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  1. Default Memorial Trip Oct 08

    My friend and I are planning a 2 week road trip from Il to Salinas CA the first 2 weeks of Oct. It will be 10 yrs since his wife passed and we are doing a memorial trip. I would like to make it an enjoyable time for both of us, but not sure of the logistics.

    Have thought about renting the vehicle, anything from a van to a mini RV in order to make it more cost effective and comfortable.

    Have never been over the road for this many miles and was looking for suggestions on best route this time of year, places to visit, stay overnight, etc.
    I am familiar with camping, and RV's but have usually gone local, so not sure of how to go about setting this all up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default questions

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, is this going to be a one way or a round trip? You probably need to figure at least 4 full days of driving to get there, depending upon where in IL you are starting from.

    As far as transportation, renting an RV will likely be the most expensive option. Renting a car or van and staying motels would be cheaper, with renting a car and camping being even less expensive.

    Since this is a "memorial trip" it sounds like you already have some purpose behind it, and I would be looking to your friend to find the stops that are going to be important and bring out those memories.

  3. Default memorial trip

    Thanks for your quick response.
    It will be a round trip, his main goal is to be at point pinos(sp) on oct 5th, then revisit the central coast area, other than that we are open to stops along the way. His late wife was burried off the point, and my late husband and I had always wanted to drive this trip but never got the chance. So we will be creating our own memories along the way.
    Any suggestions for best vehicle for comfort, we are a young 50's...LOL or so we think, but not too interested in camping...sigh. Cost is a slight factor, but figure we could get by with about 5000 for trip costs....does this sound reasonable?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default What a lovely idea for a trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by jstjeanie View Post
    Thanks for your quick response.
    It will be a round trip, his main goal is to be at point pinos(sp) on oct 5th, then revisit the central coast area, other than that we are open to stops along the way. His late wife was burried off the point, and my late husband and I had always wanted to drive this trip but never got the chance. So we will be creating our own memories along the way.
    As Michael said, you will want a minimum of 4 days to trek from IL to the coast. But that doesn't leave much time for sight-seeing along the way. Two weeks would make a nice trip but three weeks would be even better if you want to stop and play along the way.

    One of the most direct routes would be taking I-80 most of the way. I don't know where you're starting from exactly but it's 2,150 miles from Springfield, IL, to Salinas, CA.

    But there are numerous good routes. You could go farther north and take I-90, for example. Or go south on old Route 66. Personally, I always like to take one route there and another back so I'm traveling new roads.

    Online roadtrip planning tools are handy because you can play with different routes, find out how many miles the trip is and the miles between specific points along your trip, and get hotel/attraction information along that route. My favorite for doing all of this is AAA's and you don't have to be a member to use it. Here's a list of some of the options out there. You might want to check them out.

    This discussion about how many miles should someone plan to drive in a day is interesting and might give you an idea of what you would feel comfortable with. Many people consider about 500 miles a day to be a good pace allowing you to cover miles while, at the same time, having a bit of time for sightseeing. But this is variable because it really depends on how much stopping and exploring you really want to do in that area that day.

    Any suggestions for best vehicle for comfort, we are a young 50's...LOL or so we think, but not too interested in camping...sigh. Cost is a slight factor, but figure we could get by with about 5000 for trip costs....does this sound reasonable
    If you asked this question of 100 people, you'd get 100 different answers. I travel in a New Beetle. Some folks prefer SUVs. Some other types of sedans, coupes, or hatchbacks. I'm guessing you're renting a vehicle? If so, I would check out what kinds of vehicles the rental agency you plan on using has in their fleet and then I'd probably go "car shopping" and sit in one and check it out. Heck, even test drive it. That might be fun! If you don't have time for that, most vehicles are reasonably comfortable these days. Unless you have back issues or some other reason to be concerned about comfort issues, I don't think you'll have problems with most any type of vehicle. It's really a personal choice.

    The main thing is that you're comfortable driving it, have visibility for safety reasons (and for enjoying the scenery), and that it has enough space to haul your gear.

    $5000 for the entire trip? That may be fine but I suggest you check out Bucks for the Basics to help you come up with your budget. If you need help tweaking the numbers, let us know.

    If cost if a factor camping and eating out of your cooler are the best ways to keep costs down.


    Have never been over the road for this many miles and was looking for suggestions on best route this time of year, places to visit, stay overnight, etc.
    I am familiar with camping, and RV's but have usually gone local, so not sure of how to go about setting this all up.
    Well, I just turned the big 50 myself and I LOVE camping on roadtrips. I find hotels rather boring places while campgrounds are more fun. I enjoy the people-watching and walking around the campground. Good exercise after a day in the car. And it's easy to strike up conversations with folks. Sometimes I get hints on things to do on my route from people who have just been there.

    This post has links to several discussions about car camping like what to pack, types of gear, etc. Roadtrip camping is far different than normal camping when you will be staying at the campground for a few days. For roadtrips, I take my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, extra blanket, and a battery-operated lattern. Sometimes I'll throw in a camping chair because it's more comfortable than sitting at the picnic table most campgrounds provide. That's it. Simple. I think the key is having a tent that is easy to set-up/take-down. Mine takes about 5 minutes for each. If it took much longer than that, it would get aggravating when you do it every day.

    If I'm going to cook a bit, the eating out of a cooler link (see above) has a bit toward the end on the minimal gear you can pack and still cook some simple meals.

    Remember, I travel in a New Beetle, I've gone as long as 2 weeks with me and my husband (or one of my kids) with all this gear without a problem. On shorter trips, it's often me and my husband and my 60# Shepherd. So, really, this stuff doesn't take up much room and is nice to have along. Even if you only camp every few nights, it might be worth it. It's up to you and what you prefer.

    Hope this all helps.

  5. Default memorial trip

    My goodness, you have given me lots of ideas.
    We are coming from chicagoland area. All this info has caused me to rethink our route.

    With so many things to see in such a short time, I am thinking it might be better to fly out and then drive back, would then give us almost the 2 full week to make it more leisurly.

    Have looked at cruise america but not sure if they have one way travel. Am still leaning more towards the RV rental rather than car.

    Not sure if weather plays a factor in which is the best route, north, south or rt 80. Have never been west so want to get the most in sightseeing but also not have to worry about snow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default October should be OK

    But, then again, the weather is so whacky these days, who knows? Our typical advice is to watch weather reports before you leave as you may need to adjust your route due to weather issues.

    This post has some tips about winter driving. I don't think you need to worry about these in October but, if it's colder than normal, some or all of these tips might be helpful.

    Check out this article which gives you the pros and cons of RV travel and car/hotel travel. It should give you some hints on how to make the best choice for you. And read this article with tips on how to rent an RV.

    Hope this helps! And come on back with more questions as you continue your planning.

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