I'll post here, and maybe you can point me to specific threads out there because I don't even know what to use to search for the info I need. I have this vision of "driving across the US" and writing a book/journal/blog about the experience. I'm from San Francisco, and this was a goal since I was a young adult. 20 years later, I find myself with a husband and 10 year old daughter! I thought this was a personal dream until someone mentioned, "Um, isn't your family going to come with you?" I hadn't thought about that! So now I will.
We're planning to retire in about 10 years when we're in our early 50's. DD will be about 21 by then. I'm trying to figure out how long a trip might take, when's the best time of year to start, and when's the best time for a "student" to take off for a long period of time, among other questions. I can't go in the summer because the heat will ruin it for me. I'm from the San Francisco area, where it's year-round 55-65 degrees, just the way I like it.
If we're not working and have an occasional house sitter, I'm assuming we can be gone for up to six months. The only thing is bills, but those can be paid online or whatever other means there are. If there's an emergency, I suppose we could park the car and quickly fly back and then start up again. But maybe that's too long to be gone from home. Although it might be nice to buy a used RV for the trip and then re-sell it, I think we might just end up using the family car.
I'm also concerned about how to really go about this.. do I start by driving up and down the states, such as go up through Washington, then go to Idaho, then down Nevada/Utah to Arizona, and then New Mexico and back up? Or maybe I leave the southern most states along for the journey back from Florida or something like that?! Or has someone already come up with a nice workable journey that I can just copy?! Yup, I'm trying to hit all 50 states in some detail during this entire trip. For example, if I were traveling in CA, I would cover San Diego (maybe Tijuana too), Los Angeles, Yosemite, San Francisco, Sacramento and possibly Lake Tahoe. At the large cities, I would spend at least two days there.
Do you research while you're travelling or do you do it all ahead of time? That is why I'm trying to start now. I get all involved when I'm planning so if we're talking about 50 states and 10 years from now, that means I need to research an average of 5 states a year, so I needed to start... years ago! But I don't necessarily want to research while I'm on the road because planning itself can be a chore that might put a damper on the actual trip itself (planning isn't something the rest of the family is interested in, good at, or care to do, so it's mostly me doing the work). Might there be an easier way?
I only have family in New York and don't know anyone in between, so we will be staying in hotels or nicer motels. For those of you who took this route on longer trips on many stops, do you reserve ahead of time or wing it? Although this will be 10 years in the future, I'm also slightly apprehensive about traveling to some places where... umm, they might not like my kind! Figure if this could happen to Oprah and her crew, it could happen to us too (we're Chinese, by the way). I'm guessing usually this occurs in more rural parts of the country, but I don't want this to be a trip of visiting just large cities either; after all, that's in my backyard. Do ya think I might need to be on alert about this challenge?
I think that's it for now. Please feel free to refer me to other threads you might have remembered, other sites you think might be helpful, and anything else. Thanks!