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  1. Default In Search of Nature: USA Road Trip by Two Italian Guys in September

    Hello everyone!
    We are Mattia and Martina, and we live in northern Italy. We are planning a road trip in the United States in September 2024 and would like your help.
    We have decided on a 3-week itinerary. We love mountains, mountain lakes, animals, and clean air. However, we are also open to exploring deserts and canyons.

    Our questions are as follows:

    - We would like to base our road trip around nature, visiting national parks and avoiding big cities as much as possible. Since we will be using the same airport, is it better to land in New York or Los Angeles? (According to you, is it better to visit the western or eastern part of the United States?)
    - What type of vehicle do you recommend? I was thinking of a mid-sized SUV or a truck (Ford F-150 etc)
    - Do you suggest booking various Airbnb accommodations in advance, or should we book them as we go?
    - Based on the characteristics described above, do you have any pre-planned road trips to recommend?

    This will be our first trip to the United States, and we can't wait!
    Thank you for your valuable advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Answering questions

    To answer some of the questions you raise:

    Where to base your trip - if you are looking for majestic mountains, beautiful scenic drives, you may wish to "go west". Los Angeles is just one place to center, another one would be Las Vegas, or even Denver. It really depends on what you want to see. If you want history, lower mountains, and even "leaf peeping", then east coast it would be and NYC would make a good central city to start. However, you said not a lot of cities, and the eastern US has more of them, or so it seems like. I used to live in the western US, and my hubby and I did a lot of traveling on that side of the country.

    No, we don't have lists of pre-planned trips. Our purpose here at RTA is to encourage people to plan their own trips based on what YOU want to see, not a list of places we think you should see. My suggestion, in that regard, is to get an atlas of the USA - Rand McNally makes good ones - and start searching it for places that sound interesting to you. Pretty soon, obvious routes will start to come. We can always help you fine tune. Another thought is to read some of the forum posts in the "Road Trip Reports" forum. You may find some that interest you that would make a good base to start.

    Road trip vehicle - for renting, you'll probably find it difficult to rent a pick-up for long distance usage. SUV's are more common, but more expensive. A sedan would be comfortable, too. That will depend on your budget. Bear in mind that sedans get better fuel mileage than SUV's.

    Lodging - I can't answer about airbnb or VRBO since my husband and I stick to regular hotels and motels. A general rule of thumb is, though - if you are trying to stay near a popular tourist venue like a national park or beach area, reserve ahead! My husband and I like the thought that at the end of a driving or sightseeing day, we know we have a clean room to go to, and don't have to try to find something on the fly, so we reserve it all ahead - even if it's only 24 or 48 hours ahead.

    Hope this helps.


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

    Default We're here to help!

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    Donna has answered your questions and I, from a personal point of view, would recommend the West, there is so much amazing and diverse scenery and many National parks to enjoy! Whether to book lodgings in advance or not is a personal matter. Some like the freedom of not being tied down to time and places and others, like me, prefer to know where they are sleeping at night so I can just maximise every moment of the day enjoying my surroundings, especially on a limited timescale with much to see!

    One thing you haven't mentioned is how much time you have available for the trip and if you prefer to travel at a sedate pace and enjoy a few places or whether you prefer to keep on the go and get a good overview of more places.

    You will find lots of info by searching around the RTA site, there are links at the top and bottom of each page, we have mapping programs and Field reports to help with your planning and just by scrolling down this page you will see 'Similar threads' which will repeat as many times as you wish. As Donna mentioned, we don't offer pre-planned trips as we believe in individual choice, but if you engage us with questions and ideas we would love to help you build your own personal 'Dream' road trip!

    Enjoy the planning!


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