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Route 66 This Summer

Travel Forums North America Route 66 This Summer

1. Posted by Laurac8885 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y

Hi All!

We are new to this website! My other half and I have booked to fly to US for a month from July onwards this year. We will be staying with friends in NY for a week, and then heading to Chicago where we plan to rent a car and drive Route 66 for 2 weeks down to LA, before returning to NY for the last week of the trip.

A few things we were looking for some advice on if anyone can help us we would be so greatful...

1. What would be the main places / sight seeing / accommodation people would reccommend we visit on our Route 66 trip?
2. We have found from research so far that it may be cheaper for us to rent the car for 3 weeks and drive a return route from Chicago, down to LA and back to Chicago again where we would drop off the car and head back to NY. Does anyone know of any cheap options for us to maybe drive the car one way to LA and maybe get a flight/train/greyhound back to NY? Or is our idea the best option?
3. If anyone has travelled this route before, how much money did you take? we thought about £2,000 each, think this would be enough?

Any other advice, please feel free to comment!


2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 5y

Here is a great resource for 66. I have only driven the section between Kingman and Williams AZ. This section is almost unchanged over the years. I have Route 66 photos, page 24 under USA. A few also on page 4.

The only way you will know if driving back to Chicago makes sense is to crunch the numbers. There is usually a drop off charge if you don't return the vehicle to city you started from. See what airfare is between LAX and ORD. Then you will have an idea if it makes sense to fly back or drive the rental back to ORD. I did a quick search and you can fly back from LAX for around $175, advance purchase. $350 will be less than the costs to drive back to Chicago.

I would use $4/gallon for your budget, figure 2.5K miles at 30mph. That is roughly $350 for petrol. $60 a night for a 14 nights. About $900 for motels. Add food for 2 weeks and you will have a rough estimate of costs. Many motels offer BF with the room. This can really lower your food costs. We had a good BF, took fruit with us and used that for lunch. That left one meal a day we actually paid for. I would have a small cooler in your vehicle. Buy your water, beverages yogurt, snacks, etc in a supermarket. Buy sandwich makings and eat lunch on the go or at a roadside park. This will reduce your food costs significantly.

Good luck with your planning.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Mar-2011, at 18:07 by vegasmike6 ]

3. Posted by Laurac8885 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y

Hey Mike,

Thanks so much your advice has been great! It sounds like we have budgeted correctly then. Thanks for reasearching the flights for us as well, but perhaps if there is a drop off charge fo the car as you said, it may work out cheaper if we did take the car back to where we originally picked it up from.

Yes lunch making options is definately a good idea, besides i think we would end up the size of houses if we ate out every day! haha!

Thanks again for all your help! ill take a look at your pics now, and we look forward to eventually posting ours! :)

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 5y

I called National & Budget Car Rentals. They do not have a drop off charge, but they charge more per day if you do not return it to where you rented it. The amount was significant. Both Budget & National charge way too much for a one way rentel. I got a quote for around $800 for 21 days, returning it to Chicago. That jumped to $3K if you leave it in LAX. Forget flying back Laura. Money wise, it only makes sense to drive it back to Chicago. Hope this helps, Mike

5. Posted by Laurac8885 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y

Hey Mike,

Oh thanks so much for taking the time to call them for us! Well it definately sounds like we should just hire the car for 2 weeks and drive a round trip back to Chicago then! $3K, wow that is unreal! haha! Thats made our mind up with regards to the car then!

Thanks again!


6. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 5y

Let me know when you will hit Vegas. I can get free shows most days. Not Celine Dion of course, but something you might want to see.

7. Posted by shannons (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y

I would recommend that you stop in Amarillo. Visiting Cadillac Ranch and Palo Duro Canyon is a must. We just traveled through Amarillo at the end of a 14-day road vacation in Texas and stayed at the Ambassador Hotel. Nice hotel with affordable rates, lots of amenities, and a free top-notch breakfast. This hotel is a great hidden jewel.

8. Posted by Laurac8885 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y

Great Thanks Shannons! Will bare that one in mind!