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  1. Default Another First timer

    My roommates and I are planning a spring break road trip starting at 3:00 PM Thursday March 9th and ending Friday Morning March 17th.
    I would like to know if what we have planned is possible and if anyone knows of any cheap places to stay (Under $20 a person). Also is it better to make reservations to stay places or just go and figure it out when you get there. (Note: We don't mind sleeping at truck stops or anything like that either)

    Thursday--- leave from Bloomsburg, PA to go to Asheville, NC (9 hour drive) arrive in Asheville at 1 am if we leave at 3 pm. (We are staying with a friend so it doesn't matter when we arrive).

    Friday--- Stay in Asheville, NC

    Saturday---Stay in Asheville, NC

    Sunday---Leave Asheville around 11 am or Noon drive 3 hours to Atlanta, GA. We are planning to make reservations for the Atlanta International Hostel.

    Monday----Leave Atlanta around Noon. drive 5 hours to jacksonville, FL stay at a campsite by the beach (Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park we noticed) probably.

    Tuesday---Jacksonville (Stay same as above)

    Wednesday---Leave jacksonville like 2 or 3 drive to Charleston, SC and sleep in a Charleston Hostel (We found two)

    Thursday-- Charleston All Day (Sleep same as above)

    Friday---Drive to Hummelstown PA in the AM. and stay at my roommate's home.

    Does this sound plausable and what are some tips and things we need to know? Any help would be great. We just don't know if we should reserve spots at places or drive and play it by ear. We don't have a whole lot of money to spend.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Few Knots to Unravel

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    There are several low-cost national motel chains including, but not limited to, Motel 6, Red Roof Inns, Super 8, and Days Inns. All have websites that let you see where their units are and what they charge. Three to a room can be had at almost all of them for $20 each per night. In your case, where price is the main deciding factor, I'd recommend that you book ahead to lock in the price and avoid any 'No Vacancy' surprises. If any of you belong to AAA, make the reservations in his name to get the 10% discount. For tips on sleeping in truck stops and other money saving tricks, read the Art of the Cheap RoadTrip.

    Your biggest knot, however, is that you have assumed the best possible travel times for each of your legs and have left very little margin for error. A good rule of thumb for longer RoadTrips is to expect to average about 53 mph once you factor in gas, rest and food stops.

    No matter which Bloomsburg, PA you're leaving from, Asheville is about 585 miles, so 11 hours is a more realistic estimate than the 9 you have budgeted. That means you'll roll up to your friend's house at 3 AM. I hope your friend really doesn't mind. Asheville to Atlanta might be done in 3 hours, but 4 is more likely, especially if you have to deal with congestion in Atlanta. Not a big difference for a short leg like this, but keep it in mind. Atlanta to Jacksonville, is certainly going to take more than 5 hours. 6 or 7 is more like it. This could make a big difference in whether you're trying to set up camp in daylight or in the dark, or even if there are any campsites left in the park. Jacksonville to Charlestown is another leg where the fact that you will probably take longer than you think won't matter much as you should still get into town in time to check into the hostel. But your final leg, Charlestown to Hummelsville is 660 miles and is by any measure a very long day's drive. Plan on starting early and arriving late.

    None of these are showstoppers, But the trip will, in the end, be more enjoyable if you set aside enough time to make the drives, rather than constantly feeling like you're falling behind and arriving too late at your destinations.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 398eaststreet
    Thursday--- leave from Bloomsburg, PA to go to Asheville, NC (9 hour drive) arrive in Asheville at 1 am if we leave at 3 pm. (We are staying with a friend so it doesn't matter when we arrive).

    Friday--- Stay in Asheville, NC

    Saturday---Stay in Asheville, NC

    Sunday---Leave Asheville around 11 am or Noon drive 3 hours to Atlanta, GA. We are planning to make reservations for the Atlanta International Hostel.
    Yay. As someone from Asheville (who recently signed up because I'm taking a road trip to Chicago/Boston/New York), I'm excited to see someone coming here. Because of the curvy mountain roads, etc - it will definitely take 4 hours to get to Atlanta (Google Earth says right at 3 hours, 51 minutes and that doesn't really include traffic, etc). Hope you have fun - make sure you check out the botanical gardens in Asheville, if you're into that. And the restaurants Doc Chey's (Asian fusion, entrees 6-8 bucks) and Bearly Edible (grilled cheese for a dollar and other foods) rock in Asheville!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Local Intel is the best

    Quote Originally Posted by bsmcneill
    Because of the curvy mountain roads, etc - it will definitely take 4 hours to get to Atlanta
    Thanks for the local intel -- that is what makes this Forum so useful!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Hostels

    You didn't say how many roommates you have, but assume there are more than 2 of you taking this trip, Hostels really aren't the cheapest route.

    Hostels typically charge by the person, so if there are 4 of you at 20 bucks a night, you'll end up paying more than if you just split a motel room. Not to mention, the american hostels I've stayed at have had very limited parking options.

    I like hostels, they certainly are a one of a kind travel experience, but in terms of economy, they really are only a bargin if you are a solo traveler.

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