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 > Explore Western US without an RV

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Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 12/31/16 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think if I didn't like to drive long distances, I might try a train?? Still would let me walk around, and see the sights, and not experience the stress of flying. Also would accommodate enough backpacking gear that I'd be able to camp when I arrived at my destinations.

I DID use a Grand Caravan with the Stow 'n Go flat-floor feature to camp a couple of times: my cot fit nicely in the back; I had my "Luggable Loo" in case of a middle-of-the-night need for a potty; and if you look online, they make magnetically-attached screen windows for most vehicles. One time, the temps were in the 20's - an electric heater kept me more than toasty (the extension cord closed nicely into the back hatch weather seal)

darsben1

near Canada in NYS/ Casa Grande, AZ

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Posted: 12/31/16 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deb and Ed M wrote:

I think if I didn't like to drive long distances, I might try a train?? Still would let me walk around, and see the sights, and not experience the stress of flying. Also would accommodate enough backpacking gear that I'd be able to camp when I arrived at my destinations.

I DID use a Grand Caravan with the Stow 'n Go flat-floor feature to camp a couple of times: my cot fit nicely in the back; I had my "Luggable Loo" in case of a middle-of-the-night need for a potty; and if you look online, they make magnetically-attached screen windows for most vehicles. One time, the temps were in the 20's - an electric heater kept me more than toasty (the extension cord closed nicely into the back hatch weather seal)


+1 0n train

see
http://www.amtrakvacations.com/destinations/national-parks/


Traveling with my best friend, my wife in a 1990 Southwind

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 12/31/16 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Train is an option, just remember that Amtrak shares the tracks with freight trains and has to give way to them. That can lead to delays. A friend did California to illinois and back and his return trip was about 4 days late because of delays due to freight trains. Cross country seems to see the worst of the delays.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/31/16 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, with not much explanation of why traveling makes you anxious or nervous, then yes you can absolutely fly in, rent a car and stay at a lodge/hotel. Break out your wallet for these, short term, excursions.
Guess you need to figure out if your lack of propensity for travel is a fear or simply a preference.
You mention renting a truck/TC or a camper so presumably you're not afraid to drive them. The easy drive is cruising the interstate cross country, the "tough" part if you have phobias is crawling along a switchback mtn road with no guard rails......in an ill handling Winnebago!
What I'm saying, is if you're good with the latter then I see no reason to be afraid of the "trip."
Last option, which I would detest personally, but many obviously find attractive as evidenced by the Hundreds of tour busses in yellerstone every day, is take a guided trip.
Can't explore much though. It's basically YouTube videos in real life.


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BizmarksMom

Idaho

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Posted: 12/31/16 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I spent most of my adult life camping out and poking around National parks before buying my travel trailer. I slept in cabins, lodges, tents, the back of my car... An RV is definitely not required!

What exactly about traveling makes you anxious?


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Naio

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Posted: 12/31/16 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

Train is an option, just remember that Amtrak shares the tracks with freight trains and has to give way to them. That can lead to delays. A friend did California to illinois and back and his return trip was about 4 days late because of delays due to freight trains. Cross country seems to see the worst of the delays.


I have taken Amtrak across the US several times with nothing like that delay! I wonder if there were crashes on the track ahead. That can be a problem sometimes.

In my experience, a multi day Amtrak trip usually arrives a few hours late. Not days!


3/4 timing in a DIY van conversion. Backroads, mountains, boondocking, sometimes big cities for a change of pace.


Naio

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Posted: 12/31/16 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with those like toedtoes who say that the OP might find it useful to delve into what exactly leads to the anxiety. He/she seemed to be saying it had to do with the length of time away from home.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 12/31/16 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Naio wrote:

toedtoes wrote:

Train is an option, just remember that Amtrak shares the tracks with freight trains and has to give way to them. That can lead to delays. A friend did California to illinois and back and his return trip was about 4 days late because of delays due to freight trains. Cross country seems to see the worst of the delays.


I have taken Amtrak across the US several times with nothing like that delay! I wonder if there were crashes on the track ahead. That can be a problem sometimes.

In my experience, a multi day Amtrak trip usually arrives a few hours late. Not days!


He was told it was due to freight train priority on the tracks. His trip out there was pretty much on schedule (a little late, but not too bad).

I've known others who had minor delays, but apparently one should be aware of these possibly longer delays if they are trying to meet a time frame.

Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 12/31/16 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Going on an RV trip, when you really don't know much about RV's might only add RV-related anxieties to your other anxieties. I'm not saying don't do it. Do take the advice of other posters: analyze your anxieties about travel. Perhaps tackle them one at a time.

Something like the Caravan Tours mentioned above, or a Road Scholar trip can relieve many types of trip anxiety: Where can I stay? Will I be safe? Will the food/water be safe to consume? How much should I tip? etc.

https://www.roadscholar.org/collections/on-the-road/ There are several trips to western national parks listed on the page linked here. You can search for other types of trips, other locations.

I've been on half a dozen Road Scholar (formerly known as Elderhostel) trips. They handle all of the lodging issues, including tips, baggage, most of the food. There are knowledgeable guides along on the trip. You can get a private or a shared room.

Road Scholar trips are available at all levels from sitting in lectures all day to seriously challenging physical stuff like hiking, skiing, etc. You can go just about anywhere in the world with Road Scholar. Prices are reasonable and most of the other participants have been pleasant and interesting people.

Yes, I love my RV and my travels in it, but there is sometimes a time or place for a group trip, too.

Best wishes for making your travel dreams come true!


2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed


breeves2245

Northwest Arkansas

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Posted: 12/31/16 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd rather jump off my porch onto my pocket knife before joining a group in a tour bus or other type setup with high concentrations of humans. I wish I could explain it, but I just seem to be ready to get back home after a few days away. No rational reason I can come up with, but I get ansy away from the house. My dad was the same way, did not travel at all in his later years. We'd go see relatives in the next state and he would be ready to go home after a day or two. Having a dog makes it more difficult. I would feel pressured to get back and be sure he is okay even though I would have a reliable dog setter coming over. Maybe I'm just not mentally wired to travel. But I feel like I'll miss out on a lot if I don't see at least a portion of the US. I may be able to retire in four years so I would like to use the first year or so to tour the western US, but wish I could do it without the issues.

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