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  1. Default Advice needed: first time USA, first time roadtrip (New York - Chicago)

    HI all,

    I am hoping somebody here can give me some advice. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to the states,(31st of August until 17th of September) starting in New York and ending with visiting friends in Chicago. In order to get from New York to Chicago we love the idea of a road trip. We have 6 days scheduled for this and hope to take in some of the beautiful nature. We are thinking of going via Great Smokey Mountains, is that doable in 6 days, considering we want to take our time and also go hiking there?
    It is difficult in this period to find accommodation, or in other words, do we need to book in advance or can we take the risk of just booking on the spot so we do not have to stick to some schedule but can just drive and see?
    Looking forward so any advice you can give us, much appreciated
    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Sounds like a great trip.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    A trip from NY to Chicago via the Great Smokey Mtns NP would be two and a half day's driving, so with six days available, you have the time to enjoy this NP.

    I would however recommend that you plan to arrive in Chicago in the middle of the day. Rush hour traffic can be quite something in that city. If you could tell us where in Chicago you are heading, Those who are familiar with the city will probably recommend on which interstate to approach the city.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    As far as accommodation during that period, Labor Day is Sept. 7th. That's the day before a lot of American children (and their teachers) start school. So it's the last hurrah for the summer. Anytime before Sept. 8th, therefore, I would book accommodation, especially in the Great Smoky Mountain area.


  4. Default

    Hi lifey and Donna Thank you for your feedback. We Will definately make our accommodation reservations Then, good that you mentoin labour day. I had not considered that. Anny recommandations for adordable cabins in Great smokey mountains? As far as driving into Chicago is concerned, we need to rent a car so I was thinking of picking up at jfk and returning at ord, in order to avoid driving in the cities. Our friends live in north Michigan avenue so I guess we are better off taking public transport into the city.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It will probably be considerably cheaper renting from EWR instead of JFK, and cheaper yet from off-airport agencies.

  6. Default

    Thans for the tip that is indeed considerabele cheaper! I understand off-AirPort would be even cheaper but I would like to avoid driving to much in the city. Any specific location that you could recommand?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'd be looking for something that's easily reachable by transit from NY, so perhaps search around Newark's Penn Station or Broad St. Station. From there, you should be able to find a rental car location either within walking distance or close enough where the rental agency will pick you up. NJ rates usually end up being cheaper, but it wouldn't hurt to look and see what rates you find while searching in NY City itself.

    Car rental rates can be very fluid, so even locations among the same brand a few miles apart can have big price differences.

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