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  1. Default Post-Graduation Liberation: Boston to Orlando (and back)

    A year from now, my friend and I will be graduated from high school. Freedom! I think the perfect way to celebrate is with a road trip in my old 1999 Ford Escort station wagon, no? And the fact that we graduate just in time for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open as part of Universal Studios makes Orlando the PERFECT destination! (Don't judge.)

    I estimate a week long trip: 3 days there, 1 day in Orlando, 3 days back. The time there and back will be sprinkled with forays off the path to interesting places. (The actual trip is as important as the destination.) With rough calculations, it will be about $500 each person (gas, food, admission into park, etc.) We have a GPS to help guide us, but we definitely need more assistance!

    Our search has just started, but I'd like to know: What would YOU suggest we visit along the way? We would not shy away from shtick like "World's Biggest Ball of Yarn." We EMBRACE the corny. Travel, as far as I know, will be done mostly on I-95.

    Also, there's an issue as to where we would sleep each night. There's room in the back to sleep, but is it safe to sleep in a truck stop? I am skeptical if this is safe for two 18 year old girls. I was thinking of hostels along the way (and I've found a few) but I don't know if this is really safe either. Motels/hotels are an option, but a more expensive. Suggestions?

    Our trip is still in it's baby stages, but we are FIERCELY committed to it. Not for the teenage-rompery that is expected of us, but because we want a defining journey. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default While Dreaming

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forums!

    Congratulations, both on your impending graduation and on your decision to start planning this far in advance for something that clearly means a lot to you. For some useful background information take a look through the RoadTrip Planning pages, particularly the one dealing with Teenage RoadTrips. Also do a search through the forums for discussions of thoughts, recommendations, and experiences in sleeping in truck stops (now usually referred to as service plazas or something more generic). Most people report positive experiences, but I think you might be better off and get a more comfortable night's sleep in a state park campground. Besides, with a year to plan and save, surely you can put aside a couple of hundred bucks for a few nights in a motel.

    The other thing you'll have to look into, depending on your ages when you make this trip, is whether any of the states you'll be passing through place restrictions on young drivers such as how many people you can have in the car, whether you can be on the road after dark, etc. I know of no other way to determine that than to do a search for each state's motor vehicle department's website and either find the information there or give them a call. Good Luck!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Lovettsville, VA/DC Metro Area


    Hi, I'm glad to see you're planning well in advance. I would recommend staying in a hotel/motel if possible or camping in park. The one issue with hotels/motels is that some states and some hotel chains will not allow you to get a room if you're under 21 (they don't want to be responsible if you decide to have a party and get trashed). I know that you can't get a hotel in the state of VA unless you're at least 21. I'm not sure if they will allow your parents to make a reservation in their name and inform the hotel that you will be staying there - it's definitely something to look into. Also keep in mind that the I-95 corridor going through the DC/VA area has really bad traffic at almost all times of day - permanent rush hour - so allow yourself at least a few extra hours to get through that area. If you have the time I would recommend at least a drive through of DC (if you don't mind city driving) to see the monuments if you haven't been there yet. Most of them you can just do a drive by and you've seen it.

  4. #4
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest


    If costs are a concern, you can steal a page from Rick Steves - picnics! Pack a cooler with some sandwich fixin's, some assorted nuts and snacks and have lunch on the road instead of at restaurant, saving you probably 10-20 bucks a day. Also, if you stay at motels, try and keep to the mom-n-pop ones, they generally tend to be just a hint cheaper than the Big Chains.

    While I don't know the east coast at all and cant suggest any sights on the way, you might want to hit for all your quirky sights and "biggest balls of twine" needs.

    Oh, and while GPS is great, and you should take it - nothing beats a big, old school map for when you get good and lost and need an overview or something.

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