Is a Month long enough?
I've been reading a lot of threads on this board and I hope this topic isn't superfluous but a friend and I want to take to take a road trip around the US. Starting in rhode island, going through South Dakota, montana, down through california, Vegas, Arizona, then through texas, and back up the east coast. We've set aside a month for the trip, is this too short? we're not looking for a speed trip. We want to spend a couple of days in yellowstone and in a couple of other places.
Any advice? if a month isn't enough, how long should we plan if we want to go at a fairly moderate pace?
A month or a lifetime
A trip like this is what you make it -- you can do the drive in a month (or less), or you could take 6 months -- or more.
Plan a route (and add up the total miles). Figure out how much time you want to spend behind the wheel, and how much time you'd like to spend doing something else, for each day, times the number of days. Figure the trip in sections, with X amount of time or miles in each section. Keep your plan flexible, rigid schedules are rarely adhered to anyway. Allot a period of time to each section, or area, and keep an eye on that to track your progress -- you'll know whether you are ahead or behind. You'll never be more than 5 days from home, most likely, so if worse comes to worst, you can break off and head home when you have to.
For me, a fairly moderate pace is about 200-300 miles per day, or less. I rarely ever plan successive driving days at 500 or more miles per day, but you can do these in short "bursts," followed by a more relaxed schedule for a day or two to recover.
For guestimation purposes, you can just about count on 52 mph for each hour you drive, so if you want to drive 5 hours on a given day, figure you can make about 250 miles.
If this answer isn't what you were looking for, feel free to re-phrase the question!
it depends on how many miles you want to travel each day, how many stops you want to make, days you want to spend at each stop, etc.
i did this: i used randmcnally.com to help me plan a road trip, you can put in different locations from your starting point and it will tell you how many miles it is from place to another...approximately of course depending on exact address location. i found it easier than map quest because you can put in up to 10 stops between start and finish points. i also kept a map next to me so i could find near by towns that may get me another hour down the road or that may have an attraction i'm wanting to see. i found that by doing this i could make it from sacramento, ca to atlanta, ga going through arizona, staying at the grand canyon and then stopping again tx for a day or two heading on to ga in 2 weeks including full weekends on each end.
so you're one month vacation could be done, just depends on what you want do to/where you want to/what you want to see.
hope this helped a bit.
also...(sorry i know this is long) if you don't know exactly what you want to see or what different little towns offer unusual attractions, find that out first. that will help you know exactly what you want to do where and how much time to spend in one place.
Thanks so much for the replies. I think, route wise, the route that's layed out on http://www.tabaddor.com is ideal for us. (just backwards)
Time wise, the guy who planned that route allotted six weeks, which is a possibility. unfortunately, I can't spend the whole summer traveling, if I had the money I would, but there are certian things that we want to see as I talked about in my first post. I just hope that a month will be long enough.
one more question...how do you plan out the trip, do you just layout a rough outline of where you want to be when and just play it by ear, or do you try to make reservations and plan where you want to be each day?
I usually know where I am going (the farthest destination point) so I decide which highways I want to travel, then figure my approximate stopping points based on my driving hours for each day, taking into account how much time I would like to spend at any attractions along the way (often this is only a guess, since you may not know how much time you'll want to spend at a place until you've spent it). I prefer to leave the EXACT stopping points up in the air, and retain flexibility by NOT making reservations. Exceptions to this "rule" might be holiday weekends, or very popular areas, where or when lodging might be scarce.
Finally, you have to fit the entire plan into the total time you have available -- so if you've plotted things out at 8 days, and you only have 7, you have to compress somewhere to accommodate the requirements -- either drive more miles on certain days or cut down the time at stops, or both. Unfortunately, for those (like me) with limited vacation/holiday time available, this is almost always a consideration.