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American Road Trip

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Cavan
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American Road Trip

Hi, we are trying to plan a road trip for next year, we are interested in possibly starting in vegas and taking in parts of old route 66 and also wyoming, colorado, kansas, but are willing to try any recommendations. We will be flying from Ireland so maybe starting in vegas and finishing somwehere in the east would be a good option. Any ideas of a good route to take. Also we are trying to decide should we consider car hire and staying in hotels along the way. Can we book hotels as we go, or should be pre-book?. Does anyone have any idea how much insurance cover is provided under hire agreements, can you get a full cover like at home, (comprehensive). Or would anyone recommend hiring an rv and staying in rv parks, would this work out more expensive that car hire and hotel stays? I know its a lot of questions but hopefully the anwers will help us make the perfect choice for the trip.

Napa, CA
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1. Re: American Road Trip

You are in the Death Valley Junction forum. For multi-state trips, it's best to use the road trips forum:

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

Make sure you tell them what time of year.

Edited: 28 January 2013, 21:10
San Francisco
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2. Re: American Road Trip

Death Valley is a conveniently short distance from the California section of old Route 66. Once you see the park, you can either go all the way west to Santa Monica where Route 66 starts, or pick it up farther east like at Victorville or Barstow. IMO, the best parts of 66 in this state are between Barstow and the Arizona border, and some of the best parts on the whole highway are in Arizona and New Mexico.

Here are a few of my recent thoughts about a Route 66 road trip.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28926-i29-k601020…

Questions about hotels and visitor services should go on the local forums for areas where you would be visiting or stopping over.

As for an RV. I personally would feel somewhat restricted. I'd feel as if I "had to" use it for lodging, and perhaps make most of my meals in house, just because I had it, to get my money's worth from it. In some cities, congestion would make driving and parking around town more of a bother than a pleasure. You would have to find a suitable RV park, campground, or similar facility; many if not most towns limit overnight sleeping in vehicles on streets.

Part of the enjoyment of Route 66 is to go into the cities and towns and absorb the local ambience, maybe stay or dine in some of the historic properties that have been preserved and restored. In some of these towns, the Route 66 neighborhoods are a bit run-down and not at their peak as they were in the 1940s or 50s (San Bernardino is one example), so read reviews and ask on the local forums before making a final choice of lodgings. Others have restored their Route 66 sections and made them into attractive historic districts with plenty of stuff for visitors, like Seligman and Williams, Arizona; and Gallup and Tucumcari, New Mexico. Several Texas towns are also capitalizing on Route 66, but if you want to see Colorado and Wyoming, you’ll probably turn off before Texas.

What are you interested in seeing in Kansas? If it is prairie landscapes you’re thinking of, you don’t need to go to Kansas unless you have another reason to go. Eastern Colorado and Wyoming are part of the Great Plains. People usually think of those as Rocky Mountain states, but the east face is sheer, dropping down to terrain that is as flat as Kansas or Nebraska. I’ve driven west to the Rockies, and if I were a 19th century pioneer crossing the Plains from the east with wagons and livestock, I would have been very intimidated to see such a sheer and abrupt rock wall in front of me. U.S. Hwy 25 gives you a good sense of the contrast.

If you can hire a fun car (maybe a Mustang! – but of course, something with enough space for your luggage), I think that would enhance your Route 66 experience.

Craven Arms, United...
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3. Re: American Road Trip

For me, the best part of an "American Road Trip" is the freedom to go as you please from day to day.

When we did Chicago to LA a couple of years ago, we considered an RV but then rented a car instead. I'm very pleased we did. Overnights in an RV can be much harder to find than hotels.

Just drive until you're ready to stop then look for a hotel. Don't forget to negotiate the price at the front desk.... you can almost always haggle a discount off the regular rate especially if the hotel is a bit out of town.

You say you're starting in Vegas but where are you flying back from at the end? And how many days do you have to enjoy it?

We've found US roadtrips to be a bit addictive so be careful! :-)

Cavan
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4. Re: American Road Trip

I like the way you think, as I said in other forums we are not set on where we want to go but do want to see as much as possible. How long did your trip from chicago to LA take? We were in LA last year so considered starting or ending our trip in vegas and spending 2 days there. We are open to a return departure city if we start in vegas, Chicago seems to be the most mentioned for this kind of road trip. A lot of people seem to spend 3 or 4 day in chicago before they start their trip, but I would rather see more of the rest of the country and would think one day in a city was enough. Having done this already what are your thoughts.

Craven Arms, United...
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5. Re: American Road Trip

We only spent a day in most of the cities as this gave us more time to be "on the road". Many attractions are outside of the larger cities and we preferred to be out in the country than to be in amongst too many skyscapers. I guess its a time thing.

We took 17 days to drive from Chicago to LA spending 3 nights in Vegas and 2 in LA.

In the East the route 66 is fairly well marked and there are many things to see and do. We kind of veered off the old road to go up to Vegas so didnt actually travel the last few 100 miles of Route 66.

We did find that intially we were spending too long stopping to look at things and places so got behind schedule a little. It was easy to make up time though when driving through Arizona and New Mexico. We jumped on the Interstate and did 400+ miles in a day easily without missing too much.

We've got a slightly longer drive this year in June flying into Atlanta then on up to San Fransisco over the next 25 days! We going to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville before heading across to Memphis, down to New Orleans, through Houston, up to a rodeo in Fort Worth then Vegas again, Death Valley, Yosemite and San Fran. can't wait!

So many things to see and do and so little time to do it.

The more time you can give to your trip, the more free you'll feel for sure. We try to plan as little as possible and only have a few things in place before we go.

Some of the best times on the road are just going with it, stopping when you like and where you like!

There are some quite useful guide books for many of the states which we read as we drove along.

Edited: 02 February 2013, 18:35
Cavan
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6. Re: American Road Trip

thanks to everyone for all your help, we are not going to sit down and try to work out the cost of the trip by various routes, taking in cost of flights car hire and one way drop off and hotel costs. Many thanks again

7. Re: American Road Trip

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