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  1. Default HELP NEEDED! Road Trip starting next month.

    Hi guys, thanks for letting me use your forum. I would really appreciate some help and advice please.

    I am a Brit flying into Boston on September 25th and we are working our way down to Orlando where we will pick up a rental car on October 8th. On the 9th I am driving to Tampa to catch U2 in concert and then on the 10th I am making the horrendously long drive to Birmingham, AL to catch Robin Williams live that night.

    What I need is some advice where to go from here and what I simply can't miss. Any good places to stay, things to do, advice on rough fuel usage (driving a Ford Mustang Convertible) and any tips you guys have to give.

    After the drive to Birmingham I am going to need a little bit of a rest so I would be looking at doing nothing energetic on the 11th but from that point, America is our oyster!
    We want to stay in the South and would like to visit New Orleans, Nashville, Houston, Arizona etc en route to LA. We HAVE to be in LA by November 6th where we will be meeting friends and taking a mini road trip to Vegas from November 9th. We will be in Vegas from the 11th until the 14th and from that point we are again left on our own and have until the 28th November to get back to LA for our return flight.

    We could possibly extend our stay for a short while after so we are semi-flexible on dates but at the moment the 28th is our return point.

    I hope this is enough information for anyone willing to help, and I really appreciate ANYTHING we get. Also, help with things to pack, what the weather will typically be like etc would help.

    Thanks again, Gary and Charlie, London, UK
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-13-2009 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Added some white space

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

    Default quick start, easy finish

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Well, as you know, that Tampa/Birmingham day is going to be your big challenge. You're going to be looking at a 10-12 hour day on the road, which is quite a bit, when you're bookending it with concerts/performances on each end. Its doable, and I've done things like that before, but I've been quite tired at the end of it, so that full day to recover afterwords is a good idea.

    But beyond that, with a month to make it across the country, you've got a ton of time. We've had plenty of people who've done full loops of the US in less time than you are talking about, so you really could go just about anywhere you'd like. If you stick exclusively to the south, you could spend several days in each city that you stop. Since you've got so much time, I'd really just spend some time brainstorming and researching all the things you might like to do... odds are you'll be able to fit in many of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You can use the Fuel Cost Calculator. For rough calculations, use 20 miles per gallon and $3 a gallon. If you want to shortcut the math, just figure 15 cents a mile.

    A Mustang convertible with the standard V-6 engine should average about 20 miles per gallon mixed driving - less in the city but more on the highway.

  4. Default

    Thanks for that guys I appreciate it.
    The Tampa - Birmingham drive is most definately not a day I am looking forward to but after getting the rough drive time from Midwest Michael I think I may break it up by driving a couple of hundred miles after U2 in Tampa and stopping at a motel somewhere before I am tired.
    I could carry on after a few hours sleep and if I arrive early enough in Birmingham, I am thinking I could rest then too.
    It is nice to hear I will have plenty of time as I was really worried about missing out on things.
    I'll make a list of things I would like to see/do over the weekend and see if I have missed anything you guys think I HAVE to do.
    Also, thanks glc for the fuel calculator and rough Mustang consumption, that also helps with running the financial side of things.
    One quick question, maybe I watch too many horror movies but I was wondering if it was legal, and a good idea to carry some pepper stray or a taser in the car, just in case? Obviously we don't have these things in the UK but we also don't have vast open roads where (I would imagine) you would be lucky to see anyone else on. I'm not really that worried about anything I encounter on the road, just up for suggestions on if it is wise to carry such items.
    Cheers guys

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default building and crashing

    Well, from having gone to a fair number of concerts in my life, I wouldn't plan to go too far from Tampa that night. It will certainly take you a while to get out of the concert/parking lot/traffic, and while you'll probably have some extra energy coming out of the concert, its also the extra energy that can lead you to quickly crash and become very tired very quickly. Admittedly, In my college days there were a number of times where I'd drive a couple hundred miles to a show, and then drive back the same day/night, but that's pretty hard on the body.

    Rather than trying to segment out your sleep, I'd just focus on getting a good nights rest and then getting on the road relatively early the next morning. You'll be looking at a full day, but not so far that you have to sacrifice rest to make it happen.

    As far as safety items, I can tell you that I do not, nor have I ever carried such devices. Generally, the dangers of a barren roadway are much more movie myth than reality and common sense is a far more valuable safety tool than any weapon. Having said that, there's really nothing wrong with picking up some pepper spray - although I'd probably stay away from the electronic devices, which could become problematically legally as you cross state lines.

  6. Default

    Thank you again for that advice, I will take it all on board. It really is appreciated

  7. #7

    Default Definitely Make Austin TX A Stop

    I moved here about four years ago, but had visited a couple times before. October will be a very nice time to visit Austin, which is a friendly city with lots of great food, great music and great margaritas. It's worth making it a stop as you head west.

  8. Default Austin

    I do plan on heading to Austin actually so I'm glad to hear that. Is there anywhere you would recommend staying?

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