Good morning all,
I've managed to wangle a month off work and I'm looking at heading to the US between 25rd August and 23rd September. I've done the whole backpacking asia/oz thing before but I thought I'd dip in here to gain some advice/recommendations from locals.
At the moment my rough plan looks like this.
25th August - Arrive in NYC from the UK
28th August - Begin a two week east coast tour ending up in Miami. Route follows, NYC - DC - New Orleans - Panama City - Orlando - Miami. Tour ends 10th September.
10th September to around 13th September - Miami
13th September fly to New Orleans
18th/19th September Fly to Vegas
23rd September - Fly home from Vegas
I appreciate my trip visits New Orleans twice but this is one of my main reasons for visiting the US so I want to spend some time in the city. Also I'm a bit of a sports nut, I'll be getting tickets for the UFC who will be in town on the 17th Sept and after checking the sports schedules for the city I'll more then likely go see the Saints play on the 18th.
Due to the sports schedule this leaves me with little time to spend in Vegas and obviously I'll want to fit the grand canyon in there. Does this sound reasonable?
My only other option really would be to do the whole thing solo e.g. Fly NYC, New Orleans, Vegas etc.
Are there any recommendations out there from anyone who may have done something similar to this or any ideas I could mix things up a bit? Oh and things to do in New Orleans would be great!
I've gotta be brutally honest with you as I am from DC and have traveled much of the east coast. Your east coast tour is unreasonable to do in 2 weeks. DC-New Orleans is an 18 hour trip in itself and I don't know what other cities in between you want to stop in. New Orleans to Panama City, it is six hours and about the same from Panama City to Orlando. Orlando to Miami is about 4 hours(I've done it). I just think that you should realize with leaving yourself only that much time, you wont get much time to actually spend in the places you're visiting with travel and having to sleep at some point. You've definitely left yourself enough time for Vegas and the Grand Canyon though. My suggestion would be to do New York-Philly-DC and than fly to Miami. From Miami, drive up to Orlando and than from Orlando, make your way to Panama City and than from Panama City, hit New Orleans and make that the tail end of your trip on the east coast and fly out of New Orleans to Vegas. I know that you said you want to spend a lot of time in New Orleans but rather than going there twice, I would just get there earlier than you planned in order to spend extra time there.
Hey, cheers for the advice.
Yeah I guessed it was a whistlestop tour so to speak but what I mentioned during the two week trip is a skeleton route. There's plenty of stops on the way (e.g. camping in the Appalachains, doing some rafting ect) but I agree, a lot of time will be spent on the bus.
The problems I have are cost/dates/company. The two week thing is an organised tour so will be with a group of people. Dates are pre defined and I can outline a basic budget as accom/food will be sorted.
If I do it another way, e.g. drive NYC, Philly, DC etc then this will be solo = higher cost.
Plus my dates for New Orleans are all based around the UFC on the 17th so I think it sorta leaves me stuck in the middle about where/when to go to surrounding areas.
I've heard mixed reports about the backpacking scene in the US so I'm unsure if I'll be going back to doing the whole hostel thing hence the choice to possibly do an organised tour.
Pretty stuck about what to do with this one in all honesty
I'm not so sure your schedule is that far off base. Brooks makes a good point about time wasted from DC to Florida but if you're on a bus it's only a day. I live near DC and I can tell you September is PERFECT weather for the east coast. However it's still really hot in the south and in Vegas, particularly if you are from the UK. But doing this alone will cost a fortune, I'd stick with the tour and make the best of it.
The cool thing about the States is there is so much difference throughout the country. Las Vegas will look nothing like New Orleans. You simply have to see the Grand Canyon, I saw it for the first time 2 years ago (I'm 52) and I can't believe I waited so long. Not sure on the backpacking deal, I'm pretty sure it's not as advanced as it is in Europe, but it is still pretty common to see young kids with packs strolling through small towns. Hostiles are everywhere.
That Appalachians are very nice but since they are so old they are way smaller than the Rockies. When in Vegas get a car and take some trips, you won't be disappointed. Others more familiar with that area I'm sure can hook you up.
Yeah I didnt think I was too much off base time wise, especially considering its over two weeks. I've done a whole load further in much shorter time and even then didnt seem too rushed.
After checking flight prices and outlining my basic itinerary I think I've convinced myself on the tour mentioned above.
I will get to see the most (albeight slightly rushed) in the short time I have. I'll also get the best of both in terms of travelling solo/group.
Cheers again for your help guys