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Old 08-19-2008, 08:04 AM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,577,663 times
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What an awesome idea! Go for it! I wouldn't plan out every step of the way, that would make it to rigid, and you would probably miss out on a lot of things that you didn't know to add.

I love the calling someone idea. You might arrange to call someone every day by no later than 4pm. that way if someone doesn't get the call, they are on alert and looking for you. Worst case scenario, call your own home and leave a message on your answering machine. I do that sometimes when I take off on the spur of the moment and no one knows where I am going.

Definitely use a reliable car and get AAA so that there will always be someone to help you if you have a car emergency.

Of course, good first aid kit, basic medications, dry goods in the car, etc. will save you some running around in the event you need the basics.

Also, I'd take a set of sheets and towels just in case you end up in a seedier motel as mentioned above.

I think your idea is great, you have a lot of advice about safety up here that is really number 1! You want to come back safe and sound.

Oh, yeah, you might want to keep a little journal about where you went, who you met, what you saw, what you did.

and you might want to check out the book 1,000 places to see in US before you die, just to check your route out and see what's along it.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:59 PM
 
Location: London, ON, Canada
156 posts, read 582,720 times
Reputation: 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
What an awesome idea! Go for it! I wouldn't plan out every step of the way, that would make it to rigid, and you would probably miss out on a lot of things that you didn't know to add.
You're probably right. It makes it more exciting as well, being free ont he open road

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
I love the calling someone idea. You might arrange to call someone every day by no later than 4pm. that way if someone doesn't get the call, they are on alert and looking for you. Worst case scenario, call your own home and leave a message on your answering machine. I do that sometimes when I take off on the spur of the moment and no one knows where I am going.

Definitely use a reliable car and get AAA so that there will always be someone to help you if you have a car emergency.

Of course, good first aid kit, basic medications, dry goods in the car, etc. will save you some running around in the event you need the basics.
I definitely will bring my cellphone, my parents would never let me go without it haha. And my dad had a great first aid kit in the back of his car which I'm sure I can use. Great idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
Also, I'd take a set of sheets and towels just in case you end up in a seedier motel as mentioned above.

I think your idea is great, you have a lot of advice about safety up here that is really number 1! You want to come back safe and sound.
Yeah, safety is my number one worry. Safety is the main reason I posted on this forum to figure out what precautions I should take, and just get any other useful tips, like yours, that will help me

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
Oh, yeah, you might want to keep a little journal about where you went, who you met, what you saw, what you did.

and you might want to check out the book 1,000 places to see in US before you die, just to check your route out and see what's along it.
I already knew I'd take a journal. I took one for my backpacking trip through England, Scotland, and Wales this past May, and I am so thankful for it. So many things I had seen and done I would have totally forgotten if I hadn't wrote about them in my journal
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:53 PM
 
4,800 posts, read 10,583,283 times
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One place to find areas of interest is to check out the state government websites where you think you might go. They usually have a link to tourism which will give information on state parks are other local attractions and places of interest you may want to visit if you are in the area.

I grew up in Kansas so if you do go there you may want to check out an area called the Flint Hills which is an area of prairie covered hills. If you go to Arkansas and Oklahoma I definitely recommend you check out a small range of mountains that straddle the border of those states called the Ouachita Mtns.

There is no right answer to planning a road trip like this. It depends on your own personality. Some people like to plan out their trip down to the most specific detail , even to where they are going to stay before they have even started a trip. Others will spin a bottle and go in that direction.
One other thing to look out for if you do go in September through November through these small towns. Sometimes the motels will be completely booked on Friday nights. Why? Because it's football season and sometimes fans from the opposing team may stay overnight so watch out for that.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:00 PM
 
Location: London, ON, Canada
156 posts, read 582,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
One place to find areas of interest is to check out the state government websites where you think you might go. They usually have a link to tourism which will give information on state parks are other local attractions and places of interest you may want to visit if you are in the area.

I grew up in Kansas so if you do go there you may want to check out an area called the Flint Hills which is an area of prairie covered hills. If you go to Arkansas and Oklahoma I definitely recommend you check out a small range of mountains that straddle the border of those states called the Ouachita Mtns.

There is no right answer to planning a road trip like this. It depends on your own personality. Some people like to plan out their trip down to the most specific detail , even to where they are going to stay before they have even started a trip. Others will spin a bottle and go in that direction.
One other thing to look out for if you do go in September through November through these small towns. Sometimes the motels will be completely booked on Friday nights. Why? Because it's football season and sometimes fans from the opposing team may stay overnight so watch out for that.
Excellent information! I will definitely look into those areas you mentioned

And I won't be travelling between Sept. to November, since I have school. Hopefully this trip will be next summer, perhaps May or June?
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:06 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,894,255 times
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The buses in America used to have a special to travel for a certain length of time for almost nothing. Some bus stops are not in the best part of town, so you would probably need money for a taxi to get out of the area for a hotel. That is just one idea. Car trips are good too and I think there are many train trips that cover places even cars cannot get to. Just some thoughts. Otherwise pick where you want to go to and from and google the trip for the most direct route or avoid major highways. AAA will do a trip plan too if you want to join. AAA is well worth the money for our uses. They are great when you have a flat, lock the keys in the car, or the battery goes.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:09 PM
 
Location: London, ON, Canada
156 posts, read 582,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
The buses in America used to have a special to travel for a certain length of time for almost nothing. Some bus stops are not in the best part of town, so you would probably need money for a taxi to get out of the area for a hotel. That is just one idea. Car trips are good too and I think there are many train trips that cover places even cars cannot get to. Just some thoughts. Otherwise pick where you want to go to and from and google the trip for the most direct route or avoid major highways. AAA will do a trip plan too if you want to join. AAA is well worth the money for our uses. They are great when you have a flat, lock the keys in the car, or the battery goes.
hmm interesting. i never considered a train or bus. Family friends of ours did a tour of America by train, and it sounded pretty amazing! But do the trains go to the more remote places? Would they stop in the smaller towns? That's ultimately what I'm going for, the true Middle-America, to see the places people don't often see.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:42 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,612 times
Reputation: 10
Default Great thread with lots of good advice..

I found this thru some google-ing. I am taking a roadtrip myself mid october for 2 weeks. Start in Kentucky, going west. No plans as far as places. Just me, the map, the car and the road. It was hard to find good advice, but this is great...

If you know other places on the web with tips, tricks, backroads I should take etc. please share it...

Thanks!!
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Grapevine Texas
45 posts, read 131,833 times
Reputation: 26
try www.virtualtourist.com

that ite will hve good information on Middle America towns.

Happy Travels.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:38 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,176,989 times
Reputation: 983
I have travelled alone through Middle America on a number of occasions and one should not have many problems. The times where it may be questionable are in the winter snow/ice storms (often running from Nov.-March and is time of the year where most people stay closer to home) and tornado/hail/severe T-storms (which one can pull off the highway and stop at a restaurant/gas station/or wherever and wait the storm out-oftentimes a minor delay). During dawn, dusk, and nighttime, a person wants to watch for deer, especially near rivers, marshes, and wooded areas (I almost hit a deer about a half dozen times in the past two years-most were near rivers). I recommend having a cell phone with you for emergencies and having your car checked over by a good mechanic beforehand to make sure that the car is in good running order.

There are a lot of neat things to see in the Midwest and each state has its gems. If you consider going through South Dakota, be sure to go through the Badlands and see the Black Hills. These are the most scenic areas of the state. The northeastern part of South Dakota is like Minnesota due to its abundance of lakes. There are other neat little areas in South Dakota. Feel free to check www.sd.gov/ and go to the tourism links. I like most of the other states in the Midwest. Most of the scenic stuff in the Midwest is often away from the interstate highways with a few exceptions.

I wish the best of luck on your trip, stotan88.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: London, ON, Canada
156 posts, read 582,720 times
Reputation: 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
I have travelled alone through Middle America on a number of occasions and one should not have many problems. The times where it may be questionable are in the winter snow/ice storms (often running from Nov.-March and is time of the year where most people stay closer to home) and tornado/hail/severe T-storms (which one can pull off the highway and stop at a restaurant/gas station/or wherever and wait the storm out-oftentimes a minor delay). During dawn, dusk, and nighttime, a person wants to watch for deer, especially near rivers, marshes, and wooded areas (I almost hit a deer about a half dozen times in the past two years-most were near rivers). I recommend having a cell phone with you for emergencies and having your car checked over by a good mechanic beforehand to make sure that the car is in good running order.

There are a lot of neat things to see in the Midwest and each state has its gems. If you consider going through South Dakota, be sure to go through the Badlands and see the Black Hills. These are the most scenic areas of the state. The northeastern part of South Dakota is like Minnesota due to its abundance of lakes. There are other neat little areas in South Dakota. Feel free to check www.sd.gov/ and go to the tourism links. I like most of the other states in the Midwest. Most of the scenic stuff in the Midwest is often away from the interstate highways with a few exceptions.

I wish the best of luck on your trip, stotan88.
Thank you Chris! I truly appreciate all your information.

And yes, the Badlands were definitely on my list of things to see. I am finding the most difficult part is planning my route, or even a rough route so that i know the basic direction and thing i am heading to next. Perhaps i should just go onto Google Maps and map out a very broad, little detailed directional map. I just don't even know where to start.

Am i thinking too much into it? I've never really done anything like this before, and a part of me feels I need to plan, plan, plan, while half the reason I want to do this is for the adventure and the lack of knowing where the road will take me. Any suggestions on maybe trying to find that balance?
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