Road Trip through the USA: 1 Year from Now
The same day the idea for Alps and Abroad was born, we also came up and started planning our biggest trip so far. We're not sure what came up first - you could say one thing lead to the other. We were just talking about different kinds of trips we want to go on in the future and all of the things we want to see and discover. Very quickly, all sorts of ideas started to come together into one: Why not fly to America and go on a big road trip through the North-West of the USA? Why not take about 4 to 5 weeks off next summer and visit most of the national parks and big cities on the west coast? We know that trips like this one require a lot of precise planning and preparations, so we started right away. We also want to bring you along with us and show you how to bring a project like this to life and what to do and what not to do when planning a trip like this.
When planning a trip of this scale, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of and pay attention to. Especially, when you are planning on visiting so many different states and places over such a long period of time. The first thing when planning a trip is to look at the climate of your destination so you know when it’s a good time to go there and when not.
Therefore, we decided on a time of the year when the weather should be rather stable throughout most of the places we want to visit: August and September. Of course, it is also essential to first think of what you want to do and experience and then plan around it. One of Sophie’s biggest dreams has always been going whale watching and seeing Orcas in the wild. So hopefully, this will be possible for us to do.
Obviously, the length of the trip depends on your route, and in this case we've been very lucky. When we were first talking about all of the things we want to see and the places we want to visit, we already had a pretty good idea of a route for our road trip. When we also decided to buy a travel guide, we found one by Marco Polo that, amazingly enough, had almost everything we wanted to see in it!
We definitely recommend buying a travel guide. Even if the internet offers an enormous amount of information, it isn’t’ always available. Especially when you’re on the road, you don't always have an internet connection, and this is exactly when an old-school travel guide and a map come in handy. Also, travel guides offer information and help on a lot of things, which means you don’t have to browse the internet for hours and hours trying to get all of the information you need. You can simple read a travel guide, get some inspiration and then start from there.
Another very important point, of course, is the flight. Flying is never cheap, but doing your research and booking early can always save you a few bucks. Luckily, there are many websites, like skyscanner.com, that can help you compare different flights and prices. Since we live in Innsbruck, there are a couple of different airports that we can consider and that's something we always recommend: compare flights from different airports that are nearby. For us these are Innsbruck (always a good starting point with connection flights to Frankfurt and Vienna, from where you can get nearly everywhere), Munich (Germany), Verona (Italy) and Zurich (Switzerland) - all of them within 2-3 hours of driving, so definitely worth considering if it saves you some money. But also, we are not quite sure yet and where we want to fly to first. We are considering all possibilities from Los Angeles, to San Francisco, Seattle or even Vancouver and starting to prepare early gives us the chance to compare all of these options and think them through. Only then will we make a decision based upon what is best for our trip.
Even if some might say planning one year ahead is a bit too early, we think it is necessary for trips of this scale. This way, you avoid getting bad surprises and you are able to plan without rushing. And let’s be honest: it is never too early to start planning. In Austria, we have a saying that goes “Vorfreude ist die beste Freude”, which means something like “joyful anticipation is the best kind of joy.”
Stay tuned for further planning updates, tips on how to plan upcoming trips and all things travel!