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Old 06-24-2007, 05:22 PM
 
253 posts, read 956,666 times
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Has anyone ever been interested in taking a road trip completely through all the US states?

How would you prepare for such a trip overall (and that includes financially)?

Would you take your own car, rental or RV?

How much time would you need off?

Would you go alone, with a partner, family and/or friends?

Would you make it a point to visit landmark areas in each state as well as lodge at landmark hotels/motel?
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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I would -love- to do that, and definitely with a partner, not friends, family or by myself. I'd say to do it right you'd need at least 3 months so that you can explore as well.

There are definitely some landmark areas I'd love to see, but I couldn't see myself standing in front of the world's largest ball of wax with a stupid grin on my face and posing for a picture, lol
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,909,157 times
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I've done it twice, both times were very different. The first time, I was on sabbatical and took more than 3 months. I keep it simple, stayed at hostels, and drove a very economical car. This time I spent much more, gas was 3x higher, and I did it in about half the time. Both times I did it alone.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,446,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
Has anyone ever been interested in taking a road trip completely through all the US states?

How would you prepare for such a trip overall (and that includes financially)?

Would you take your own car, rental or RV?

How much time would you need off?

Would you go alone, with a partner, family and/or friends?

Would you make it a point to visit landmark areas in each state as well as lodge at landmark hotels/motel?
I've done a large portion of the Western U.S., but not the whole country (yet). I take my family, and try to see many of the landmarks that are of interest to me (or to members of my family). We try to get to most of the National Parks along the way, as well as many other landmarks. Most of the time, though, we camp along the way, or stay at affordable hotels/motels to keep costs down a bit. The most ambitious trip I've taken so far was to 11 western states (most of the big ones) in about two weeks. We saw eight National Parks or monuments, Monument Valley, Four Corners, three steam locomotive powered railroads, two stock car races (at two different tracks), lots of gorgeous scenery, and countless wild animals, we visited with friends and relatives, and saw about 4700 miles of highway along the way.

I try to take a road trip with the family at least once a year, and usually try to go somewhere new on each trip. So far, we've only been as far east as Nebraska, but some day hope to see at least a part of every state in the nation.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 3,985,559 times
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I have done this a few times and LOVED it!

So far I covered all except the NE of the USA. I love it. As a student, before I get a real job that only gives me 2 weeks off a year, I took advantage of the summer breaks.

>>How would you prepare for such a trip overall (and that includes financially)?
There are many "checklists" online (and I think I just saw one on this forum). In the end, it all depends on what you need. For gas, make sure you plan an extra $.50 - $1.00 per gallon (depends on where you need to go. This is a hurricane season after all.)

I used my car. The planning is based on Microsoft Street & Trips software (a life saver on a laptop or any PC). You can also use MapQuest/Google maps. However, the online versions, to me, are limiting of the master plan that I can do it on Microsoft’s mapping program.

>>How much time would you need off?
This really depends on you and what you like to see. The more the better. Being realistic, if you only have 3 weeks then you can only plan for 3 weeks.


>>Would you make it a point to visit landmark areas
Once I pick the top 4/5 cities I want to visit, I plan the rest of the trip (road and timing) based on national parks and landmarks that are in a fair distance.


>>Would you go alone, with a partner, family and/or friends?
Everyone else I know cannot take so much time off to do this tip. This is the reason I am taking it in my “early lifetime”. People I know are waiting for their RETIREMENT to do this.

I said to myself that I am not waiting for my retirement in 55+ years to do this. I ended up doing the trip myself. While it would be nice to have a friend to share the trip, I did not have one that could do it. It is also not too bad to do it yourself, as I manage my own time and schedule (i.e I loved the Grand Canyon so much I decided to stay there more than planed etc).

If you can take someone with you, do it. However, do not throw the trip out of your mind if you cannot find anyone to do it. I will not give up my ambitions and dreams for the reason that I cannot find anyone else who are interested in the same area. That is me.

The best tip: If you plan to visit many federal places/landmarks, get the NATIONAL PARKS PASS. It was $50 (I think now it is $80), but it allows you to enter ANY and ALL national parks in the United States for a YEAR.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:27 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,346,592 times
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I've seen all 48 states and Ontario and Quebec in a big truck. Besides that, the lovely wife and I have made extended trips around various regions of the U.S. She's an excellent planner. We're also lucky to have military friends scattered around the country and have stayed with them as well as had them visit us. We always took our own car. We also enjoy staying at bed & breakfasts vs. hotels/motels. while we've never taken an extended vacation (no more than two weeks, we've still managed to see a good bit of the country in increments.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
788 posts, read 3,769,692 times
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I haven't done this, but so so so want to. The following is my advice, but take it with a grain of salt since it is all theory (cause I haven't done it yet).

1.) If you have someone in your life who you know is a great traveling companion, take them. For me, that's my hubby. I just visited my parents this weekend, and although I love them madly, I couldn't take a long vacation with them. Actually, I couldn't do a long road trip with most people. You need someone fun who doesn't easily get on your nerves.
2.) I recommend seeing the country in increments. For example, if you have a month of travel, try to fit in no more than 2-3 states in that time, that way you can see what you want to see as well as get a more substantial feel for the area instead of just getting a very vague impression of the place. In fact, if you don't have a whole lot of time, and your visiting a big place like Texas, perhaps just visit that one state, but see it all--east, west, north, south, and central.
3.) Check the chamber of commerce webpage for ideas on what to do and see in the places you're visiting as well as these boards. Do the things that you want to do, not necessarily things you feel you should do.

Not sure about the RV vs. rental vs. your own car. I looked up RV rental prices and was SHOCKED at how high they are...but if you factor in other things like what you would save on hotel fees, then maybe it is worth it. Not sure...
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,016,442 times
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I would love to spend a year or even two , travelling throughout the US. I love the vast open spaces, deserts and the stunning scenery from the volcanoes of Hawaii to the Grand Canyon , the Northwest Pacific, New England, the Deep South,SouthWest. America truly is a gorgeous, awe inspiring place and it would be fabulous. I think I would prefer spending more time in places so as to really get a feel of it. I feel I already know the USA quite well, but one of my dream has always been a "Travels with Charley" type of thing... The open road beckons , if only I had a free year or two ! I'm not sure how I would cope with an RV as I am a bit of a fusspot and need a bath everyday ( hate showers) but otherwise the idea is very appealing indeed. I also fancy carrying on to Mexico , then Central and South America and then maybe finally Canada... Of course this would then lead to a road trip to Europe, Asia and Australia too !
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
2,031 posts, read 6,139,876 times
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In my opinion, taking a road trip throughout the U.S. would be very tiresome, expensive, uncomfortable, etc. It would seem that you would spend most of your time driving. I would suggest not tackling such an adventure in one trip.
Pick out the most favorite parts of the U.S. you would like to visit and book yourself on an escorted motorcoach tour and leave the hassles to the tour company. This way you will get an orientation of the places you are interested in and next trip you can venture out on your own to discover places you didn't get to see the first time. Another suggestion would be to fly to a major airport, rent a car do your own driving around and taking a smaller tour the first time and next time pick another destination, if you don't like tours. This way you cut out a lot of driving through very boring interstates that take up your time and money. With such a huge country you really can't do it justice to just drive through it and not really appreciate what you are seeing. I have always wanted to take some time and visit the western states, but from my perspective here in the east, just the great distances seem overwhelming.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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I would recommend finding the best seasons for each region of the country and visit that region then. Florida and the southern states are MISERABLE this time of year. I would take one region at a time. And someday we may do just that...
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