Road trip - Southern USA
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jun 4, 2012 6:23 PM Last Post By: MGMInnkeeper
Jun 4, 2012 7:05 AM
Road trip - Southern USAHi, my girlfriend and I are planning on taking a road trip from Miami to San Fran from mid June for 35-40 days.
The major stops we are wanting are as followed but was just wanting any advise on places we could stay on the way or off the track a little. We have a van we can sleep in etc. Also places that will be worth a stay.
We want to hit:
San Fran/ San Fran Area
Any help/tips would be great. Thanks
Jun 4, 2012 7:19 AM
1Welcome to Thorn Tree.
You will get more useful information if you supply the following information.
If this is a REAL road trip, what is your tolerance for driving? Is it a rental van? What are your ages? This is a long trip. What is the condition of the van? If the van is not a rental and it does "crap out" on you, what is Plan B?
What is your budget?
What are your interests, likes, and dislikes? Stringing a list of cities together is not very informative.
What are your preferences, or, more accurately, your girl friend's preferences, for lodging? Is she cool with sleeping in a van for 5-6 weeks?
You are beginning at one end of the continent and driving to the other. What do you intend to do with the van at the end of your trip?
Jun 4, 2012 7:49 AM
2I'm going to channel Willy:
How to get great TT advice
Be specific. Believe it or not, some people will neglect to say when they’re coming. Don’t be one of those people. Also essential: How much do you have to spend? "Reasonable" doesn't cut it. Give a dollar number. If you worry that people will want to direct you to the highest-priced places, try this: Say how much you’d like to spend, and how high you could go if you had to or if it was really special. No one’s looking for your complete financial statements, but in a country where rooms rent for anywhere from $35 a night to more than $1,000 it would help greatly to have a number so we can give you useful information as opposed to a bunch of vague, impressionistic hoo-hah.
It is also essential to know about your transportation arrangements. Are you flying, taking the train, using Greyhound, or driving? If you’re trying to decide whether to rent a car, here’s a general rule: Driving is the most expensive but by far the most preferable unless your trip is going to be confined to the following cities: New York, Boston, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas and (possibly) Seattle and (possibly) the West Side of L.A. for a day or two. Just about anywhere else, you will almost certainly need a car. This is especially true if you think you want to see wilderness areas. Hitchhiking is not an option in the United States; it has definitely gone out of style since its heyday in the 1970s, and in fact is illegal in many places.
A related note: If you do not have a driver’s license, can't afford a rental car due to the underage surcharge, or you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and want to use mass transit for your entire trip, for heavens sake, say so! That way, we won't waste time telling you about renting a car or describing the best way to drive from Point A to Point B.
Make sure your post mentions anything about you that would be helpful to know. An 18 year old Brit on his first trip abroad usually wants different advice from a Italian family with an infant or a couple in their 50s from Ohio.
Do some research of your own. Start by checking the USA Branch FAQ at the top of the board. It is loaded with information on American cities and general travel tips. For example: Want to know the ins and outs of renting a car in the United States? It’s in the FAQ. Also, use the Search function here. People (justifiably) complain about it, but a search will often yield quite a bit of usable information. Above all: Don’t ask an open-ended question that requires people to write a guidebook just for you, such as, "I have two weeks and I’m thinking of taking a trip to America. Can anyone give me advice on what to do and where to go?"
Asking about New York? Please read this first: Don’t post the same old tired, infuriating question: "I’m going to be in New York for X days and would like to know what to do, especially off the beaten path." First off, New York is too big for anyone here to write you a guidebook all your own, so go buy one. They publish those things for a reason. If you have a specific, narrow-gauge question then ask it and people will gladly help. Secondly, if it’s your first trip then travel the beaten track, which is beaten for a reason. You’re a tourist, not visiting royalty.
Jun 4, 2012 7:55 AM
3Let me ask you some even more specific questions:
When you say you can sleep in it, does that mean you plan to sleep in it most nights or that, if you are unable to find other lodging, yo can always sleep in the van?
What are you willing to pay for lodging per night--in dollars or some other currency. Not adjectives. My "budget" might be your
"too expensive." This includes paying for campgrounds as well as hotels or hostels.
Are you interested in hiking and wilderness? Big cities? Museums and art galleries? Watching birds and animals? Lying by a pool? Swimming in a river? Night clubs? Fancy restaurants? Theme parks? Watching sporting events? What else do you like to do when you travel? (Please don't say "we are interested in everything." The last poster who said that got a recommendation for a tour of a sewage treatment facility.)
Jun 4, 2012 8:04 AM
Jun 4, 2012 11:25 AM
Jun 4, 2012 1:04 PM
6...and please never ever...refer to it as vegas baby....you will instantly labelled a dumbass and taken advantage of at every turn.
....unless your camper van is full a/c you will never tolerate most of those places in June/July.
....yesterday the temp at my place in Scottsdale was around 108F or about 44C, and while you wont be travelling quite that far south you wont be far off.
...so like the good folks above said, be specific in your questions and you will get some specific answers.
Jun 4, 2012 1:12 PM
One "tip": West of Houston-ish, you're no longer in the "Southern" USA, but instead in the southwestern USA.
What are you expecting in to find in Chattanooga? And why is Nashville not on your list?
ABQ is not the dump people sometimes accuse it of being, but it's nowhere near as interesting as Santa Fe. There are also probably some other things in New Mexico you should know about--but you should tell us your interests before I elaborate.
Only out-of-towners (or rappers) call it that un-ironically. "San Francisco."
Jun 4, 2012 6:23 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
Des MoinesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$129.00 per night