Thursday, February 25, 2010

50 State Road Trip

Hi Jamie


My partner and I are from Australia, and are looking at doing a road trip around the US. I have many ideas on how I'd like to do it, but I figured it'd help getting the advice of someone who's actually done it (and can tell me if I'm trying to include too much).

I had wanted to see most of the 50 states (probably not Alaska, and maybe Hawaii on the way over), and was initially thinking of doing 6 months, but am now thinking 3 months might be better. Is it feasible to try and see that much in one go? How much time do you need?

Transport wise I had wanted to hire a car, or even move a car from one side of the states to the other. When I mentioned this though, people seemed to think the Greyhound, or flying, was a better way to do it.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Rachel.


Dear Rachel --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA -- I hope I can help you have a great trip. Time-wise, you seem to have plenty -- the crucial question is whether you can support yourself for 3-to-6 months of travel. The USA is not an outrageously expensive place, but that is a long time (and you'll probably need something like $100 a day for food / shelter / transportation). If you can swing it -- lucky you!

One thing I would suggest -- don't try to "see everything" on one trip. If you take it easy you'll be more likely to enjoy the places you do see, rather than worry about what you might be missing. Weather and season will have a lot to do with your itinierary -- this time of year much of the country is covered in snow, so the southern areas are best (like Arizona or Florida, or New Orleans for Mardi Gras!). The mountains (Wyoming, Colorado, Montana) are best seen in summer, while New England and the East are nice in September / October.

That would keep you busy for a 3 or 6 months -- and you could still squeeze in some time in California and New York City. Because the USA is so big -- if you don't include Alaska or Hawaii, it's roughly as big as Australia -- you may want to break your trip up into smaller "loops," renting a car in one region and traveling around for a few weeks, then flying elsewhere and starting over on another circle tour.

Airplanes help link the big cities, but cars are really the best way to see the "heart" of the USA -- Greyhound buses stick to the freeways and big cities, so you don't get to see the nice places.

And when you do hit the road, do your best to stay off the "big roads" and get out onto the smaller, scenic roads like I cover in Road Trip USA: In my book I give pretty full details on things to see and do along 40,000 miles worth of great drives all over the country, which should keep you pleasantly occupied for however long you manage to stay here!

Hope this helps,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA




Post a Comment

<< Home