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  1. #1
    Abel Ramous Guest

    Default Summer Road Trip All Over. Please Help! :)

    Hey ya'll, Abel here from San Antonio, TX. Well, me and four of my friends, ages, 18 (myself), 18, 19, and 16 are planning a roadtrip. I'm in charge since this was my big idea. Basically the deal is this:
    None of my friends have left the state of Texas..EVER! :) So, I wanna show them the wonders of America. We're planning to go from San Antonio to Little Rock to Chicago to Denver (Aspen or Vail is a must according to my friend Robert) to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to San Diego to Phoneix, down I-10 back to San Antonio. We have about 9 days or so...we would like to spend 2 or 3 days in Southern California and maybe a day and a half in Chicago. I did a similar trip to this when I was 8 but I was WAY too young to appreciate it. Any tips, advice, stops, must-sees? I really don't know where to start and it's only 2 weeks away! :-o! Please help! Your generosity is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default 9 days!

    You only have 9 days and you want to spend 2-3 days in So Cal?

    OK, let's say you spend 2 days in So Cal...this leave you 7 days to drive 5100+ miles. MS Streets & Trips predicts this will take you about 83 hours. 83 hours divided by 7 days has you driving 12 hours daily.

    Nothing wrong with this if that's what you want but it sure doesn't leave you much time to explore. You may want to concentrate on either the western destinations, or those to the east, but not both, IMHO.

  3. #3


    yeah ... that's going to be a rough one especially if you want to pass through CO and are thinking about stopping by Vail or Aspen. Aspen especially takes a good chunk of time to get to/from (though it's a sweet drive and a fun town!).

    you might think about devoting your trip to either heading north to Chicago and back, driving to CO and exploring the Rockies and back, or going to Southern CA and back (since you'll definitely want to check out the Grand Canyon as well!).

    if you plan to go to Southern California ... I highly recommend finding a way to get yourself to Southern Utah. the stretch of land from Arches National Park to the Grand Canyon (through Capital Reef NP, Bryce Canyon, and Zion NP) is AWESOME!

  4. #4
    Abel Ramous Guest


    Alright, ya'll have convinced me that we would no doubt be stretching ourselves thin. We're young, all 18 and 19, and we love the road. How about 12 days? Does this sound any better?
    Day 1: Leave San Antonio @ 6 a.m. Assuming congestion in DFW, and a nice lunch and at least three stops Arrive @ Little Rock at 6. Go out and see the city in the evening and see a nice show downtown at one of the little music venues. Night at hotel. Sleep by midnight
    Day 2. Leave LR @ 7 a.m. Arrive @ Chicago @ around 7:30 in the evening. We'll take turns driving and napping. Go out and see things in Chicago at night (I have no idea what we could do..still researching).
    Day 3. See Chicago ALL day. The Lake. The Field Museum. Lincoln Park. Sears Tower. Etc. Etc. Night at hotel.
    Day 4. Leave Chicago @ 7:30 a.m. (Assuming my driving habits) Arrive at Kansas City at 4 in the afternoon. I'll see some friends from college and see the city? DOn't know what i could see (any ideas?) Night at my friend's apartment.
    Day 5. Leave @ 7 a.m. Drive to Denver. Assuming stops, etc. get there around, 5 in the afternoon. **ALSO, WE'LL GAIN AN HOUR FOR TIME ZONES SO...I GUESS WE'LL GET TO ASPEN AT 4:00***
    Go out and see Denver, enjoy the dining and nightlife, etc.
    Day 6. Wake up at 8 a.m Go out and explore Denver some more. See sites (no idea what to see yet) for a few hours. Leave Denver around 11 a.m. Drive to Aspen and get there around 2:30 p.m. My friends insist we go to Aspen..for what I have no clue. I guess we'll just play around there for a few hours. Leave Aspen at 5 or so.
    We really wanna drive down that scenic road ( me out..i don't remember which one) Then we'll hop back on to southern Utah and end up in somewhere there. We'll spend the night wherever we end up.
    Day 7. Wake up at noon. We'll need all our rest. We'll fiddle faddle around in So. Utah and wherever. Since we'll gain an hour in Nevada, Get to Vegas around 6 or so. Then it's down the strip, pictures, bellagio fountains, whatever little shows we can find...ANYTHING! VEGAS! At 10, we'll leave discreetly and end up 3 hours later in Oceanside, CA to my sister's condo.
    Day 8. Wake up at 9. Drive an hour and some change up to Los Angeles. Chinese Theater, Sunset Rd, Walk of Stars, Wax Museum (ugh! Tourist dive!), nice restaraunt for lunch, down sunset all the way to Venice Beach. Some nice tanning in the mid afternoon. Tickets to see a show in the evening (NBC :0 )...back to Oceanside.
    Day 9. Leave Oceanside and take the half hour trip down to San Diego area. La Jolla Shores, tours, museums...Tiajuana around 3 or so....nice dinner somewhere on the cove, San Diego clubbing, outrageous partying. Back to Oceanside.
    Day 10. Leave to Alamogordo New Mexico. Yep, that's a LONG drive. Check out White Sands. Collapse at my uncle's house.
    Day 11. Back to San Antonio mid to late afternoon. SLEEPPPPP!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You have a rocket-propelled car?

    I will respond in greater detail later, but the one thing that caught my attention was the drive from Las Vegas to Oceanside in three hours? If you can do it in less than five hours I will buy you a... (hmmm you are under age)... a coke!

    <a href = "">For Local Las Vegas happenings -- click here<a/>.

  6. #6
    imported_Transplanted Midwesterner Guest

    Default Underestimating

    I think you still may be underestimating just how much time you'll need for this trip.

    First of all, you are planning to be on the road by 7 or 8 in the morning nearly every day. The reality is that getting four young guys up and on the road that early is really difficult. Usually you can pull it off for the first day or two, but by the time you get showers, breakfasts, check-out of a hotel or break down camp, its pretty impressive to be on the road by 8 or 9.

    I also think it is going to take more time to get between places that you're planning for. 12 hours for Little Rock to Chicago seems optimistic, particularly with Chicago traffic, where just getting from the suburbs to downtown can take two hours. Even without traffic, that's a 650 mile trip, meaning at least 10 hours on the road plus stops for lunch, bathrooms, gas, and stretching that all take much longer than you'd think. The time you've allotted for KC to Denver, and as Mark mentioned, Vegas to LA are both very close to pipedreams. You might be able to pull them off somehow, but that faster than I've ever been able to get between those cities.

    You'll probably also spend a lot more time looking around the cities you stop in too. 4 hours for Vegas certainly could be done, but it's very easy to get sucked in for much longer than that even if you're under 21.

    If it were me, I'd cut out Chicago from this year's trip. At the very least, it will give you more time to explore without feeling like you have to get to the next place. And if you can still pull off your timetable, you can spend more time at places like the grand canyon or the National Parks in Utah. You'll also be less likely to hate your friends by the end of the trip if you aren't pushing yourself so hard. As an added bonus, if you leave Chicago off your itinerary this year, it gives you more reason to take another trip next summer!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Blitz Roadtrips can be fun, but...

    "...As an added bonus, if you leave Chicago off your itinerary this year, it gives you more reason to take another trip next summer!..."

    LOL...this bears repeating.

    I've done blitz roadtrips like this if I have someplace to be and have no other choice. Yeah, they're still fun but I would suggest doing the Serendipity-Style, go-with-the-flow type trip for young folks off on their first big adventure.

    In other words, just get in the car and drive, no set destination, turn down whatever road looks interesting, and just explore. These are the best types of trips, IMHO.

  8. #8
    Abel Ramous Guest

    Default Yeah...true

    Alright, ya'll have concinved me. No Chicago. So, what about San Antonio up to Santa Fe, up to Denver, to Salt Lake, to San Fran, to LA, to San Diego, to Phoenix, and back....all this in a good 13 days? I cut out the whole midwest portion of this and gave myself more time. Is this more feasible?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yes

    Yes, that is definitely more feasible. I still say that I think you should just do a meandering trip....meaning, no destination. Just hop in the car and go where the road leads you. Or, if you have one or two places you must go, do them first and then spend the rest of your trip meandering home. The best roadtrips are those unplanned, without deadlines, that allow you to explore anything serendipitous that intrigues you along the way.

  10. #10
    imported_Liz Guest

    Default O MAN!

    Well dear,
    I'll have to say that the second idea sounds more feasible but a definite stretch. Let me give you an example- next summer I'm taking a trip much like yours ; ALL around the US. BUT unlike you im taking two months to do it. Now I think that even that in itself is a stretch. I have more destinations than u could imagine too-two buddies in tow. Maybe you should work on making a plan were each of you drive for a certain amount of time while the others sleep to save time on the driving portion. And take some advice that Judy gave me- CAMPING IS GOOD! Good luck 2 u!

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