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USA Travel

Sydney, Australia
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USA Travel

Hello, my family (2 adults, 2 teens and 2 kids) would like to travel around and/or through the USA. We come from Australia so we thought we would fly into LA. But i have 2 questions. Firstly, we are deciding either to get an RV or Caravan or a car + hotel. Secondly, what is the best route in the USA. We want to travel to the East and West Coast and southern USA and straight through it and maybe even Northern USA. I know it is a lot but we have the time Thank you, please explain well.

1. Re: USA Travel

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Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: USA Travel

Could you explain why we should rent a car and just stay at hotels?

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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3. Re: USA Travel

Your best bet is to visit the Road Trips forum, since your trip covers most of the US.

Anaheim, California
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4. Re: USA Travel

Here is a direct link to the TA Road Trips forum, to help the OP out...

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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5. Re: USA Travel

The Road Trips forum has a Top Question in the upper right with details about RV travel. Even if folks are considering an RV trip within the state of California, those are some great threads & articles to read.

John J ~ when you repost on the Road Trips forum, include more details like dates and a wish list of destinations.

LA
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6. Re: USA Travel

Get a couple of USA guidebooks and read about suggested itineraries. Many out there- Fodors, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Moon Handbook.

Determine the number of nights you have in the US. It less ambiguous when you allocate time and money by nights.

Develop a budget that you are comfortable with.

Take careful note of the season you are traveling in. Winter travel in the US is iffy in many areas and it's just not fun to be visiting many places in US winter (Nov-Feb) whereas they are much nicer in US summer (June-Sept).

Most people do not recommend RV's (we reseve the term campervans for WV vans). They are miserable in cities and not many US cities have anywhere to park them. They are slow and massively inefficient in fuel consumption. There are drives where you will wish you had something smaller and more powerful.

So Cal
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7. Re: USA Travel

John J, some extra info: the 48 contiguous states are comparable to Australia in size, but larger (8million sqkm vs 7.6million sqkm). Unlike Australia, most of it is habitable and inhabited. There's a *lot* to see and do throughout the whole place, not just the outer edges. Although you could drive from one end to the other in a week, you could also tour for a year. Heck, I could spend 4 weeks traveling around California alone and still feel like I shortchanged places.

That's why "What is the best route" really is an unanswerable question at this point. Even if you have a lot of time, you'll need to narrow things down.

I do envy you the vacation time!

San Anselmo...
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8. Re: USA Travel

I would personally forget the car or RV and fly to destination cities and enjoy more time in them. We Californians like to tout our national parks and other spectacular vistas but they become somewhat meaningless if you are just driving through.

So what do you get to see traveling off the beaten path in the US. The largest hand dug well in the world, the incredible flight of bats leaving Carlsbad Cavern, Old Oraibi (opps you cannot see that because the Hopi tribe will not let you), miles of flat prairie growing wheat with silos every 10 miles or so, the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD, Custer Monument (a monument to a fool but that is another story), the Tetons and Yellowstone NP, Clarksdale MS where great blues has emanated from for a long time, Gallup NM with more bars per capita than almost any place in the world, the monument to Sitting Bull above the Missouri river, Hannibal MO home to Mark Twain, the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument in Chicago, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Cabrini Green (now gone) the most notorious housing project in the US, Roswell NM, the huge swimming pool/spring in Austin TX, the horror that is Port Arthur TX home of Janis Joplin, the rain forest in the Olympic NP, Wichita KS home of the Wheatshockers, various buffalo runs you could even participate in a buffalo backup, huge dunes on the east side of Lake Michigan. I could go on but you would have to be as old as me and have had the advantage of being able to travel frequently throughout your life.

Unless you have a very long time say at least 6 weeks and preferably 6 months a road trip from the west to the east and back of the US will make it literally a drive by. Some places you will get lucky and enjoy some local point of interest most you will see in passing.

All the above said rent a car not a RV. Camping or finding a place for the RV will be difficult in much of the US that is not either near or in a park. Motels are generally available in most of the country and away from the coasts or tourist destinations not particularly pricy.

As others have mentioned there is a US road trip forum.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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9. Re: USA Travel

Hi John J and welcome to TripAdvisor. I'm a long time RVer and there are pros and cons to renting a motorhome. I'm not too sure why the first poster just made that blanket statement!

Am I reading this correctly - you have four children plus two of you? So that's 6 people? Finding motel rooms for 6 people can be difficult. Many of them have have two queen size beds, but for more than four people you'd need two queens plus a pull out couch that could sleep two. Motorhomes seem to often work better for larger families.

To read some information about renting RV's to see if it would be a good "fit" for your family, click on the blue link here... tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c187230/Califo…

RVs work best when you're driving less and staying more!

If you decide to rent one, be assured there are MANY THOUSANDS of RV parks and campgrounds here all over the USA !

As others have mentioned, this is a huge country and unless you have months, you're planning too much driving, whether in a car or RV.