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Road trip - Have we bitten off more than we can chew?

Travel Forums North America Road trip - Have we bitten off more than we can chew?

1. Posted by katerob8 (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Hi everybody,

I'm new to this site and i was wondering if anyone could offer any insight...

Myself and my boyfriend will be flying into New York at the end of June for 23 days (i know its a random number) I am a big planner and he is very see where the breeze takes him but i thought that a little sneeky planning wouldnt do us any harm.

The plan is this... we are flying into JFK but are going to get the bus (as mentioned in anouther thread) down to DC because its about £150 cheaper to do it that way and pick up our hire car from there rather than from JFK airport. (We'll be spending 1 night in new york so that we dont risk missing our bus but we wont be going into the City until the last 5 days becase i'd probably blow all my money shopping! ha!)

So from DC we are going to head out to Nashville and Memphis then down to Florida (where i grew up) then back up the coast DEFINATELY stopping at Charleston along the way as i half remember visiting it as a child and it was awesome!

We have to see my family in Florida and he wants at least 4 or 5 days in new york. How easy is it going to be to just book b&b's. hotels and in new york probably hostels off the cuff? It will be July... will we be able to just show up to a place we fancy and get a room? We want to see the cities but we really want to meet local people, do local things and not get suckered into the expensive tourist traps! I also dont want to spend half my holiday on the I-95

So sorry for the massive post i just wanted to get as much info over as i could so that maybe someone could help me.

Thanks so much


2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 6y

I want to encourage you to stop at Savannah, GA. Worth a day IMO. Very historic city. I think you will be OK on the road getting motels, not sure about NYC. You are in peak tourist season and the lower priced rooms will fill up fast. I generally just show up and find something. Works in Asia and on the road in the US. I don't think it will work in the Big Apple. If you know your dates in NYC, I would try to book the hostels now. You run the risk of having to pay serious prices for a room if all the ones you want are fully booked.

Good luck with your planning.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1997 posts) 6y

I thoroughly agree with Mike - NYC will be the problem (especially in July!!!) Tell your friend that he will need BIG BIG BUCKS if he plans to see the city for that length of time. Be sure to pig out on the best pizza in the world in Brooklyn.

Some of my favorites along the coastal route include Historic Williamsburg in Virginia and Ocean City, New Jersey (great beach and boardwalk). The best way to get to Ocean City is via the Cape May Ferry that goes from Lewes, Deleware to Cape May, NJ.

4. Posted by katerob8 (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Thanks SO much for your super fast replies! Will certainly put Savanah on the list! I've heard good things and i really do like the real south!

I've shown your replies to my other half and he has at last agreed to let me do some pre planning (no longer do i have to be covert!) Plus this means that we can maybe get some couch surfing in which i've heard is a fantastic way to meet people, find out what a place is really like AND keep the cost down!

I dont supose anyone knows anywhere of interest to stop between Mephis TN and Gainesville FL? We could just do a solid day of driving but it would be nice to split the journey. Probably somewhere in Alabama?

Thanks again


5. Posted by geeadamg (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y

I was in NYC June last year and was doing random trips round the US. I managed to book places off the cuff very easily by using - prices weren't too bad either because there was always an offer and you don't choose the expensive ones. The great thing about road trips in the US is the not planning - a netbook/laptop is a worthy investment as you can grab wifi easily in many places.

So anyway, I booked NYC the day before with no probs.

6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

Quoting katerob8

I dont supose anyone knows anywhere of interest to stop between Mephis TN and Gainesville FL? We could just do a solid day of driving but it would be nice to split the journey. Probably somewhere in Alabama?

Thanks again


If you are looking for an interesting scenic drive in the old south area check out the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Or Floridas Gulf coast beaches that stretch from Pensacola to Port St Joe.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Apr-2010, at 00:25 by jambo101 ]

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1992 posts) 6y

Well, that's a nice suggestion by Jambo101 and it's a beautiful trail, but unfortunately, you will be travelling southeast if you are going from Memphis to Gainesville, while the Natchez trail runs from the southwest to the northeast--so this doesn't really work.

My suggestion is that you stop in either Atlanta, Georgia or Pensacola/Panama City, Florida. I'd choose the later if there are no storms or the first if there are any storms or if you want more nightlife (Atlanta has some really great nightlife).

Another couple of options would be the city of Birmingham, Alabama (very up to date) or else Huntsville, Alabama (famous as a city where they do the NASA space rocket design work and some space rocket testing).

[ Edit: Info on Birmingham and Huntsville ]

8. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

That Natchez Trace Parkway is probably a few hundred miles out of your way to the west and should be considered if New Orleans becomes part of the southbound trip.If going to Charleston and Savannah its definitely too far west.