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Old 07-18-2007, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 10,121,052 times
Reputation: 2991

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Looks like the backpackers and vagabonds are underrepresented here, so I'll chime in.

Quote:
Has anyone ever been interested in taking a road trip completely through all the US states?
Yup.
Last time: Did about half. Went over the top: Indiana - California by way of Seattle.
Next time: Planning to do the coasts (Mexico - Vancouver & Florida - Maine) next year. Plus some in the middle.

Quote:
How would you prepare for such a trip overall (and that includes financially)?
Last time: Saved my pennies, checked the tires, sparkplugs, changed the oil/filter, flushed the coolant, topped off the tank and went. Didn't budget beyond saving up some cash and planning to go until it ran out. Quit before it ran out, actually.
This time: Saved my pennies, tuning up the car, quitting my job, then going.
Quote:
Would you take your own car, rental or RV?
Bot times: Own car.
Quote:
How much time would you need off?
As much as you need. If you wanna keep your job, get the maximum they'll allow and keep going until your satisfied. If your time runs out before you're done, just keep on rolling. You'll regret it if you let your job stop you.
Quote:
Would you go alone, with a partner, family and/or friends?
Last time: With a friend. Helps with the long boring stretches.
This time: With my wife. Numerous benefits.

Quote:
Would you make it a point to visit landmark areas in each state as well as lodge at landmark hotels/motel?
Nope. Stop at a diner, ask what there is to do around these parts. If it sounds fun, go do it, if not, keep going. If there's something you really want to see, head in that general direction when you've run out of things to do in the area you're in.

One thing about touring the US; a LOT of it looks the same. Especially in the middle. Stay out of the suburbs, stay away from the franchises, strip malls, and the familiar. Keep to the back roads when it suits you, but don't be afraid of pulling an all-nighter on the freeway when you're sick of Kansas or wherever. You'll never see EVERYTHING, even if you spend your whole life trying. If you like it somewhere, stop, stay there until you get tired of it, you won't miss the stuff you don't see, if you know what I mean.

I've never done a guided tour or travelcoach or any of that. Just tend to pick up and go. Usually just for a few days, occasionally for months.

Rest stops are good places to sleep. Campgrounds will let you use their showers for a couple of bucks, just ask at the check-in area (or you can just sneak in/out if you're really strapped for cash). An air-mattress doesn't take up much space and can make the back of your SUV or hatchback much comfier. Every few days you'll probably break down and stay in a cheap motel for the bed and shower. Do this on a Sun-Wed night to get the best rates. Chose a non-franchise and bargain hard with them. This also works well if you want to stay in an exclusive or fancy place but don't really have the budget for it. Off-season mid-week rates can be really excellent. Hostels can be cheaper than motels, but not always. Don't take a computer. Leave your cell phone off (if you even take one) unless it's an emergency. Internet cafe's are everywhere if you want to correspond with people at home or get really stumped on things to do/places to stay, but word-of-mouth is usually much more effective and written letters/postcards are more fun. Don't take a navigation system. Do take a road atlas.

Pizza keeps for a day or so without refridgeration. Most other foods don't. Eat light so you don't have leftovers with nowhere to store them. DON'T KEEP FOOD IN YOUR CAR IF YOU DRIVE IN BEAR COUNTRY!
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:22 AM
 
176 posts, read 1,060,402 times
Reputation: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
Has anyone ever been interested in taking a road trip completely through all the US states?
Yep. I did it a few years back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
How would you prepare for such a trip overall (and that includes financially)?
We made sure the Jeep was in tip, top shape. We planned our route and the areas of interest along the way. Make sure you do a lot of research. That way you will know exactly what you want to see and how much time it will take (Never be afraid to deviate from your plan, though). We saved up a lot of money to make sure we could do anything we wanted. We left a check book with my parents to handle all of our bills while we were away. I quit my job and my wife took a leave of absense which allowed us to have medical coverage on our trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
Would you take your own car, rental or RV?
We took our Jeep Cherokee. Nice to have a 4x4 out in Utah. Incredible 4-wheeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
How much time would you need off?
We took 3 months. It's tough to see everything, but we were happy to be home after that amount of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
Would you go alone, with a partner, family and/or friends?
I went with my wife. It was an incredible experience to share. I'd recommend going with a close friend or partner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsymptoticFaery View Post
Would you make it a point to visit landmark areas in each state as well as lodge at landmark hotels/motel?
We did try to do this. The National Parks are a must. Try to camp if you can. Most campgrounds do fill up in the summer. We thought we'd camp 50% of the time. But we got lazy and stayed at a lot of inns and B & B's. That hurt the budget a bit. We also tried to visit the major cities.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Sheffield, England
2,639 posts, read 6,114,773 times
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A huge road trip around the US is one of my lifelong dreams but get saving those pennies, it ain't gonna be cheap!
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 10,121,052 times
Reputation: 2991
Quote:
Originally Posted by boycew02 View Post
A huge road trip around the US is one of my lifelong dreams but get saving those pennies, it ain't gonna be cheap!
It's not so expensive. As long as you don't mind sleeping in hostels or your car and living without insurance (keep your law-mandated Auto insurance!)
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Old 07-20-2007, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Sheffield, England
2,639 posts, read 6,114,773 times
Reputation: 3271
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
It's not so expensive. As long as you don't mind sleeping in hostels or your car and living without insurance (keep your law-mandated Auto insurance!)
I take your point (I have no problem with the idea of sleeping in the car), but food, drink and gas are the three main essentials that empty your wallet. Then again from all accounts gas over in the US is sooooooo cheap compared with here in England. Here gas prices have almost reached £1 per gallon (that's the equivalent of $2!).
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:27 AM
 
5,023 posts, read 4,483,844 times
Reputation: 3063
Oh we did it. We drove from NY (LI) to Vancouver, BC in Dec 93. We drove a ford explorer and our initial aim was Salt Lake City. We stopped at night and it took us three days to get there. We had an old trusty map. We visited friends in Salt Lake, then decided oh heck, San Fransisco is only 800 miles away, here we come. We left Utah and drove thru the Donner Pass, stopped in Lake Tahoe for two nights and headed on into San Fransisco. Then we said, Oh heck, we are near Vancover. So off we went thru the red wood and up thru Oregon, Stopped in Seattle for another two nights and into Vancover.

It was WONDERFUL. We had a blast, we just had a fantastic time. Then on the way back, we went thru Idaho and into Utah , stopped with friends, headed down thru Colorado and drove Rte 70. Drove thru a snow storm from Missouri into New York. Finally got home after 22 hours in that storm.

Would we do it again ; in a heartbeat. Our son who is 8 is begging to do it.

Total drive ; 8000 miles, Total time away ; 3 weeks. We drove Rte 80 from end to end. It was just my dh and myself ; and yes, we are still married and dying to do it again.

Oh I wanted to add ; the CB radio was the best invention yet. It kept us going just listening to the truckers.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,426,469 times
Reputation: 19990
Quote:
Originally Posted by boycew02 View Post
I take your point (I have no problem with the idea of sleeping in the car), but food, drink and gas are the three main essentials that empty your wallet. Then again from all accounts gas over in the US is sooooooo cheap compared with here in England. Here gas prices have almost reached £1 per gallon (that's the equivalent of $2!).
I think you mean per litre !
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,615,603 times
Reputation: 1932
I just returned from a two week trip that included the following states:
Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Oklahoma
Kansas
Colorado
Wyoming
Montana
Idaho
Nevada
California

I love to see the countryside all over the west, so driving is about the only practical way to do this. There is so much beauty to be seen in the places between the landmarks that I would miss unless I drove, and even at that, I miss a lot of stuff that isn't next to the highway. I prefer to take the back roads, but will take the interstate if that's the easiest way to get where I'm going. I try to see the National Parks that are along my route, but also look for other places of significant historical or scenic value. My recent trip included a drive through the Beartooth Highway, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Basin of Nevada, and Yosemite National Park, just to list a few of the places we went. All of these places were absolutely beautiful, and would have been missed had we not been on the road.
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Old 08-01-2007, 04:18 PM
 
Location: South Florida
65 posts, read 324,206 times
Reputation: 38
This is one of my absolute dreams - my problem is finding someone to go with! Question: anyone know of a bus company that travels coast to coast?
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,615,603 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnywabbit! View Post
This is one of my absolute dreams - my problem is finding someone to go with! Question: anyone know of a bus company that travels coast to coast?
I know of one. It's called Greyhound. Did you mean something other than that?
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