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  1. Default coast 2 coast move

    Friday afternoon my husband found out that he will be discharged from the navy no later than Sept. 14. This is very exciting for us as we have anticipated this for a while now but it was never clear when it would actually happen. Now that it has and we have to prepare to move back home to AZ from VA. We will be on a tight budget of between 1000 to 1500 dollars as we will be jobless 22 year olds moving back to AZ for school and family. It'll be great!!! ( I know thats a large budget range but we could spend up to 1500 dollars would like to keep it to 1000)

    We have also budgeted for about 500 dollars in emergency funds in case of a breakdown because even the most dependable car can have problems.

    Well, now that you have some background I would love any help you can provide in the way of making this trip memorable even though it is not a vacation it is necessary.

    There are so many routes to choose from in making this trip, any recommendations would be welcome.

    We plan on camping the whole trip as we are both outdoorsy people and know how to rough it when needed. My husband grew up on the road constantly moving cross country with him family.on the other hand I have only been on one roadtrip, az to chicago and back in 5 days with his family.Where are some good places to camp along the way? Sleeping in the car is an option as we have an suv and will have all belonging we move ourselves on top of the rodeo in a soft bag. How many hours of driving each day would be reasonable, with 2 drivers.

    I'm estimating we will need about 400 dollars for gas, the gas estimator says 290 getting 18 mpg but I'd always rather have more than enough than not enough.

    We will have up to 7 days to complete the trip what are the must sees?

    Any and all advice is welcome I have never done this we are more of a fly by the seat of our pants type people but I'd really like to do some planning so that we don't just drive by some worthwhile attractions that we may not otherwise get the opportunity to see.

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

    Default options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It sounds like you have done an excellent job thinking about the basics of this trip, and you should be well on your way to doing to within the budget you've laid out.

    Seven days will be a nice amount of time for this trip. We recommend limiting your driving to 500-600 miles a day, which puts you on the road for about 10 hours a day, and means you'll need 4 days for this trip. (Miserable Insanity is about the only way I can think of describing your AZ to Chicago and back in 5 days trip). Certainly you can use those extra 3 days to see things you won't be able to easily get back to see, you could also use the time to take a less than direct route, of you simply could cover the ground in 4 days to keep your costs as low as possible.

    We don't really do "must sees" here, simply because there are so many options, and the right answer depends completely upon what you might be interested in doing. AZ and VA are also big places, and even the direct route could change pretty significantly depending your starting and ending points. I'd really start just by getting out a map and seeing if there are any places you've always wanted to go that could fit easily into your plans.

    Personally, I wouldn't recommend sleeping in the car - for a couple reasons. First, I'm struggling to see how two people moving across country would have so few belongings that they could all fit into a car-top carrier - but even if you do, that is going to drag down your gas mileage. Second, sleeping in a car with 2 people isn't all that comfortable. Even if you've got room in your SUV, its going to get really stuffy with two people inside and no air moving around, not too mention, after spending all day in a car, just getting out of one is something that is fairly refreshing all by itself.

    I think your camping idea is a great one. That will give you cheaper places to sleep plus, it will set you up nicely to be able to cook your own food on the road, saving money on restaurants. Personally, I simply look for state parks and other public campsites, which usually offer the best deal and can easily be located as they are marked on any good map.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the advice. We will be departing from Norfolk, Va and moving to Glendale, AZ.
    As for the So few belongings, well the navy will be moving our things so we plan to take with us the very basics. Clothes and camping gear nothing more will be needed as we will be moving in with family when we get there.

    If there are not any must sees can you recommend any destinations, We are kinda inclined to wanting to take route 17 down the east coast stopping in Savannah, GA and continuing to the I-10 and taking it all the way to Glendale. Possibly stopping in New Orleans. Then going through Tuscon to get to Glendale. With other stops along the way.

    Another option would be going through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and coming down through Flagstaff.

    Has anyone ever taken similar trips, were did you stop. Would you visit those locations again? Any traffic you would avoid?

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