U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 05-06-2016, 04:45 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,689 posts, read 40,050,764 times
Reputation: 23831


Sure... Think it through, make a general plan with lots of blank time, and get going.

Join AAA or similar, get an annual National Parks Pass...

I would use a camper van, as you can stealth camp about anywhere (including the parking lots of nice hotels / National Park Lodges.). Free campgrounds . Com works too. I often leave the campervan at an airport and fly home, or to a friend's place for a week or so. Flexibility of a campervan is a superb way to travel. Some camping spots are in a better location than any home / resort. You can take a nap, or fix a sandwich anytime you like. Want to stay next to a beautiful stream for a couple days... No problem. Roadtrek is my favorite campervan. My elderly mom had one to compliment her motorhome. She loved it, and it was very ez to re sell.

I prefer to stay in hospitality guest homes. If you are over age 40, there are several options. And much cheaper and safer than campgrounds. Far better than hotels. Great food, music, conversations too.

I sent a couple of my guest home directories with a single mom and her 2 teenage daughters on a RT USA route. After their first stay with locals / guesthome, they were hooked. They planned the rest of their trip, using guesthomes.... Today, 8 yrs later the single mom is traveling solo in Europe using the same guest home directory (I am in one tonight as well, and will be gone one yr RTW doing so),
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 05-10-2016, 09:28 PM
Location: Back and Beyond
2,845 posts, read 2,764,977 times
Reputation: 6625
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
stick to the blue highways and avoid the interstates for a truly more memorable experience
This. Avoid interstates at all costs an even Kansas becomes interesting. I've done something similar but for years and with a travel trailer so I could stop at a place for a while. Also only stop at non chain mom and pop type places and you'll meet some interesting people. Ride on and happy travels.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-13-2016, 08:24 AM
735 posts, read 432,906 times
Reputation: 597
With common sense and enough money, you will be safe but driving through the rectangle states is very boring. Travel fatigue is an even bigger issue, if you haven't experienced that, try visiting MET to get the museum fatigue. They are similar in that you are no longer interested after an extended period.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-15-2016, 01:10 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,246 posts, read 8,100,005 times
Reputation: 5309
We did a 3+ month 13,000+ mile trip a few summers ago: 34 states and 4 provinces of CDA, plus an Alaskan cruise in the middle.

We did it in our '02 Corvette, so my wife & I were elbow to elbow for that time. But, we got to carve some remarkable two lane, deserted blacktop roads in the Vette...roads we had ridden several times on m'cycle trips, but with 4 wheels under us. She slammed gears and carved corners more than half the time, so I as co-pilot could work the GOOG map on phone, shoot pics out the window and take some driving time off. As a solo driver, you will need time off/out of the car, and it may be more tiresome than having a co-pilot/co-driver.

I would do it again tomorrow, but even in retirement stuff gets in the way, and the calendar fills up, so I rec'd doing some aspect of your trip.

A 'year' is a long time out on the road, by yourself. If you are a photographer looking to shoot all the bucket list shots, at dawn and dusk or another hobby eg museums, odd out of the way places, historical spots, then your time will fill up, but a year is still possibly an optimistically long time frame, and winter isn't kind for driving around in many, most of the 'northern' states.

Pick a region, eg a dozen states of interest to you and head out: I agree on two lane roads/blue rds vs the interstate, unless you simply have to get somewhere at high speed.

We did not use pre planned 'stops' per se, and rarely booked motels ahead of the day so we could wander/end up where we wanted. A smart phone and a quick look at motels in your daily potential destination were all we needed, and the motel chain site is often better priced than the Priceline type sites, esp about 4-5 PM when any given motel is not yet booked up.

The only time we pre nailed lodging was in/around very popular Nat Parks, or in a popular spot over a holiday weekend.

I haven't camped since the Boy Scouts in the early '60s, and motels offer internet of some speed, a shower, a bed, TV for news & weather and a decent joint to eat usually within walking distance...

Try to 'land' somewhere for a couple nights occasionally, so you are not unpacking/reloading every eve and next morning...

If you are older, the Lifetime Nat Park Pass at $10 is The Buy from our government; if you are not old enough a Nat Park Pass is still available and will save you considerably over entry fees, eg seeing the North Rim at Dusk and again the next morning vs paying entry fees each time.

Restaurants, from 'breakfast' at the motel or next door local diner, to dinners in all levels of restaurants gets old after awhile. Grabbing a sandwich at any food store or a sushi to go adds some variety to sit down dinners.

Weather is a concern, (esp in our convertible which doesn't like lightning), so a good weather app is rec'd, as is GOOG maps, which worked literally everywhere on our trip, even in the boondocks with barely a bar of service.

Take charger(s) for you laptop, phone, et al and keep your phone cooking in the car.

On our trip we never encountered any bad guys or untoward situs. People were friendly, helpful and informative. Yes, we weren't solo, but a smile and a vibe of confidence goes a long way. I have a CCW license but I did not take/pack any gun on trip, as CDA and the cruise were a concern for carrying.

We had some map plans, but they were subject to change nearly daily, as our energy/interests/time/timing and focus often evolved at/near each 'destination'. Be flexible, realize you can't possibly 'see everything' and go with the flow and your interests. And, if you need a day or two to chill, sit poolside, catch up on email and photos, do it...

A newer car in good shape should not be a concern. We got the oil changed and a new air filter about half way along the way as any driving in many of the western states involves high winds and lots of blowing sand/debris.

If you have RFTs tires you can probably get to the next town, but that town may not have a tire joint with a new tire in your size. A roadside emergency card from your car insurer may be of value, out in the barely populated areas.

Apology for the term paper...pick a 'region', do some planning, pack less than think clothes wise, plan to spend more money than you think, pay your CCs promptly along the way to keep current/credit limit up, and have fun. If a regional trip of a few months satisfies or is all you thought it would, then keep going, or go home and plan the next trip!
GL, mD

Last edited by motordavid; 05-15-2016 at 01:20 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-21-2016, 10:23 AM
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
1,508 posts, read 2,330,886 times
Reputation: 1430
I could do a trip like this, given my job, but my wife couldn't because she doesn't see herself being away from worker longer than two weeks even if she had another two weeks of vacation. That being said, we have done two road trips out west each lasting two weeks. We booked hotel rooms at the places we wanted to see, and knowing how much gas is and such, it is fairly easy to see how much you will spend. It didn't cost anymore than I anticipated because all the big costs are known up front (hotel, rental car, gas).

The first trip we flew into Denver and immediately got the rental car and drove to Rapid City and saw that area for two and a half days, then drove to Billings MT stopping off at a few places, then to Glacier for two days, then Yellowstone for three, and back to Denver for two days in that area. We put 3,000 miles on the rental car for that trip. The second trip we flew into Las Vegas and had a long full day drive to Moab. Using Moab as a base to check out Monument Valley, SE, and eastern Utah over two days. Then drove through Utah west and then south to Kanab and stopped at Capitol Reef and Bryce NPs (we missed driving UT 12 the whole way because we turned around up in the mountains due to light snow). From Kanab we checked out Zion, and the N. Rim of the Grand Canyon and took a day trip into Page, AZ. Leaving Kanab we drove to the South Rim, then onto Vegas. Had three or four days in Vegas and we used that as a base to do day trips to Death Valley NP and Rachel, NV. Not sure how many miles we drove that trip.

If it was just me and no my wife, I would likely car camp in some areas to save money. One thing to do is go on-line and find places with good shower facilities (truck plazas, KOAs, etc.) that are open to the public (for a cost usually). That would save a lot of money right there not having to have a hotel every night.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top