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  1. #1

    Default Road Trip - NY to CA and back again

    Hello. I am new to this forum. I've been planning a road trip for the past few weeks and wondered if anyone would be so kind as to give me some tips, suggestions. The farthest road trip for me has been from NY to VA. We are planning on leaving early February. We are giving ourselves a minimum of three weeks. Here is the tentative plan.

    Drive from NY to Charleston, SC. Stay one night. Drive to New Orleans, LA. Stay one night. Drive to Austin, TX. Stay one night. Drive to Phoenix, AZ stay one night. Drive to San Diego, CA. Stay one or two nights. Drive to Santa Monica, CA. Stay one night. Drive to San Francisco. Stay one or two nights. Drive to Windsor, CA. Stay one night. Drive to Portland, OR. Stay one night. Drive to Las Vegas. Stay one or two nights. Drive to Grand Canyon. Stay one night. Drive to Santa Fe, NM. Stay one night. Drive to Fredericksburg and San Antonio, TX. Stay one night. Drive to Nashville, Memphis, TN. Stay one or two nights. Drive to Asheville, NC. Stay one night. Drive back to NY.

    I have listed sites to see in each city we are staying as well as a few options for hotels.

    Any tips, suggestions? Places I should stay away from?

    Thanks!

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

    Default A frantic pace

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The kind of trip you have listed is going to live you almost no time to explore anything. You're going to drive all day to arrive in your destination city, spend your night there, and then have to drive all day the next day to make it to your next location.
    You've also got some big gaps in there. For example, you list Portland and then Las Vegas, yet there is no way to drive between those cities in just one day. Austin to Phoenix is another problem spot.

    You also do some pretty odd routing/doubling back. For example, Even though you'd basically go right by San Antonio during your drive west through Austin, you plan to hit it going east, even though its several hundred miles away from a direct route from Santa Fe to Memphis.

    I really think you need to rework your plan here and build a route that is a little more logical, and reflect the amount of time you'll need to travel between places.

  3. #3

    Default

    Ok. thanks for the tips. In regards to the Portland to Las Vegas drive. Do you reccomend somewhere in between for stopping? I don't want to run into snow.

    Also, if I hit up San Antonio and Austin on the way to CA, could you reccomend an in between point for stopping? Between Santa Fe and Memphis?

    We are giving ourselves 3 weeks for all of this. I'm sure in some of these cities we'll be staying 2 nights because like you said we won't have enough time between driving and sightseeing.

    Once I'm done planning out where we are going, I was thinking of programming the addresses into our tomtom. Is that a bad idea?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Portland to LV - Sacramento is the halfway point.
    Santa Fe to Memphis - OKC is the halfway point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default homework

    The places I listed were just a few of the examples of potential problems that you've got, it was by no means a complete list.

    Quite frankly, Portland seems like an odd choice to include in this trip. It is a very long way from anything else you've listed, with the time you've given yourself, your only options would be to drive straight there via I-5 (which certainly can see snow) and then drive straight back to Las Vegas over 2 days (either taking I-5 again through Sacramento, or using I-84 via Twin Falls, ID.). You current plans leave zero opportunity to drive up the coast, which really is at least a 3 day trip from San Francisco to Portland because of the slow nature of the road.

    We are giving ourselves 3 weeks for all of this. I'm sure in some of these cities we'll be staying 2 nights because like you said we won't have enough time between driving and sightseeing.
    The problem is that you are simply building a trip that will require driving nearly all day every day just to hit every place you've listed. A very rough estimate puts your point to point travel at nearly 10,000 miles. Over 3 weeks, that means you need to average 500 miles a day of driving.

    500-600 miles a day is the most we recommend for a full day of driving at speed on the Interstate, requiring you to be on the road 8-10 hours a day, and leaves very little time for sightseeing. If you are building a trip that requires you to average that already, then you might be able to spend a second night in a couple of cities, but those will be few and far between.

    Once I'm done planning out where we are going, I was thinking of programming the addresses into our tomtom. Is that a bad idea?
    There is nothing wrong with using GPS and computer tools to help plan a trip, but they should be secondary elements and they will only direct you to the straightest path between 2 points. I think before you start thinking about that, you need to spend more time looking at a regular map, and building an appreciation for just how much ground you are trying to cover and what places would really make for reasonable destinations.

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