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  1. #1

    Default nova scotia - south carolina (may 16 - may 30)

    this is the longest road trip i've planned for our family...i'm hoping that it doesn't feel like a marathon. i've been using google local, windows live local, and mapquest to fiqure out driving times, but there are sometimes almost 2-3 hour differences between their calculations...this could be critical when you have ferry reservations...i'm hoping peeps out there will take a look at my itinerary and let me know if it's realistic or not. MANY thanks ! ;)

    day 1: halifax,ns - bangor, me (7 1/2hrs)
    day 2: bangor - hartford, ct (5hrs 11m)
    day 3: hartford - bethany beach, de (5 1/2 hrs)
    day 4: bethany beach - norfolk, va (3 hrs) (spend day in norfolk)
    day 5: norfolk - via outer banks - morehead city, nc (7 hrs)
    day 6: morehead city - edisto beach state park, sc (6 hrs)
    day 7: edisto state park (stay)
    day 8: edisto state park (stay)
    day 9: edisto state park (stay)
    day 10: edisto - surfside beach, sc (2 1/2 hrs) (spend day in mrytle beach)
    day 11: surfside beach -richmond, va (5hr 48 mins)
    day 12: richmond - via skyline route (shanandoah national park) -arlington, va (6hrs)
    day 13: arlington, va - washington, dc (10 minutes) (spend day in washington)
    day 14 washington, dc - wells beach, me (8 1/2hrs)
    day 15 wells beach (stay)
    day 16 wells beach - home (9 1/2 hrs) (phewf!)

    i've tried to make some driving days shorter so that we have the afternoon & evenings to explore ... on paper it's starting to look a bit gruelling to me ...maybe it's all the planning that's gruelling?... what do you think? any suggestions for "must sees" along the way more than welcome!

    s. wells (ns, canada)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default There's More to Getting from A to B than the Driving

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    I'm glad to see you're at least recognizing how grueling your trip is going to be. It's not at all impossible, and will make great memories for the family, but reality is a bit harsher than on-line planning software generally lets on. I've actually driven almost all the roads you're proposing so let's look at your drives.

    Halifax to Bangor:
    How do you plan to go? If you drive it all through New Brunswick, it's 417 mi, with a good portion of that on two-lane roads. I'd say your estimate is a minimum for driving only. Stops for gas, food, bathroom breaks, and playtime for the younger members of the family will make the day considerably longer. If, on the other hand, you plan to go by way of Yarmouth and the ferry to Bangor, then you'll have 'just' 250 mi of driving - call it 5-6 hours, plus a half hour or so wait for boarding the ferry, plus 3 hours for the crossing on the high speed ferry. Again, you're looking at 9 hours 'on the road' minimum.

    Bangor to Hartford:
    310 miles, and again your driving time estimate is definitely on the low side. Even on this leg, which will be entirely on interstate highways, experience has shown that you should not count on being able to average more than 53 mph when you factor in minimal necessary stops, so 6 hours at least.

    Hartford to Bethany:
    340 miles if you drive, a shade less if you take the ferry across Delaware Bay, and a sizeable chunk of this involves getting through the New York City metro area. Depending on traffic, that alone could take 3 hours. This is going to be another hard day, particularly on the driver.

    Bethany to Norfolk:
    This is your first 'easy' day, and the kids at least will be thankful to be doing something other than watching the world go by outside the window. Bethany, the "Quiet Resort", and the Delmarva Peninsula in general are seriously under rated as a family vacation destination. It's abit of a shame you can't give them more time.

    Norfolk to Morehead City:
    After your single 'off' day, you're back to a day spent mostly in the car. You'll have time for a few short walks on the beach, and the ferry rides will be relaxing, but I really don't think you should count on rolling into Morehead City until at least 10 hours after you leave Norfolk rather than the 7 you've allotted

    Anyway, I think you're beginning to see my main point. For places that I'd recommend that you stop along the way, check the relavent portions of this thread. Keep in mind that when I was doing this, it was just myself and my sister. The more people involved, the longer every stop is going to be, and the more places someone is going to want to stop. As I said at the start, this trip is feasible and will be memorable. Just go in with your eyes open and expecting longer days than you are now. I'd rather you be pleasantly surprised on occasion than constantly finding you can't keep up with your schedule.


  3. #3

    Default Awesome AZ!

    wow! thank you for your prompt and thoughtful reply AZ!

    the link to the the discussion thread about your epic road trip + commentary was extremely helpful (not to mention awe-inspiring) ;)

    after your revisions of travel time estimations i think i'm going to have rethink some breathing room into our schedule. suggestions again are welcome...

    warm regards

    seaswells ~~~~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Family?

    You've said that this will be a family trip, but what makes up your family? Children? Boys? Girls? Ages? Interests? There's a ton of things to do in the eastern US, so knowing what you'd find entertaining would help.


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