I will be embarking on my first ever solo road trip in two weeks time...well, sort of solo.
I will be driving my sister and her baby up to her new home in Norfolk, Virginia. Normally my father would help out with this kind of thing but he has to work...I'm more than willing to oblige however, as I love driving and the open road. Highway driving is my kind of driving...some people think Florida's Turnpike is boring, I beg to differ.
I drive a 2005 Chevrolet Venture (17 MPG city/24 MPG highway) that's going to be crammed with a bunch of stuff in it, along with me, my sister and her precious cargo. I have a route well-planned out already...I'm very handy with maps, GPS, and the like.
My plan is to leave early in the morning, and take I-95 straight up. Rather than go all the way to Richmond and cut south on I-64, I'll be taking US 58 which intersects with I-95 at Emporia, VA. Trip on Google Maps (Mapquest is garbage) takes approximately 13 hours, but we all know those online figures are usually never correct, thanks to circumstances out of our control.
After I drop my sister off, I'll leave the next day,soloing it from Norfolk to Southern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area) to stay with family. And rather than take I-64 north to 95, and go through the hellish nightmare that is the Washington-Baltimore area (I've done that drive before with my dad), I'll be taking US 13 and the famed Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and cut right through the eastern shore of Virginia, and the spine of Delaware. At Dover I plan to cut over to DE-1 and cruise right back towards 95, then get off at US 202.
I'm pretty excited about this trip, it's the most independent thing I've done in my life. I'd like a bit of hints and tips, however.
I'd like to know if there's any tolls on the many bridges and tunnels in Norfolk...VDOT website leaves my head spinning because they have several arrows pointing at Norfolk. I know the CBBT has a hefty toll, around $13...I can manage that. I'll also be stopping at that restaurant on the bridge for lunch and photos. DE-1 is a toll road too, right?
I don't know if any of you have explored these roads (US 58, US 13)...how do you think they are? I've heard 13 is littered with speed traps because it's pretty much dotted with beach towns and bored cops.
I'm also looking for just regular ways to save money. I'm not exactly swimming in cash. I've done the cooler thing before but after awhile I get sick of white bread and Oscar Meyer. Hold the mustard.
After a couple weeks in Pennsylvania, I'll be heading to Maine...but I'll bum a ride with family for that.
We should be taking the van in for preventative maintenance soon...we already had the oil changed. Thinking of replacing wiper blades and the like (I use Rain-X blades, high quality stuff)
I'll be taking a bunch of pictures during this trip, and I hope you guys wouldn't mind me sharing (I noticed you have an active trips forum). I'll also be updating my Twitter page with pictures during the trip. Not many, but a few here and there. Ah, the wonders of technology (I have my iPod and my Sirius radio all ready to go).
If you have any advice for this first-timer, feel free to drop some. =)