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  1. Default Binghamton(NY) to Seattle(WA)

    Hello everyone, I'm a college student from Binghamton
    trying to drive all the way to Seattle.

    It's not exactly a trip since I'm stopping only to get a sleep.
    This will be a constant driving across the country to get to my college in Seattle...

    This is my first time on a road trip so I did my own research but would love to
    get some help and tips from you experts.

    So here are some questions that I have and would be grateful for any helpful tips..

    1) I leave on the 11th and would like to get to Seattle by the 16th. Is this possible? I don't mind driving for long hours.

    2) Safety is a very big issue for me. If I had to stop for rest, I would like to avoid any cities that are known to have high crim rates. For now, I'm thinking Binghamton -> Chicago -> Denver -> Salt Lake City -> Seattle. I know it may sound very funny and noob-like..but I thought staying in the big city would be safer than any unknown small towns. Is there any other route that you guys can suggest that are safer? Please. Oh and also, would staying in hotels be better than motels for safety?

    3) My car is Honda Civic 2008. Do I need to change any tires or have its whole body checked up for this trip?

    Well...that's all I can think of now...
    Again, I am new to having this type of roadtrip.
    I will be going with my girlfriend but I will be the only driver.
    If there is any other things that you guys can tell me, please do so.
    Thank you very much.

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

    Default change your thinking

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got several things going on here, but they all kind of run together.

    First, saying safety is very important, and then talking about not worrying about driving long hours is quite a contradiction. On a trip like this, the amount of driving itself and your ability to keep focused on the task at hand (driving a 2 ton machine at 70 mph) is in and of itself your biggest safety issue.

    The shortest way to make this trip is a 2800 mile drive - which you should plan for a minimum of 5 days. The good news, that is what you've alotted, so you are good there.

    However, 2800 miles is driving direct, and going through Denver is no where near a direct route - you'd really need a 6th day to add that significant detour into your trip.

    This leads us to your second issue, of where to stop and be safe spending the night. Personally, I'm curious of your thinking that a major city is going to be safer than a small town - and what cities with high crime rates have you decided that you'll avoid? Every place is going to have its good areas and its bad areas, but the odds of a motel being in one of those bad areas is quite a bit higher in a major city. In a smaller town, a motel is going to likely be right off the freeway and in the major commercial areas of the town. On top of that, you're generally going to pay a whole lot less for a room in a city with 50,000 people than in a major metro area with 500,000 or more people. If you want to stay at a hotel in downtown Chicago, for example, you'll easily be spending $150 a night plus another $20 or more for parking. If you've got that kind of cash and like to spend it, go for it - but I don't know many college students who've got unlimited funds to start throwing around.

    I'd be looking to take I-90 all the way (and/or using I-94 through MN/ND/MT) and simply plan to stop every 500-600 miles. You should have no trouble finding places to stay near the interstate. Some rough possible stopping points could be South Bend, IN; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Dickenson, ND; and Butte MT.

    As far as your car goes, it sounds like your car is new enough that its unlikely to need anything more than its basic routine/scheduled service. However, it always is a good idea to have your mechanic look over things and see if you need to replace anything (including tires) that could be nearing the end of its useful life.


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