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Route 66 in 2017
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December 26, 2016
11:44 pm
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Steve Bellamy
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So who's planning on taking a trip in 2017?

What time of year are you going and why?

Drove Route 66 in August 2007 - hope to do it again one day in the not too distant future.

December 28, 2016
9:56 pm
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Ain626
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I've just stumbled across this forum in the process of looking into possibly driving route 66 in August 2017.

Why August? Both my husband and I are not working in August. I'm a teacher, so it's the summer holidays, and he's just had it approved that he can have August as a month of unpaid leave. We're definitely looking at doing some travelling in August, and route 66 is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

Most definitely only at the 'possibly maybe' stage - nothing is booked at all. Looking for ideas and inspiration at the min. It might not even end up being route 66 that we end up doing, but it's definitely one of the options we're looking at.

Trying to investigate the average costs of our different possibilities of a summer trip is one of our main starting points.
Also - trying to work out how much to book in advance, and how to book it. I've found different companies offering itineraries and whatnot online, which has the pros of simplifying it all down, but the downside of basically planning it all out. What if I don't want to follow their plan... But then the idea of just booking the flights and car hire separately and then winging it both scares me (what if I miss off something important???) but also makes it all more exciting and means we can do more of our own thing and not be restricted by some company and their itinerary...

December 29, 2016
11:29 pm
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Steve Bellamy
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Hi there - thanks for joining.
I understand some of the anxieties you have regarding the decision to go with an agent or arrange it yourself. My advice would always be to arrange it yourself, and here's why:

1. The joy of Route 66 is in discovering hidden gems and taking your time when you want to. A guided tour would always be someone else's interpretation of Route 66 and not the personal adventure you'd hoped for.

2. You will have all the flexibility you need in terms of timing.

3. Don't think that the only other option is to wing it - I didn't. I booked accommodation for every 3rd or 4th day to give me goals (I also booked the more iconic motels I knew I wanted to see). Everything in between is fluid but there are so many places to stay you really can afford to just pull over at the end of the day at any one of the many motels on offer.

It's a very exciting experience and you very quickly build confidence in your own ability to manage your time.

Planning the trip is a lot of fun and hopefully you'll find enough info on this site to get you started. Feel free to ask more questions,
Steve

Drove Route 66 in August 2007 - hope to do it again one day in the not too distant future.

December 30, 2016
3:23 pm
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dwdg
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We are driving the whole of Route 66, throughout the whole of May 2017, starting in Santa Monica on 1st May and ending in Chicago for the first few days of June.

Going West to East appealed for no particular reason, but it has turned out to have a few unexpected benefits. One way car hire is considerably cheaper, presumably as there are a lot of cars that need to be returned to Chicago, and we found good prices to fly back to the UK via Iceland, with Icelandair, and we are going to spend a couple of days in Reykjavik as we are already there to change planes. We are at a fairly advanced stage with our planning, and have even managed to register http://www.route66.blog so that our friends and family can track our preparations and the journey once we get underway. Our itinerary is on the Blog already, and the next task will be deciding where we are going to stop each day to ensure that we don't accidentally drive straight past a sight worth seeing. We will build everything into the TomTom Itinerary (see the Blog for the fun we had with that) so that technology can do the navigating whilst we enjoy the ride relatively stress free.

Just counting the days now!

Dave & Pauline

December 30, 2016
4:46 pm
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Ain626
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Thanks Steve.

I definitely want to try and do it by ourselves... The idea of following someone else's itinerary is not really what I want to do - I do like the idea of someone saying 'it's going to cost X amount for everything - here you go'.

If we do it we wouldn't really use a company - as you say it's someone else's idea of route 66, and we would want to do things our way.

We've got the whole of August to play with pretty much - looking at maybe spending 3 weeks on route 66 and then really pushing the boat out and adding 5 - 7 days or so on the end for Hawaii... Costs are definitely adding up, but on the other hand it's not every day we look at planning on such an adventure.

The cheapest I can currently get flights for LHR - ORD then LAX - LHR is £639 which I don't think is too bad - especially considering it's August. To add on Hawaii almost doubles the flight costs however.

Looking at car hire - There's only going to be 2 of us - and we both have smallish cars here (A Honda Jazz and a Renault Clio) so don't want anything too big. Something similar to my Honda Jazz actually wouldn't be too bad I don't think as we've used that to drive all over the UK and Ireland, but would it be feasible to do route 66 in a similar car?

Also, in terms of budgeting for motels - what would the average cost be? There's a couple I particularly would like to stay in and I'm expecting those to be a bit more (and would book those in advance).

Finally - how many days? Looking at somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks (plus Hawaii if we do it). Looking at possible stops and things now to see if we can work out approx where to stay each night.

December 31, 2016
6:25 pm
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Steve Bellamy
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dwdg said
One way car hire is considerably cheaper, presumably as there are a lot of cars that need to be returned to Chicago. 

Hi Dave & Pauline - thanks for joining the site. You've made a very good point here regarding one-way fees - I'll have to remember that!

Well done on bagging an excellent domain name for your blog, I look forward to reading it Smile

Drove Route 66 in August 2007 - hope to do it again one day in the not too distant future.

December 31, 2016
6:35 pm
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Steve Bellamy
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Ain626 said
We've got the whole of August to play with pretty much - looking at maybe spending 3 weeks on route 66 and then really pushing the boat out and adding 5 - 7 days or so on the end for Hawaii... Costs are definitely adding up, but on the other hand it's not every day we look at planning on such an adventure.

I did the whole route in two weeks and spent a further week driving up the west coast to San Francisco which was a lot of fun. If you're going to push the boat out and have a big holiday I totally agree with the idea of extending it as much as you can. My two weeks on Route 66 included a night on a sidetrip to the Grand Canyon and two nights on a sidetrip to Vegas. I didn't feel at all rushed.

Ain626 said Looking at car hire - There's only going to be 2 of us - and we both have smallish cars here (A Honda Jazz and a Renault Clio) so don't want anything too big. Something similar to my Honda Jazz actually wouldn't be too bad I don't think as we've used that to drive all over the UK and Ireland, but would it be feasible to do route 66 in a similar car?

Totally - although don't rule out a larger car just in terms of comfort. You can certainly hire smaller cars, but as driving in the States is relatively easier (automatic transmission makes the largest cars like Go Karts!) you may appreciate the boot space of a larger sedan. The car I hired was no larger than a Ford Mondeo and was very smooth and easy to drive. We needed the bootspace for our combined luggage and a crate of bottled water. I recommend http://www.rentalcars.com

Ain626 said Also, in terms of budgeting for motels - what would the average cost be? There's a couple I particularly would like to stay in and I'm expecting those to be a bit more (and would book those in advance).

I'm going to have to let someone else answer this as it's been a while since I drove the route. I'll ask the Facebook group for advice on this I think...

Drove Route 66 in August 2007 - hope to do it again one day in the not too distant future.

January 1, 2017
2:21 pm
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Dave B
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Hi,
We are looking at doing part of the route in May, maybe St. Louis to LA as we only have 2 weeks.
Would we be missing much from Chicago down?

Cheers
Dave

January 1, 2017
10:41 pm
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Steve Bellamy
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It is possible to do Chicago to LA in two weeks so don't let time put you off. Illinois is home to some nice sights (see the Illinois section in the Plan Your Trip pages) but if circumstance are such that you have to miss it out don't stress about it - you're going to see the vast majority of what Route 66 has to offer.

Drove Route 66 in August 2007 - hope to do it again one day in the not too distant future.

January 2, 2017
1:50 pm
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Ain626
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Thanks Steve for your reply.

How do people go about planning this trip? I'm currently putting together a document planning out stops and what to see along the way. I've currently got it at 16 days (not including the added Hawaii trip), but I'm still quite near the beginning of this planning business. Might post the plan once I've worked on it a bit more if that's okay.

Glad it seems feasible to do the trip in a smallish car - was looking at the 'Ford Focus or similar' class with the thought process that it should be large enough for 2, plus luggage, without being too large/gas guzzling in terms of fuel consumption. I think we'd be looking around the £1200 - £1500 mark for that kind of car, including a $500 one way fee. (Slight side note, I think it's kind of cheeky that the one way fee is that high for the national companies that have sites all over the country, but at least it's obvious that the charge is there, it's not hidden so can be budgeted for - Also just did a search for my dates the other way out of curiosity and it was coming up at pretty much the same cost for us). On the car front if we plan on spending 2 nights in Chicago before setting off do we need a car for those 2 days? Is Chicago easy to navigate without one? Same for LA at the other end. Can we book the car back in and explore LA on foot/public transport or is it easier to keep the car?

Also... will search out the Facebook Group. 😀

January 9, 2017
2:21 pm
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Maureen
London, England
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Blimey, Steve sums it up so well.

I ache to do it all over again.

Maureen
(well jell)

January 9, 2017
10:09 pm
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MadMax
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We're heading there last week in Sept for 3 weeks for our honeymoon. East to west, just not sure how far west - ideally San Fransisco.

Picking lots of tips up here so keep them coming.

I have quite a big ask on my hands due to the car I desperately want to hire - Dodge Challenger (I'm a petrolhead, so don't expect everyone to understand) if I really can't arrange then I'll go for a nice SUV - that mileage needs. To be comfortable and roomy.

Cheers.

Max

January 10, 2017
12:59 pm
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DynoDave
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A Challenger would certainly be fun, Max. I had a 300 as a rental this summer, and it was a very enjoyable car.

January 11, 2017
12:23 am
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Ain626
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I took the plunge and have booked flights!

We fly to Chicago on 1st August! Have kept Hawaii in, but for 4 nights instead of 5. Plan is to spend 19 days on route 66, flying out to maui on day 20.

Excited now!

Really should book a car... job to do at the weekend I think.

January 12, 2017
1:07 pm
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frank.mo586
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I’m currently at the first steps of planning a drive eastward from Santa Monica to Chicago using Route 66.
We live in Detroit, MI and would fly one way into the Los Angeles area picking up a one way rental car and driving east back to Detroit through Chicago.
Both flight and rental car seem to be cheaper flying to the west and driving to the east.
Our trip most likely will be late spring or early fall 2017 with a two to three week driving plan.
I’ve purchased EZ66 and the dinning and lodging guide for route 66 and starting studying both.
Is it fair to say a good estimate would be an average $100.00 a night for lodging?
Also should we lean closer to the three weeks vs two weeks?

January 13, 2017
5:44 am
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thepengy
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I guess it depends on your room standard expectations, in 2016 we averaged a little over that nearer $130 after Chicago and before Santa Monica, but if you stay in Downtown Chicago and Santa Monica they are a lot dearer. We liked to treat ourselves in a couple of stops. Trip Advisor helps
The more time on the Route the better if you have it available, you will never run out of things to see. And it will save you having to go back like we did because we didn't do enough the first time!!!

June 15th to July 13th 2016
Did the whole thing, Chicago to Santa Monica

January 13, 2017
1:14 pm
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DynoDave
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Welcome aboard Frank.mo586, from a fellow Michigander.

While I have no first hand experience traveling cross country on Route 66, and have only had the opportunity to enjoy Route 66 in parts of Illinois (see my partial list of things to see in Illinois in the thread "Potential Itinerary"), I think most folks would say that 3 weeks will be better than 2. You will feel less rushed, and free to explore a little when you spot something that interests you. Also, it's just plain slower driving. It goes through 100 towns, you have to do some extra navigating to stay on the route, and the old road is just not "built for speed"...it's just a slower way to travel.

January 15, 2017
10:58 am
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We have just booked, airfares, hotel in Chicago and a one way factory delivery RV from Chicago to LA. Have 28 days to do the trip and combining with collecting our adult son who has been living in London for last two years. Leaving Chicago on March 3 2017, really have no idea how cold it's likely to be in March. Keen to make sure we take our time and enjoy the experience.

January 15, 2017
2:09 pm
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trvlloop
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So glad I found this website etc. My husband and I are Brits, but live in Ontario, Canada and will be traveling Route 66 around May this year. Just starting to put together ideas and itineraries. We plan to perhaps take 3-4 weeks travelling to Las Vegas, where will then spend a month in that area, then continue R66 and head up to renter Canada in British Columbia. Very excited

January 26, 2017
2:52 am
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Teamjennings
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4 Aussies. 2 on a bike, 2 in a car. Headed east to west. Mid March.
Taking 3 weeks with a stopover in Vegas to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary and my 50th birthday.
Planning is well underway. Still deciding whether to buy a motorcycle or hire one.

Anyone have any recommendations?

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