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Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

London
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Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Hi, I am planning a 3 week trip starting and finishing from New York this April.

The route we are thinking is:

New York > Philadelphia > Washington DC > Atlanta > New Orleans > Memphis > Nashville St Louis > Chicaco > NY

I am really keen to travel to New Orleans and then back up through to Tennessee and then onto Chicago.

We are deliberating about which city we should hire the car from?

Thinking it might be easier to just drive from NY and then back into NY as that is where are flights are from but some forums suggest that there is no point driving from NY to Phili and Washington and getting public transport would be easier.

Any help and suggestions are welcome. I'm slightly concerned we might not have enough time to stick to this plan with the distance and is this route a good idea?

Chula Vista...
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1. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Hi,

Welcome to the Road Trips Forum.

I'm sorry to say, but that trip is just far too ambitious for three weeks. You have nine major cities in your itinerary, and if you spend just two nights in each (to give you one full day in each), that's 18 of your 20 nights. You'll also have some monster drives between some of those cities (Atlanta --> New Orleans = 12+ hours).

http://goo.gl/maps/2eYhx

You're really going to have to prioritize and edit what's important to you, and perhaps even consider internal flights for some of the longer legs if you really want to keep New Orleans and Chicago.

Seeing as you're keen to see Tennessee, a more reasonable--but still fast--loop might be NYC - DC - Nashville - Memphis - St. Louis - Chicago - NYC. Of course, that drops Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New Orleans from your trip.

When weighing whether to drive or take the train between NYC, Philadelphia, and DC, you'll have to compare the added cost of the train tickets and likely one-way car drop off fee to $30 - $50 a day parking fees in Philadelphia and DC. (Most hotels in large city centers will charge $20 - $35 per night to park, plus parking garage fees as you drive around town.)

Rethink this plan and sort out what you really do want to see and do, and then come back to us with your revised version.

Zed

Edited: 19 January 2014, 16:22
London
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2. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Hi, thanks for response. I think your itinerary sounds good, it would be very disappointing to miss New Orleans out though. Can you advise of any other places we should see along the way?

London
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3. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Hi, thanks for response. I think your itinerary sounds good, it would be very disappointing to miss New Orleans out though. Can you advise of any other places we should see along

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

I will provide hopefully a little different take on your road trip. Just some different suggestions-

NYC- take the train to DC

DC- pick up your car when you are ready to leave DC

Atlanta

New Orleans

Natchez

Vicksburg

Memphis

Nashville- drop off car and pay a one way rental with a European consolidator and fly someone like Southwest one way back to NYC.

This will give you lots of southern history, culture, food, and places for live music. Let us know if you have other questions.

We have driven plenty of times in one day between DC and Atlanta and often drive in a day from Atlanta to New Orleans.

Peachtree City...
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5. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Not to be nitpicky, but just for the sake of clarity I think it's DC->ATL that is the 12 hr leg. ATL->NOLA is closer to 7 hours or so...unless you're leaving from Atlanta at 4:30pm on a weekday. Then it's about 12 hours. :-)

Tacoma, Washington
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6. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

New York > Philadelphia > Washington DC > Atlanta > New Orleans > Memphis > Nashville St Louis > Chicaco > NY

NY-PHL 2 hrs

PHL-DC 2 hrs

DC-ATL all day drive

ATL-NO all day drive

NO-NASH all day drive

NASH-MEM 5 hr drive

MEM-STL 5 hrs drive

STL-CHI 5 hr drive

CHI-NY all day drive

7 of your 21 days are driving.

14 days for 9 cities....this is rushed.

My suggested alternative

fly into NYC

NYC 3 days

train to DC

DC for 3 days

so a week for NYC and DC

then from DC fly to nashville, memphis, or New orleans and do a loop.

2 days in Nashville

2 days in Memphis

2 days in New Orleans

fly into Nashville do 3 days

1 day drive down to the alabama//FL coast (all day drive)

2 days drive FL/SL/MS coast to NO

3 days in New Orleans

1 day drive up through missippi

3 days in Memphis

1 day drive to Nashville---then fly back to NYC

You may be able to get a cheaper one way car rental from Nashville to memphis because those cities are in the same state.

Chula Vista...
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7. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Good catch, Scott. I hadn't had my morning caffeine yet... You're right on the DC to ATL leg being 12 hours.

Zed

London
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8. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Hey,

So this is the revised plan we are thinking of:

Arrive in New York

Day 1 NY

Day 2 NY

Day 3 NY

Day 4 Train to Washington

Day 5 Washington

Day 6 Washington

Day 7 Pick up car and drive from Washington to Nashville – stay somewhere overnight en route

Day 8 Carry on drive to Nashville

Day 9 Nashville

Day 10 Nashville

Day 11 Drive from Nashville to Memphis

Day 12 Memphis

Day 13 Memphis

Day 14 Drive from Memphis to St Louis

Day 15 St Louis

Day 16 Drive St Louis to Chicago – Drop car off

Day 17 Chicago

Day 18 Chicago

Day 19 Fly Chicago to NY

Day 20 NY

Day 21 Fly home

Do you think this sounds feasible?

Also does anyone know what the drive is like from Washington to Nashville because we are thinking that if it is not a good journey with relation to things to see along the way then getting a flight would be the better option. It would also give us an extra day somewhere.

However, if the drive would be nice and there are things to see then we would be happy to drive and take it all in.

Thanks

Lewes, United...
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9. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

Hi

To me the outline in post 8 has still far too much time in the car and too many spread out cities with nowhere enough time enjoying the many interesting places. Yes, it can be done, but you'd end up with lots of drives on less than exciting Interstates. Plus, are you aware, as I don't see it mentioned above in much detail that to rent a car from DC and drop it off in Chicago, you will end up paying a steep one way drop fee, which could be as high as US$500 plus tax?

I'm assuming that as all your options start and end in NYC, your UK to NYC flights are booked? If not, you might find - if you must do NYC, NOLA and Chicago at any cost, that flying back from Chicago with a multi city ticket will buy you at least one extra day of time, plus no US domestic flight to compensate for the one way drop fee.

Just some other thoughts. If this were my trip, I'd stick to the NOLA option as Chicago could still be cold in April!

SWT

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Planning a trip from New York to New Orleans and back

SWT has made an excellent point. In terms of weather the southern route will be very nice in April and much warmer. You might enjoy some beautiful weather, flowers in bloom , great food, etc. by adding New Orleans to your route.

It is easy to do one way airfare here in the US but the killer in terms of cost is usually the one way car rental fees.