Utah [Rocky mountain, Arches, Zion, Bryce] and perhaps cutting down to the Grand canyon, but what's your 'thing' ?

  3. Default

    New user here. I am a travelling person, and love to see places. It all boils down to how much you and your fiance are willing to drive. Are you splitting shifts?

    Assuming money isn't a HUGE issue, then you could drive from 9 AM to 8 PM (or slightly different based on preferences), splitting shifts along the way. I usually do this for 5-30 day trips:

    -10 min break every 2 hours for stretching and/or bathroom.
    -Gas stop for 10 min whenever necessary (usually comes down to about 300 miles on highways before the need for more gas).
    -Travel the entire time, splitting shifts in 4 hours, so you will not get tired of driving.

    On the next thought, the drive from East to West can be long and tedious, so I wouldn't recommend driving more than 400-500 miles (like the above poster said) per day. It will really get to you both. I did 700 a day at one point for 4 days straight, ALONE. Not fun! Your best bet is to visit key areas, but not travel too far to get there. You also want to stay away from cities. You can see cities anywhere, in every country. It will be around 4.5 days of driving if you follow the above recommendations (times, etc.). This will leave you 5 whole days of enjoying the sights. I'd recommend these stops (as they are both beautiful and convenient to your time needs). Take a look at some pictures on the internet if you have a chance. These are along the route.

    *n.p. = national park
    -Getysburg, PA (history)
    -Great Smokey Mountains N.P. (breathtaking view + scenery)
    -Carlsbad Caverns, Sequoia N.P. (amazing caverns, with underground tours for around 10-20 each)
    -(Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce N.P.'s as stated above - each of them is amazing)
    -If you are into amazing desert landscape, Death Valley N.P. is a really awesome photo op, in California...just don't stop on the road in the middle of nowhere)
    -Monument Valley, AZ
    -Four Corners Monument (the border of 4 states)
    -Mesa Verde N.P., Colorado

    Those are some wilderness/desert/mountain views. If you ARE a big city lover, though, some stops that may be of interest are:

    -San Antonio
    -Las Vegas
    -Chicago (only slightly out of route)

    I would say give Washington a l;ook, but time restrictions probably won't allow it. Safe travels, and congratulations on the engagement!

  4. Default

    Oh and sorry, I got so caught up I did not even think of the route to take.

    Best way to get straight there would be to actually changed interstates repeatedly. Taking the standard US-50 from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco would allow you to see the major "views" of the nation, but might actually take longer. The road is constant, and NEVER end, so it can be extremely tedious to take it, but along the way are Sierra Nevada and the Appalachian Moutnains...and the Rocky Mountains. Just a thought, but be prepared to enter the "abyss" when you grow weary of driving on one road for 3,200 miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Since you have known for some time that you will be doing this trip, I take it you have a good map of the USA and the various States through which an East - West trip takes you. If not, head to the AAA, and get some.

    Why not sit down with maps, and figure out what you want to see. If you have not yet been there, I can of course recommend the major national parks - Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Death Valley. All of Colorado is amazing, as is the region around Four Corners - Monument Valley, Archers, etc. All of these are nothing like you will ever see here.

    As I have a son who lives in Boston with his family, I have driven from coast to coast more than half a dozen times, and every time find a new route with new things to see.... many of them are already mentioned above.

    But as mentioned, it is up to you to decide what you want to see, and then design the trip around that. With 10 days, you have a nice combination of driving and sight-seeing days. And May is a great time in most National Parks.

    Lifey in Melbourne

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