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Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

Ireland
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Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

Hi all,

A friend and I are going to the USA for 6 weeks in September 2013. We want to do route 66 and I have been doing a little research into it.

So far it seems to be working out pretty expensive to travel,and we want to have a budget in our head before heading off. We will be travelling from Chicago-LA, hiring a car and probably staying in Motels. I realise that 6 weeks is a long time to do Route 66, but we were hoping to take some de-tours and see other places along the way.

Is there any motel chains or similar where we could get a price for some nights stay, as we wont want to book anything in advance for specific dates as we dont really know where we will be from one day to the next??

Also, is there a general idea as to how much we would need to budget for accommodation along the way? If anyone out there has any tips on places to see, or things to see/do on or off the Route we would geatly appreciate it as this will be our first time travelling this route.

Thank you all in advance for any advice you can give....

Roseville...
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1. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

6 weeks is not to long; this is a big country with a lot to see & do. Sounds like a great trip.

For motels, I'd think in terms of $100/night. A good starting point would be any motel that has "Best Western" associated with it. Generally BWs are moderate in cost & reliably decent places to stay.

Marina, California
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2. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

> Is there any motel chains or similar where we could get a price for some nights stay

Not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean you want to pay for a block of rooms with a particular chain, then stay at different locations to use up that block? If so, then no, that's not possible. Most hotels are owned individually and licensed through a chain. If you have a smart phone or laptop though, it's pretty easy to book something last minute while on the road. Really not a big deal.

"Budget" accommodation, to me, means $50-70 per night. So you can just do the math. You could also look into camping, but September is slightly late (cold) for a lot of the country for camping, and that would require quite a bit of equipment.

Roseville...
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3. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

What is the freight at a average BW room in east & midwest? Hard to find a fleabag in Cali for under a hundred.

Park City, Utah
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4. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

As noted, there's no realistic option for discounting for booking one chain along the way. One angle on that, though, is to book with one chain to gain points then take advantage of free nights you will earn. One chain that will offer you great selection and lower prices is Choice Hotels. Sign up for its frequent stayer program. You can book hotels through ChoiceHotels.com or direct with hotels. The reason I suggest Choice is that you get a wide range of really inexpensive, clean motels such as Rodeway, Quality, Comfort Inn, etc. You should be able to average under $100/night.

Have fun.

Wednesbury, UK
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5. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

Hi.

You have had some good info so far and I tend to agree its hard to get much in the mid range for less than $100 when you take taxes into account. Maybe pick up the coupon booklets at places like Denny's which sometimes have walk in offers.

As for your trip, three weeks is about the minimum reasonable time for the base route66 drive, so the extra weeks open up lots of options. Maybe a bit more of the south, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans. Or into north western/eastern Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona, and/ or Utah for the Red Rock parks, or up the coast from LA to San Francisco with a look at Yosemite, to finish?

You can't do it all but lots of possibilities to tailor the trip over six weeks.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

We never make reservations on trips like that and always find a place to stay but I recommend to make a reservation at Grand Canyon NP and if you happen to be in the Albuquerque area begin of october als make a reservation there because of the balloon fiesta..

Ireland
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7. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

Thank you all so much for your advice. Its been a great help. I will take it all on board. Just looking forward to seeing it all now.. Cant wait!!!

Perth, Australia
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8. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

We also just found a motel along the way .. there's heaps just off the I-40 (which takes up a majority of old Route 66 or is nearby). Sometimes when you cross into a new state, there is a visitor centre where you can get free maps and coupons for motels. Motel 6 is a popular motel with us .. and they've been renovating their motels, which are now really top notch. We were pleasantly surprised and stayed at a few on our last trip around the US.

Here's a couple of links which may help you.plan.

http://roadnow.com/i40/

www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/oatman.html

http://www.historic66.com/

A couple of places, not far from Route 66 to visit (some mentioned above), include The Lincoln Home in Springfield Illinois; St Louis - go to the top of the Gateway Arch, Branson Missour for their shows ...Memphis .. you can take a music tour and visit Graceland; Little Rock in Arkansas, visit the President Clinton Presidential Museum and Library; Hot Springs Arkansas; the town of Clinton Oklahoma has a great Route 66 museum; Sante Fe in New Mexico; Albuquerque in New Mexico, Sedona in Arizona, Grand Canyon (a must); Seligman and Kingman Arizona, Mr D's Diner on Route 66 is an old fashioned diner and opposite is another Route 66 museum in Kingman... then from Kingman you can follow Oatman Rd, through to Oatman ... and maybe enjoy a night at Laughin in Nevada ... or head north to Las Vegas .. then back to Route 66 and stop at the Ludlow Cafe .. stay on National Trails Hwy as much as you can before you hit Barstow .. (visit Calico Ghost Town just before Barstow) ...the main street in Barstow is old Route 66 and will continue through to Victorville. From Victorville I would stick to the freeway into LA .. but go along the I-10 to Santa Monica, and Route 66 finishes at the pier.

You will have a wonderful time in 6 weeks...

Here's some more websites on what to see along the way.

http://www.gatewayarch.com/experience/

http://www.branson.com/

http://www.elvis.com/

http://www.sunstudio.com/

http://www.bealestreet.com/wordpress/ (Party time Friday and Saturday nights)

http://www.mudisland.com/

http://www.marlowesmemphis.com/

http://www.peabodymemphis.com/peabody-ducks/

http://www.clintonlibrary.gov/

http://www.hotsprings.org/

http://www.travelok.com/Route_66

http://www.nps.gov/blank.png

grandcanyonlodges.com/Lodging-Overview-411.h…

http://www.visitsedona.com/

http://www.visitlaughlin.com/

http://www.visitlasvegas.com.au/

…sbcounty.gov/parks/…CalicoGhostTown.aspx

http://www.peggysuesdiner.com/ (old fashion diner, heaps of memorabilia)

http://www.santamonica.com/

http://santamonicapier.org/

Lucky you have 10 months to go thru all this ... and apologies for too much..

Lewes, United...
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9. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

You've had some great advice already regarding motel chains to seek out for better deals and to keep to your budget. From my own experience, while I like Best Westerns, I'd say that they are on average more expensive than some of the other chains mentioned - although the BW model does perhaps allow for a greater range of comfort levels and thus price. California and anywhere near popular tourist destinations will be pricier than say ordinary towns. Also, a business area will be pricier midweek, a tourist town at weekends. The coupons that you can pick up will save money, also asking for AAA discounts can help. Some places ask for proof of membership, other don't!

While you can't get block booking discounts, we have managed discounts even for single night stays if you stay in the same chain for consecutive nights. This can be at the manager's discretion so not guaranteed, but always ask. As you plan to decide where you will stay on the fly, you won't be able to take advantage of the web discounts some chains offer.

As you're on a tight budget, do you want tips on how to eat out in the USA on a budget? There are plenty of ideas buried in old posts, but if you wish, we can happily make suggestions again. For a start, buying a cooler on day 1 and keeping drinks and snacks bought at supermarket prices cool in it will save a packet.

Even if you plan to see how you go, you might want to list out a draft trip itinerary, as that will give you a gauge of how many days you need for the direct route itself, and how many days you have available for side excursions or to linger in places that you are enjoying.

In case you don't have enough websites to do your research on, here's another for fun stuff along the road:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

Have a great trip,

SWT

Cleveland
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10. Re: Route 66 advice please...First time traveller

Here's a company that has coupon booklets available by region nationally, as well as online. You can find them in restaurants such as Denny's or at visitors centers when you cross state borders, near tourist regions, and at city convention centers.

http://hotelcoupons.com/

The coupons typically only are available on the day of stay. It allows hotels to sell last-minute vacant rooms directly without using intermediaries such as priceline.com.

Check out Red Roof Inns for economical yet often well-rated accommodations by TA reviewers.

Hopefully you saw this thread:

tripadvisor.com/…43967164

Definitely check out the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL.