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  1. #1

    Default Philly to LA! please help!

    Hi all,

    I'm planning on taking a job in LA and driving cross country to get there. I have a lot of questions...hopefully someone can offer some answers/advice?

    First, how much time? I need to arrive in LA by June 2nd, and don't have a ton of free time to get there, so I'm wondering how much time I can do this in, without it being a complete non-stop, painful drive straight through. That is I'd like to have full days of driving, but maybe leave time for at least one or two, not too out of the way, great scenic stops along the way? What would be a recommended route?

    My car is a '94 acura integra (small!) that has about 160K miles. It's a good car, has a new clutch, 4 new tires...and will have new breaks before I leave. As long as my mechanic does a thorough check of systems and gives it the go ahead, I should be fine right? Any reason to expect otherwise?

    Other concerns include that I have a cat, but i'm thinking it might be best to leave him behind and have someone fly him out to me at a later date. Anyone with experience (good or bad) with driving cross country with a cat?

    My main questions are in regards to the "best" route, and how much time to give myself. Hopefully my brother will join me, but I may be doing this alone...

    Any input/suggestions are much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Five Days Minimum

    Quote Originally Posted by ljb View Post
    I'm planning on taking a job in LA and driving cross country to get there. I have a lot of questions...hopefully someone can offer some answers/advice?
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I have made such a drive several times, in all kinds of weather. The fastest I ever did it was a tad over three days (don't do this!) I had a co-driver and we were very diligent about all of the "rules" of a successful speed run -- we only stopped for fuel and to throw a frisbee a few times. If you drive this solo, the fastest you can do it is five days -- but it will be a straight-thru drive -- with no scenic detours. I-70 to I-15 to LA. The good news, I-70 is a beautiful cross country highway and includes one of my favorite Interstate Highway stretches in the country.
    Other concerns include that I have a cat, but i'm thinking it might be best to leave him behind and have someone fly him out to me at a later date. Anyone with experience (good or bad) with driving cross country with a cat?
    Read our tips about traveling with a cat here.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default how to plan exact route?

    hi mark,

    thanks for a quick reply!
    okay, so 5 days minimum. maybe i'll plan for 7 and have a little extra time.

    also, and maybe this should be obvious, how exactly do i go about finding my exact route? that is, i understand you recommended I70 to I15 to LA...but don't I need more directions than that? Or should that be enough, along with a map (which one?)? I'm clearly not a road-tripper.
    is there somewhere on this site (or on the internet) where you can put in your starting city and final destination city, and perhaps alloted time, and they recommend different routes, points of interest along the way?

    thanks again

    louise

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

    Default Lots of choices

    Quote Originally Posted by ljb View Post
    is there somewhere on this site (or on the internet) where you can put in your starting city and final destination city, and perhaps alloted time, and they recommend different routes, points of interest along the way?
    Louise, there are lots of options for this. We have reviewed the leading contenders here and you can learn a good deal about the pluses and minuses from the other experts on this forum here.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Good luck on your first big roadtrip!

    It going to be a long one....but you'll have so much fun and see so many things. What a thrill!

    Mark has given you great answers to most of your questions so I'll address the car issue. I have pretty limited skills in car-care myself so this is an issue to me when I've gone on solo road trips.

    Yes, have a mechanic do a good and thorough tune-up on your car. Make sure you tell him about your trip so he knows that deferred maintenance might not be a good idea right now. Not only should fluids be checked and replaced as needed, but also hoses, etc. Clamps and other connections should be checked. None of this will guarantee that you won't have car problems but it sure helps your odds.

    Look into getting a membership in some kind of emergency assistance program like AAA. There are quite a few companies that do this. My cellphone company even allows you to sign up for one and pay for it on your cellphone bill. On RTA's homepage, there is a link to a plan from Allstate, as another option. Look around and compare as they all have plusses and minuses. I know some people pay for extra things like this on their auto insurance, too (towing, etc.) Hopefully you wont' need these services but, if you do, it sure alleviates some of the stress of the situation.

    Have a great trip!

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