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  1. Default First roadtrip- moving from Seattle to Austin

    Okay, here's the deal. I've never taken a road trip per se, in fact my travelling altogether has been pretty limited. So I have no real idea what I'm doing aside from some overly romanticized ideas from books and movies and the like. What I do have is a honda civic, an iphone packed with music, and all the time in the world come September, as I'll be leaving my job at the end of August to move from Seattle, Washington to Austin, Texas.

    So, I'm pretty open. I'll take general road trip advice, I'll take route advice, I'll take stop recommendations. I just want to experience as much as I can on the way, take this opportunity to see a little bit of the country, and not go broke in the process (figure I can save a few hundred toward the trip). I haven't even seen that much of Washington beyond the city, so I suppose that's a good place to start. Not that I want to spend a month driving, but I don't have to rush this trip too much. So...any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default starting with basics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think the best thing you could do right now is to start small with the basics. "Roadtrip" can be a pretty overwhelming concept, but when you break it down its not that complex.

    Start with figuring out how much time you want to spend on the road. It doesn't sound like you want a completely open ended trip, so narrow down a timeframe. It doesn't have to be exact, but give yourself an estimate that will help you figure out how much stuff you can really fit it.

    Then I'd just start researching the millions of things you want to stop at. There are countless possibilties, so start to focus in on what you are looking for, be it national parks, interesting cities, roadside oddities, etc. Find a couple of highlights and then start building your trip around them. From there you can start adding in things to fill out your trip.

  3. Default

    Alright...I've had some time to reflect on this further, and do a little research...going by the route Rand McNally recommended, it seems like it would be easy to visit some friends I have in Denver and Clovis, NM along the way. Also, a friend in Utah really recommended seeing the Bonneville Salt Flats, which is a very small deviation...my aunt also recommends driving down the coast on 101 at least part of the way, but that's a bit of a more significant detour. Still, my only real limit will be money, so I don't know. Once I finish planning out the basic route, I'll start trying to research what there is to see on the way, but I don't want to be too planned out.

    As to length, I suppose I'd get tired of driving after a week or so, but as I said my schedule is technically wide open then. What I'm wondering about now is how much time I can expect to spend driving each day; I'm going to take this weekend to sit down and read some articles on the subject. I may also try a couple of short day trips to some places in washington over the summer to get myself used to distance driving. And...that's all the thought I've put into this thus far.

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

    Default 500 miles = 10 hours on the road

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphi View Post
    What I'm wondering about now is how much time I can expect to spend driving each day;
    Once you factor in rest stops, fuel stops, food stops and the like you can just about figure that 10 hours in the saddle can be as few as 300 miles or as much as 600 miles. Generally, we don't recommend that anyone try to drive more than 500 miles in a day. Here are some more thoughts on this issue.

    Once you arrive in the Austin area, we have a series of articles about easy day trips from this place. I suggest putting "Aaron Reed" in the search box above for more ideas!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Cart before the horse?

    Once I finish planning out the basic route, I'll start trying to research what there is to see on the way, but I don't want to be too planned out.
    There is nothing wrong with this approach, however, since you are so wide open with your possibilities, you might be putting the cart before the horse.

    For example, you got the recommendation that you should follow some of the coastal route, but right now it sounds like you are dismissing it because its off the route recommended by a mapping corporation.

    I'm not saying you should or shouldn't take in the coast, but I think it would be a shame that you wouldn't do it simply because its a significant deviation from the most direct/efficient path. There's nothing wrong with direct and efficient, but it on trip with no hard time limits, it doesn't seem like you would need that to be a priority either. Go where you want to go because there are places you want to see, not just because its close to an otherwise arbitrary path.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    For example, you got the recommendation that you should follow some of the coastal route, but right now it sounds like you are dismissing it because its off the route recommended by a mapping corporation.
    Well, the primary reason I worried about deviating too far from the route isn't so much to stick to the map, as the added time and money cost of adding another 500 miles or so to the trip. 101 is probably doable though, at least through Oregon. There's still time to iron out the details.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default understandable

    Well, Time and Money certainly are two factors that you need to take into account, so if that's why you are sticking to the direct path, that makes some good sense.

    What I would urge, however, is to think when you'll have time to do a trip like this again. Most people don't have fairly unlimited time easily available very often, so, personally, I'd make sure I took full advantage. Of course, if you are in the process of moving to a new city, I'm sure there is a bit of wanting to get settled in to a new place, and I can understand that aspect - along with the time/money issue, too.

  8. Default

    Been throwing myself into work for the past couple months, but now that this is looming I'm starting to think more about it...

    I ended up cutting heading south along the coast first, it's just not in the direction I need to goright now. I plan to visit Washington on a regular basis though, so maybe there'll be an opportunity to see it sometime.

    Here's the basic route I have so far, though it's very open to interpretation still:

    Google Maps

    It looks like the average gas mileage for my car is -around- 28MPG, so $400 for gas should do, maybe a little over. Roughly 2500 miles in five days is a managable pace of 500 miles a day, so figure an average of $60 a night for motels. Then, I dunno, $20 a day to eat, so $800 for the trip total...the big question mark now is if my car needs any work done beforehand, I'm going to take it in for an oil change next week and get them to check it out. I'm willing to delay my trip as far as the beginning of October if needs be, sometime this weekend I want to go over my budget for the next two months and see when I can leave. That's all the planning I have thus far, next I get to do the fun bit of finding places to stay and things to see along the way.

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