Road Trip U S A

Old Dec 18th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Road Trip U S A

Hey Guys & Girls,

As you can see by my name i am from Sunny South Africa & i am for the first time in my life traveling overseas. Scary i know !
I need your guys help.............................................
I want to know what to do & where to go, there are some places i want see & would like to go to.............................here is my plan so far....

Arrive Dallas March the 8th, will be renting a car at the airport, then meeting my Aunt & family, will stay with them for about 3 days, they stay somewhere near Dallas.
Then i am on my own..............wants ? .......................................
Grand Canyon...................L A................................Boca West (want to surprise a friend)..............N Y C ........................then ? ? ? ? (suggest)..............back to Aunt around March 26th. So that gives me about 14/15 days for road trip !
Even a cruise will do !

Please help, tight budget & want to see as much as possible.
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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You are renting a car in Dallas and planning to use it during your entire stay? From what I can tell Boca West is in Florida. If this is correct, you are planning a full cross-country drive during your two week road trip. Just from Dallas to the Grand Canyon will take two days. You might want to locate a few destination points like those you mention and what ever else interest you in the southern U.S. and then Google map or Mapquest the distances. March often brings a final winter storm to the Northeast, so I would not count on driving to NYC in that season.
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Your itinerary is confusing to me also. Where is Boca West and why would you want to drive to NYC. You have two weeks and that area of the U S is the most highly populated area in the country. Traffic can be terrible. If you would be content to go W only take I 20 W to El Paso, Tuscon, San Diego and up the coast to LA and SF. Return back E through Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Santa Fe, NM. The traffic will only be bad in LA. Driving in SF, SD and any other city mentioned is easy. In SF drive up to Napa for a night in the wine country. Good luck on your plans. Let us know if you change and need more help.
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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You might as well let us know in vague terms just where your aunt lives.

IF she is IN the Dallas area, you could save considerable money by meeting her first and then picking up your rental car AWAY from the airport. (if you pick it up at a downtown location of the same rental company, you will save LOTS of money in taxes alone)

Nextly, as it will be your first time in the USA, you will really need to gain a better sense for just HOW LARGE the USA is. Also consider that to drive too far north MIGHT land you in the mix of some wintery weather in March.

UNLESS you are willing to FLY for one or two legs of your US journey, you can't really hope to go from Dallas to BOTH the east and west coasts.

You should probably choose one or the other, and in winter it probably makes more sense to go west. (note: when you leave Dallas going west, there will be moments when you FEEL that you've been driving for 3 days and have not even reached the western edge of Texas) (it isn' really that way!)

So maybe reduce your wish list to cover the following:

Grand Canyon
Los Angeles (Hollywood, etc)
(maybe the Rocky Mountains in Colorado)
San Diego (if you want)

Your first path should probably be Dallas westbound on Interstate 40 toward the Grand Canyon, and then farther west to LA.

Take some TIME to see some of the things you've always read about. When returning back from California, first go down to San Diego and look around for a day or two... then eastbound on Hwy #8... then #10... through El Paso... then Hwy #20 to Dallas again.

(CONSIDER that IF you are interested in the mountain areas of Colorado... AND the winter weather is permissible... you would detour up toward Denver on one leg of that journey)

Realize that it takes TWENTY HOURS of driving to get from Dallas to Los Angeles, and that certainly doesn't count time for stopping at the Grand Canyon.

SO... you should envision reaching LA after TWO NIGHTS spent between Dallas and LA... then you probably deserve 2 or 3 nights IN LA... then maybe a night in San Diego...

(and that is half of your trip right there)

You'll at least want one night on the road between San Diego and Dallas, and maybe a second one.

Now you COULD opt instead for the east coast of the USA... but if you're really intent on going to Florida AND New York, you may not even have time to STOP.

To get from Dallas to Boca Raton, Florida, is 18-19 hours of driving time (1267 MILES)

From Boca Raton, Florida to NYC is 1250 miles and another 18-19 hours driving time alone.

Then from NYC to Dallas is 22-23 hours, and 1550 MILES.

Plus you don't even know what wild weather will be found on the way to New York in March.

You should reconsider your entire wish list, and report back.
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Agreed with everyone else here that you won't be able to reasonably manage the Grand Canyon/Los Angeles, southeast Florida, and New York City on a two week road trip with any ease. If it were mine, I'd pick one of the three and add in some other destinations along the way.

You might consider, for one example, having your visit encompass Santa Fe/Taos, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Consider that this will require at least a day's drive between each destination and (unless you drop your car in Los Angeles and fly back open jaw) several days of driving back from LA to Dallas.

Another possibility is a jaunt that includes New Orleans, St. Augustine, Orlando, Miami/Boca, and the Everglades. Again, figure a day's driving between each and several days of driving back to Dallas.

With a car, you have a chance to explore a few out-of-the-way possibilities along either stretch, but again, figure your drive time with care.

A drive heading to New York will be longer yet and is the one most likely to run into bad weather in March (though it's not unheard of in parts of the Southwest as well). I'd save NYC for another time.
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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I think you need to clarify for us what you are thinking.

It sounds like you want to do a road trip from Dallas to Grand Canyon, florida and New York and back to Dalls in 2 weeks. (I have no idea what Boca west is). For perspective my parents did many road trips after they retired. The one from Ne York to Grand Canyon and back took them 6 weeks - and my father loved to drive.

That trip is close to impossible unless you want to be on the road the whole time, never stop for anything and possibly hit bad weather anytime you move north (that late in the year snow in Texas is very unlikely - but if you head to the northeast you run a good chance of bad weather.)

If you can make your itinerary clearer - and how many days you actually have, not counting those with family, people can make more recos. but frankly I thin the only way you can pull this off is by flying between major areas (NE, SE, Tx etc). It;'s a BIG country.

I think you need to choose either 1) a road trip that is much more limited
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 04:12 PM
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Sorry. Cat on keyboard.

or fly instead.
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Old Dec 18th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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"Sorry. Cat on keyboard."

Don't you just HATE when that happens

Polly_SA: As the others say -- you can't really do a road trip Dallas > Arizona > Florida (assuming that is where Boca west is) > NYC > Dallas in your very short time.

Even just two of your wish list places from/to Dallas would be very difficult.

First get a map of the USA and decide which one direction you want to head out of Dallas.

• New Orleans, the Gulf coast, bits of Florida and back to Dallas.

• New Mexico, Airzona, Southern California and back.

• Fly to NYC, train to Wash DC, maybe tour around a bit of Maryland/Virginia by car. Fly back to Dallas.

Each of those would be a two week trip.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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thanks so far for the help guys, .ok so nyc is out as well as florida.
family live in denton
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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Hang on - don't abandon the destinations - may I suggest one way Soutwest Airline trips? YOu could fly Dallas (DAL) to Phoenix(PHX) - rent a car drive to Grand Canyon and LA, San Diego, Back to Phoenix, then fly, PHoenix to Ft Lauderdale (FLL) Rent a car there, See friend in Boca and the Everglades, Miami South Beach, etc., then Fly FLL to BWI (airport in between Wash DC and Baltimore) take rental car, train, or bus into DC and see Washington a few days, then rail to NY. At that point, you could decide to fly, drive, or train (through Chicago) back to Dallas, depneding on weather, funds, and prices. Is such an itinerary that much more expensive than 3 weeks of a rental car? It is a bit more pricey, but doable, an since this is your first time to the US, this allows you to see most of the extremes the US has to offer.

One nice thing about what I have suggesteed is that you may have the luxury of waiting until you get to the US to flesh out and fully execute this plan - you don't have to pre-book anything. Most of the SW flights are cheapest if you book 45 in advance but that is not critical, and last minute deals can occasionally be had on competitors.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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Good answers, Bachslunch and docdan would be two I would choose between. Others think you are spending too much time in the car. Well, to each his own. I have friends who recently returned from a 5500 mile road trip in very little longer time and had a ball! And they are in their 70's.

If you do travel west from Dallas toward the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe and Taos are not to be missed and have all the mountains you need without venturing north to Denver.

Other good advice here: never pick up a rental car at the airport when you can pick it up elsewhere.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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You could do more with a Bus Pass... save on the rental car and ride the busses... we have Greyhound and MegaBus plus others on a regional basis...
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 09:18 AM
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docdan: You plan would work great -- if the OP had 3+ weeks.

She doesn't.

She wants to start out w/ 3 days in Denton and be back there by around 26 March. So she has 2 weeks -- That is why we said it was too much in too many directions.

If she has a month anything is possible. A 2 week trip covering TX/AZ/CA/FL/NY and points in between -- not IMHO
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Agree you don;t have to give up destinations - you need to give up EITHER the destinations or the method - which one is up to you. You can see a lot - and not at huge cost by flying - if you must do the road you will have to limit to one direction and back.

Before you make your decisions do look at the weather. Many people don;t realize how late in the year winter lasts in the northern half of the country - OR in the mountains (some places are closed until May).
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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The comment of Ackislander concerning Toas and Santa Fe is a sound suggestion if the east coast is ruled out.

Turning back to my suggestion, in re to janisj's comment,
One does assume the OP is as young and crazy as are my American nieces and nephews. If true, then Flying to PHX on the 12th, 5 days of roading around So. Ca, Flying to Fla on the 18th, 3 days of roading around So. Florida, flying to the DC/NY area for 3 days, winding back up aroudn BWI on the morning of the 25th and driving two days in a one-way rental to the DFW area, is a feasible itinerary. Admittedly, not recommended for one who doesn't want a frenetic pace to one's vacation, but feasible, yes.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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janisjm thanks for the reply.........just one thing i am a HE !
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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polly,

these suggestions about flying are great. Do also research flying into Vegas for your Grand Canyon/LA trips, the flights are often less expensive and car rentals are also much cheaper there than Phoenix. That would give you some time to do a little exploring by car and it is about 5 hrs east to GC and about the same west to LA. If you get an early flight in, you could be at GC by late afternoon, spend the night there, hike etc the next day, head back and either spend a night near Vegas and drive to LA the next day or, drop off the car and fly to LA.


You could then spend some time with the friend, fly to NY for a couple of days, take one of the inexpensive busses or train to DC and then head back to Dallas by plane or bus.


Have a great trip!
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Sorry for any confusion - but here "Polly" is definitely a girl.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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I am corrected - emalloy -flying into Las Vegas(LAS)is probably the better option.
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Old Dec 20th, 2010, 06:41 AM
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ok guys, here is the plan.....................what you guys think...................

Denton to san fransico, via...santa fe, grand canyon, la, san fransico, la, san diego, phoenix. el paso, san antonio, houston denton.

what you guys think, any suggestions on what route, where to go, where to stop etc.

feel free to change places, but this is more or less what i want to do.
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