I decided to visit Montana after going through some of the places I wanted to visit in the northern states. Summer is not a good time for southern states. I will leave that for Winter.
I like doing the circular drive, like I did for Oregon. That way I don't have to worry about dropping off the car at another location and I can see the state in a more complete way. This trip got changed a few times and sometimes it did not even get made, because the ticket price was a lot!
First I decided that I would need about 8 days to see what I wanted to see. As I was planning, Spokane got added to the tour, even though it is in Washington. I felt there would be no other time that I would go to Spokane, so best to add it now. It took me over two weeks to buy my ticket since the price varied from $550-$800. I finally got the lower end of the price, but I will still have to pay for my checked in luggage, so not all that cheap.
Then what should have been the easy part became the hard part - booking a car. Yet again I was shocked that the car rental for those 9 days would be $550 - $1000. I was not expecting that!! Most cars are about $25/day. Oh well, finally I booked through Priceline to get the lower end of the price.
Lastly was deciding on the hotels. In Montana, the big thing is Glacier National Park. So first thing to book was hotel in the park, which turned out to be all full. This was three weeks in advance. Well then! I started on booking hotels everywhere just in case. For most places I visited, the hotels were quite full, so it was good that I booked my hotels.
This is what I came up with for my Montana Drive:
Bozeman (2 nights) -> Helena (2 nights) -> East Glacier Village (1 night) -> Lakeside (1 night) -> Spokane (2 nights) -> Butte (1 night) -> Bozeman (departure).
I had noted all the places I wanted to see in all these places and then decided the time. Some of it I had no choice (East Glacier Village) since there was no other booking available. I got the map from AAA and made my route. Everything was set!