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View Full Version : Help! Seattle to Boston, safely, in 6 days?



ltild9631
11-20-2007, 04:51 PM
Hello all! A friend and I are planning on making the trip from Seattle to Boston beginning a couple days after Christmas. As neither of us has driven a long-distance road trip before, I was hoping to collect from experienced drivers! I have learned a lot from browsing the forums here, but I have a few more specific questions. We would like to see some things, but the trip needs to be relatively brief, cheap, and most importantly safe.

Here are my main questions:
1. We have about 6 days, 7 days maximum to make the trip. Is this feasible and safe? Is 90 the best way to go safety-wise? Are there faster or safer alternatives?
2. We will be driving a Toyota 4Runner with 4WD. Is it necessary to look into winter-tires or chains? We are really looking to minimize cost...
3. Cheap hotels--any advice? We don't have AAA. What is an appropriate budget for 6 nights hotel accomodations?
4. We are both confident drivers, but we are worried (and our families are worried) about the weather. Should we be?

Thanks so much in advance! Any other advice or insight is appreciated, as well!

Lauren

AZBuck
11-20-2007, 06:14 PM
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

While your trip doesn't quite qualify (and that's a good thing!), be sure to read these tips (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/GettingOutThere/The-Art-of-the-Speed-Run.htm) on high mileage/low time Speed Runs. Since you're not going to be quite that pressed for time, you should also plan to take some time out of the car each day for walks through towns or parks to recharge your bodies and clear your minds.

1) Six days doesn't leave a lot of time for sight seeing to be sure, but it is quite a reasonable amount of time for a cross-country RoadTrip that is just a shade over 3000 miles. A little simple math shows you have to average 500 miles a day to make it on time. That's actually on the low side of what we recommend as a good day's journey, and you can cover that many miles in a day quite safely. I-90 and/or I-94 are your best bet. Interstate Highways are the first roads cleared in the event of snow and generally speaking, adding miles won't make your trip safer, especially if you then feel hurried to cover those extra miles in the same amount of time. You say you have (perhaps) an extra day. Keep that in hand and just plan to sit out any weather that you're uncomfortable driving in.

2) Your car should be fine. If you've got good tread on your tires, they should be fine too. If you are unaccustomed to driving in snow, snow tires and/or chains will probably make you less safe by giving you a false sense of security. As I say, if the weather makes you uncomfortable, sit it out.

3) There are several low cost chains that offer basic room and bed at a basic price. These include Motel 6, Red Roof Inn, Super 8, Econo Lodge and Microtel. You can probably get lists of their locations from them so you'll know where they are along your route. You can always ask to inspect your room before accepting it and there's always another motel just down the road. If you plan to spend $75/night for a room for the two of you, you'll almost surely come in under that.

4) There's no way to predict the weather more than a few days ahead of your trip. Your best 'plan' is to maintain some flexibility. Be ready to use either I-90 or I-94 through the northern plains. Be prepared to use either I-90 or I-76/I-78/I-84 in the East. And most importantly, be willing to just take that 7th day you've got in your pocket and use it to sit and watch the weather rather than try to drive through it.

AZBuck