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  1. Default Moving from Boston to LA in July

    Hi,

    I've been lurking on this forum for a couple weeks now. I decided it's time to post.

    I'm moving from Boston to LA this July. I've done the drive before with my uncle and a couple friends, about 8 years ago. We made a vacation out of it, took our time.

    This time, I just want to get out there. I will also be driving alone. Here's my itinerary:

    Day 1: Boston, MA to Akron, OH
    Day 2: Akron, OH to Columbia, MO
    Day 3: Columbia, MO to Colorado Springs, CO
    Day 4: Colorado Springs, CO to Flagstaff, AZ
    Day 5: Flagstaff, AZ to Los Angeles, CA

    I've priced out motels as well. I'm going to have my car serviced and pack a cooler just before I go.

    What I'm wondering is what I may have missed. What am I not thinking of? Anybody have any tips for driving solo such a long distance?
    I'm open to any and all suggestions.

    Thanks!

    --RDT

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

    Default Pacing is Everything

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For starters, I'd add another day to this trip. While it is certainly possible to drive a 650 to 700 mile day in a Speed Run, it is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to do this safely day after day after day after day as you propose. With a 6th day, you could do this at a much more comfortable 500 miles a day, and be able to spend the odd half hour to hour a day outside the car getting some fresh air and exercise. Even without adding a day, if you just paced yourself more evenly over five 600 mile days rather than pushing yourself too hard over the first four days, before giving yourself a 'break' on the last day at 'only' 500 miles.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Odd route

    I agree with everything that Buck said, but let me also add, you might want to reexamine your route.

    If you are going to do this as a speed run, you'll want to keep the miles to a minimum. But right now you've got a pretty good sized detour through Colorado Springs. It would make far more sense to go from St. Louis down to Oklahoma City and then Across I-40 to Flagstaff.

    You could also go through Colorado without adding significant time, but then it would make more sense to take I-70 across the state and then take I-15 down through Las Vegas and into the LA area.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely give them thought.

    I'm also debating whether I should pre-book my motel stays or just play it by ear.

    Any advice one way or the other?

    Thanks again!

    --RDT

  5. #5

    Default I know what I'd do

    I'd definately suggest playing it by ear. Some days you might have another hours driving left in you when you reach your pre-booked hotel. Others you might want to stop early. If you've pre-booked it can be a pain in the wotsit to cancel/change your reservation and it seems silly to waste and extra energy you have on your 'good days'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Pros and Cons

    I too would just play it by ear, for the reasons that Craig gave.

    However, there are some advantages to prebooking. This article discusses the pros and cons.

  7. Default

    Hello again,

    So, based upon your tips, I've tweaked things a bit. Basically, I'll be keeping the route the same, but I've opted against pre-booking my overnight stays. That way, I can give it an extra day or two if I need it.

    If I can do it to where I leave on a Monday and arrive on Friday, I will. But I don't want to pressure myself. If that means I don't get into LA until Saturday or Sunday, then so be it.

    Since I'll be driving solo, I'd rather play it safe than sorry.

    Speaking of safety, I'm nervous about driving alone. Since I'm moving, I'll have most of my belongings packed away in my car.

    How concerned do I need to be about potential thievery? I just have this image in my head of going out to my car in the morning to either find it broken into or stolen. I'm pretty good when it comes to common sense. I plan on staying at reputable motels and parking in well lit areas.

    So, am I just being overly paranoid?

    Any other tips for the solo driver?

    I just gotta say also, this site & forum have been a great help.

    Thanks!

    --RDT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Solo Driving and Safety

    Quote Originally Posted by RDT View Post
    Speaking of safety, I'm nervous about driving alone. Since I'm moving, I'll have most of my belongings packed away in my car.
    When you park at motels, try and park where you can see and/or hear the location of your car. Failing that, park where the desk manager can see the car and keep an eye on it.
    How concerned do I need to be about potential thievery? I just have this image in my head of going out to my car in the morning to either find it broken into or stolen.
    I wouldn't worry about it unduly -- but I would certainly remove everthing from the passenger compartment at night -- no sense in making it easy for those who might be casing motel lots.

    Other safety tips here.
    Any other tips for the solo driver?
    I am publishing an article about this topic tomorrow, but in the meantime, look at this thread for some great tips and suggestions!
    I just gotta say also, this site & forum have been a great help.
    Glad to hear it! Have a fun trip!

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default No, you're not paranoid

    I don't think you're paranoid. I remember when I left home for the first time, I borrowed a van from work and loaded all of my posessions into it the night before I was set to move into the house I'd just bought. I was able to park it beind locked gates in a safe area, but I was still nervous some scroat would steal the van overnight. I couldn't sleep and ended up at the new place at some ridiculous hour of the day when it was only just light! So, I fully sympathise with your concerns.

    Of course, in mine and the vast majority of other cases, there was nothing to worry about. But a little of that common sense of yours is going to be called for. If you don't feel like a place is going to be safe to park then trust your judgement and look elsewhere. Maybe pack important documents into a box or two which can be easily removed from the car overnight and moved into the motel room. Ask the manager of the motel if they have CCTV and which area of the parking lot it covers best or, even better, ask to park directly outside their window and promise a decent tip if the car is safe and sound in the morning :)

  10. Default

    Yup, it's me again.

    I am publishing an article about this topic tomorrow, but in the meantime, look at this thread for some great tips and suggestions!
    I read the article. It was a great help. Lots of good info. Thanks!

    So I ended up re-plotting my drive. It's now a lot closer to what was suggested above and it's more evenly broken up. Here's the new breakdown:

    Day 1: Boston, MA to Akron, OH: 620 miles
    Day 2: Akron, OH to St. Louis, MO: 541 miles
    Day 3: St. Louis, MO to Oklahoma City, OK: 500 miles
    Day 4: Oklahoma City, OK to Gallup, NM: 679 miles
    Day 5: Gallup, NM to Los Angeles, CA: 650 miles

    As I said before, I'm not booking my stays ahead of time, so I'll be able to play with those distances depending upon how I feel. I leave on a Monday and arrive on a Friday. If I need to take an extra day, I will.

    Thanks to all for the advice. This place has been a great help!

    --RDT

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