Looking for Advice/Suggestions
Lask week, I decided that taking a road trip with some friends would be an awesome way to kick of the summer of my senior year of high school. So, I convinced two friends to come with me and have been planning it since then. So far, I'm planning to drive from where I live, in New Jersey, to Chicago, and spend a weekend there. From Chicago, we would drive to Michigan and go camping on Lake Michigan. After a week or so of that, we would drive north of the border into Toronto, getting a glimpse of the city for a night or two and then going to Niagra Falls and camping there for a few days. After that, we would head back south and stop at the Adirondaks for a few nights and then head back to Jersey. So far, I'm really excited about the trip, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice or suggestions. Are there any little known places along the way that would be a fun stop? As long as it's not too far out of the way, I would love to stop anywhere, so please, don't hold back any suggestions. Any help is greatly apperciated. Thanks for reading.
A big bite
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
While I'm certainly not suggesting that you don't take this trip, I'm wondering if you've really thought through just how major of a trip you are planning. While you won't be covering a ton of miles, and what you're thinking of doing should be possible, you're looking at a 2-3 week trip, just based on the time you've laid out. That's pretty ambishious for a first trip.
Other than thinking about things to do and convincing your friends to go, what other planning have you done? Have you thought about your budget? Is your transportation lined up already? Any thoughts on specific places to stay yet? Have your friends contributed to the planning at all, or are you coming up with places that you want to go and hoping that they will have the same goals? What about your (and your friends) parents, are they on board?
You don't have to have all these answers already, but these are the things that you'll really have to work on to make sure this trip goes beyond an idea and onto the pavement.
2 Quick Questions
I was wondering if you guys had any input as to how many miles one can comfortably cover in one day before going insane. Obviously, it depends on the person, but I've never driven anywhere far myself so I'm guessing my tolerance is pretty low. I'm trying to drive from central Jersey to Chicago, roughly 790 miles, and according to MapQuest, 13 hours with no breaks. Is that reasonable in one day? If such a drive would be too much in one day for three relatively inexperienced drivers, I'd like to ask a second question. Is sleeping in your car safe/legal? We'll have a Chevy Suburban, so space/comfort is not really an issue (we're relatively poor, so this is a much easier option than a hotel) but I've heard that you can be arrested for doing so. Not sure if that law is in place everywhere, or just in Jersey where we seem to have pretty strict driving laws. Also, is doing so safe? Are there certain areas that are better to do this than others? I was thinking about a truck stop or rest area, but again, I don't want to get arrested a couple hundred miles from home. Any help would be apperciated. Thanks.
Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-06-2009 at 03:15 PM.
Reason: Merged - Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip
its all here
The question you're asking have come up before, and in fact, they come up quite often.
Here are our thoughts about safe driving distances in a day, and here are great throughts about sleeping in a car.
In a nutshell, while you might be able to cover the distance to Chicago it is quite a bit farther than we recommend traveling in a day, and you would be exhausted once you got there. Despite what a computer program tells you, you'll need far more than 13 hours to cover the distance. Factoring in only short required stops for fuel, food, traffic slowdowns, etc, you're looking at closer to 15 hours of real on the road time.
Even in a suburban, I just don't think having 3 people sleeping in a car is comfortable to get solid sleep. I think you'll have a much better time if you try camping, where you can have some time outside of a car after the end of a long day on the road.
You're not likely to be arrested, but you may be awakened in the middle of the night and asked -- and by "asked", I mean told -- to leave immediately. If you were to refuse, then you might be inviting police action.
Originally Posted by Imagine
As someone already said, you're not going to get good sleep with this plan. I suggest that you test it out. The three of you should sleep in the car (at home, in the driveway) to see how you do -- and remember that you can't use the back row of seats because it'll be packed with food and suitcases during the real trip. No climate control, no way to stretch out comfortably, no rest rooms, close proximity to the other guys. If you wake up well rested and happy, then I'll be suprised!
My reason for selecting the above quotes, is for their contradiction. MapQuest does not take into consideration how the speed at which you travel affects your fuel consumption.
Originally Posted by Imagine
One of the best ways to save some money on a road trip, is not by sleeping in the car, but to slow down. Keep your speed between 60 and 64mph and you will be driving at the most economical speed.... and if you are poor (I can relate to that).... it may just save you those extra pennies you need to have a comfortable night.
Slowing down won't kill you!