1 April 2015

USA Road Trip | 3-Week Road Trip Itinerary

Finalising the route for our three-week road trip was a lot more tricky than we thought. The route has changed pretty drastically and originally we had planned to drive through Arizona 'proper' getting as far as Phoenix, but one looooooong Thorn Tree discussion later we refined our route to what you can see above.

There were some stops that people just thought gimmicky (Scottsdale) and some where people pointed out it would be completely out of season (Palm Springs). We tried not to just nod and agree with everything the forum was saying and did further research of our own. This was all part of deciding what was right for our trip.

There are a few things that will affect the route you plan no matter who you are:

1| Availability of National Park accommodation. This applies particularly if you're planning on going during peak season around the summer months of June-August, though accommodation is extremely competitive all year round. You need to be flexible with your dates and may need to check constantly for cancellations. We basically planned our whole route around Yosemite and Grand Canyon as we managed to secure some park accommodation - you've been warned!

2| Time you have available. This is really crucial for two reasons. Most obviously the less time you have the less distance you can travel; but you also need to take in to account if you're travelling constantly for over two weeks you may loose momentum and need more than one night somewhere to allow for a lie-in and a break from the constantly new.

3| Your priorities. Unlike Europe and to an extent South East Asia, there is no possible way you can see all of the USA and the hardest part is working out your priorities!! I didn't even consider a majority of the states and instead stuck with the few based around California. For example, if you're keen to do the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim trek realistically you actually need 4 nights even though the trek can technically be done in a day. Or, if you want to 'see LA' the Hollywood Hills area is pretty far apart from Venice Beach (+ traffic of course).

There are no easy ways around it. Research is your best best friend!

See my post for more help planning any multi-stop trip or choosing the best accommodation for you.
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