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  1. Default Cross Country Trip: Cleveland To San Francisco

    In the beginning stages of planning ... Looking for tips & suggestions.

    We are trying to be efficient with our days on the road but would like to enjoy the journey as much as possible ... Thinking about camping under the stars instead of hotels.

    We've never done this before and are thinking 9 days would be enough time. Google says 35 hours but not sure how much to add for extras ... 3-4 days in Cali ... 5-6 on the road (round trip)? We're wondering how feasible this is? And looking for advice / suggestions.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default days not hours

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One of the easiest, yet biggest, mistakes you can make when starting to plan a roadtrip is to trust hour estimates from mapping programs. When you are talking about a cross country trip, you need to think in terms of days, not hours.

    500-600 miles is about the most we recommend for a full day of driving. That puts you on the road for 8-10 hours a day. Since you're looking at a 2500 mile trip, you need to plan for a minimum of 4 days, and 5 would probably be more comfortable and enjoyable.

    If you've only got 9 days, then California is not a very realistic option. To do all of the driving round trip in 5-6 days, you'd need to cover 1000 miles a day, which is simply not enjoyable or safe for a multi-day trip. I think you either need to find more time or a destination a little closer to home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default One more tip

    I agree with Michael. You're planning something that will turn into a marathon of driving without much time to play or explore.

    It's usually more accurate to take the miles traveled (per on-line trip planners) and divide it by 57. This is usually about the speed people will average over the course of a day when you factor in traffic congestion, possibly delays due to construction or accidents, and brief stops for fuel/bio breaks. While no method will give you the exact time as there are too many variables, this will usually be close enough for planning purposes.

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