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  1. Default Late May trip from Los Angeles, CA to Philadelphia

    Hi all,
    I'm planning to move to Philly, and I'm seriously thinking about bringing my car with me, which is a 2001 Civic. It's still in decent condition, and I figure it can handle a 2700 mile road trip. Also, I'll probably be driving by myself.

    Can I get your thoughts on the following itinerary? I'm planning a straight shot from LA to Philly.

    Day 1: LA to somewhere between Gallup, New Mexico and Albuquerque, NM -- taking the I-40. About 646-800 miles.

    Day 2: New Mexico to somewhere between Amarillo, Texas and Oklahoma City, OK -- continuing with the I-40. About 500-700 miles.

    Day 3: Texas/OK to St Louis, MO -- taking the I-44. About 500-700 miles.

    Day 4: St Louis, MO to Columbus, OH - taking the I-70. About 500 miles.

    Day 5: Columbus, OH to Philly -- taking the I-70/76. About 500 miles.

    I dislike driving for long distances, but unfortunately, I really need my car, and I have the time to drive out there. So, I figure it's saving more money than shipping my car, which can take up to 2 weeks and $2000.

    I'm really impressed by how much all of you know, and I'd appreciate any input on this trip.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    As with any long trip, you are going to want to get your car checked out by a competent and trusted mechanic before embarking. A 2001 shouldn't have any problems making this trip - heck, a 1951 shouldn't have any trouble, given adequate maintenance and good condition.

    Quote Originally Posted by caloh
    I dislike driving for long distances
    Is it because you are uncomfortable with driving the distances, or because you'd just rather not do it? If you are going on an investigative journey, you may be better off flying out and renting a car. If this is the actual move, however, you might as well take the car.

    More than about 500 miles a day can be stretching it, anyway, especially when driving solo. That also doesn't leave much time for any exploration along the way.

  3. Default Plan for about 500 miles if you're driving solo (IMHO)

    In my opinion, you may want to only plan on about 500 miles a day if you're driving solo. I've driven more in a day, but my personal comfort level is about 500 miles, particularly over multiple days.

    For example, I've driven from OC to Flagstaff in a day, and that's about my comfort level. Pushing the next 3-4 hours to get to Gallup or Albuquerque is going to be a stretch.

    As a rough rule of thumb, you'll be averaging less then 60 mph on the road, factoring in lunch stops, rest/gas/ bathroom stops, and the like (probably nearer 55 mph). 500 miles if from 9-10 hours on the road, before calling it quits for the day. That's from 8 am until 5 or 6 pm.

    If you're traveling solo over multiple days, you'll want to factor in a bit of "stop and get out of the car and walk around" stops too. That is, to keep yourself fresh, particularly after several days in the car, you want to get out of the car, get some fresh air, walk around and stretch. I find even a short 10-15 minute walk really helps me, when I get back into the car by pepping me up, letting me work the kinks out of my muscles, and giving me a bit of a mental shakeup other than staring at the road again....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pacing

    Hmm... Tim and Larrison beat me to the punch, but still, it bears repeating:

    I love long drives myself, but find that the best way to make such trips is to find a distance that I can comfortably cover day in and day out for as long as I care to keep going, like a marathoner who just sets himself a steady pace early on and just keeps to it. In my case, that's about 550 miles a day. Your proposed itinerary, on the other hand, is heavily front-end loaded. You plan on covering somewhere around 1300 miles in the first two days. That's just too much and will leave you too tired to enjoy the rest of your journey. If I were doing this trip, I'd make my first few days' goals a bit more attainable, say Holbrook, AZ on day 1; Amarillo, TX on day 2; Springfield, MO on day 3; Dayton, OH on day 4; and finally Philadelphia on day 5. That spreads out the driving much more evenly over your 5 days.

    The other thing I like to do is get out of the car at least 2 or three times a day for some exercise. These stops are in addition to those made for gas and meals, and can be as simple as a stroll through a small town or a walk in a state park near the highway. But they get my mind off driving for a while and let me get some fresh air, focus my eyes on something other than the road ahead, listen to the sounds of nature, and just generally recharge my batteries. I also get a much better sense that I'm travelling through a changing countryside than I do if all I see are the cookie cutter exit ramp gas stations, convenience stores and fast food restaurants.

    I think you're quite right to budget 5 days for this trip, but I think you'll enjoy it (for a change, apparently) if you take it at a more relaxed pace.


  5. Default thanks!

    really good advice. hopefully, i can drag my friend into coming with me. come to think about it, driving 700 miles is really long in one day. i sometimes drive from LA to San Fran, and I really dislike the drive because it's so long, but that's less than 400 miles.

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