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  1. Default Please Critique our NY-LA trip :)

    Hi everyone! I've enjoyed reading through all of the threads, and would now like some critique on my own trip. Also, we are planning on spending the majority of our time camping/sleeping in the car. We do have hotels booked for the major cities (LA, Las Vegas) that we plan to spend a few days in.

    On September 10th+11th my Boyfriend and I will be driving from Atlantic Canada to New York City, it's about a 12 hour drive. From there, this is our approx. Schedule;


    September 10 --- Smell ya Later Canada!
    drive to Bangor,drive til 12am, sleep in car

    September 11--- Wake up early and drive, arrive in NYC in the afternoon
    September 12 --- New York City

    (during this time we were actually considering parking our car at JFK and just taking the train into the city, as it seems much cheaper for parking to do this!)

    September 13 -- this day is open to do whatever we want..spend some more time in the city, head towards our next destination....or even maybe Washington?

    September 14 --- Leave in the morning and drive to Philadelphia
    (we have to be in Phili on this day as we have tickets to a concert)

    September 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 --- Drive to Las Vegas
    This is going to be a long stretch, and we were thinking of driving 8 hours a day.... but maybe a little more on some days to cut back on driving on others

    September 20th--- we need to be in Las Vegas on this day by dinner as we have Phantom of the Opera tickets to celebrate our anniversary

    September 21st-22nd- Las Vegas (maybe one day for the grand canyon...i know everyone says you cant see it in one day but we're content with taking one of the day tours)

    September 23- Drive to Burbank , as we have tickets to the Tonight Show

    September 24- day trip to San Diego? Might leave after the Tonight show, or might spend the night in Burbank

    September 25-- Los Angeles/Hollywood
    September 26-- Los Angeles/Hollywood
    September 27--Los Angeles/Hollywood --- need to be here on this day as we have Price is Right tickets

    September 28--- Wake up early and drive to San Franscisco, just spend the day or one night, depending on how long we want to stay there

    September 29-30-1- Yosemite National Park

    Head Home -- 60 hours or driving spread out over
    Oct 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

    This should get us home by Friday, and we head back to work on Monday.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default oddities

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    There is nothing specifically wrong with your plan but it does seem to be a rather odd use of your time. Just in general, there is so much to see in the west and if I was going to spend the time driving all the way out there, then I would want as much time as possible. Your plan now to spend the first several days of your trip on the east coast, a relatively short distance from home, then sprint across the country, and eventually sprint back home dilutes the time you have out west and to see what's in between. Personally, I'd skip the east coast for this trip, and save that for another day when you've got only a week or so available. Otherwise, you might be better off looking at flying across the country, saving more than a week worth of time.

    Onto the specifics:
    On September 10th+11th my Boyfriend and I will be driving from Atlantic Canada to New York City, it's about a 12 hour drive.
    I'm curious how you figure this is a 12 hour drive. Even if you take a Ferry, you've still got 800 miles of driving here, if you drive the whole thing its 1000 miles. Basically, you're looking at 2, 12 hour days on the road once you factor in NE traffic. I will say you'll have very little time to do anything in NYC the day you arrive.

    drive to Bangor,drive til 12am, sleep in car

    September 11--- Wake up early and drive, arrive in NYC in the afternoon
    So you're going to stay up late, then wake up early all while sleeping in a car, before driving nearly 500 miles (a full day on the road) on the most congested highways in North America?

    I also think that there are very few cars where 2 people can sleep comfortably inside, and you're going to want a full night of sleep (not a get to sleep at midnight, get a couple of hours of uncomfortable, frequently interuppted rest, before the sum comes up) when you're just starting your trip. You're really going to be in danger of being exhausted before you've even really started your trip.

    (during this time we were actually considering parking our car at JFK and just taking the train into the city, as it seems much cheaper for parking to do this!)
    Where are you planning to spend your nights. If you're just looking for a place to park, ride into the city, and stay in Manhattan its going to be easier to park in New Jersey, or near a Metro North line east of the Hudson in New York or Connecticut than trying to drive into/out of Queens and Brooklyn. You could look at getting a hotel in Queens/Brooklyn that offers free parking and is close to a subway line. This is what I did during a trip to NYC this summer, but note that hotel prices will still start at near the $100 mark and you're looking at about 30 minutes on the subway to get to Manhattan.
    September 13 -- this day is open to do whatever we want..spend some more time in the city, head towards our next destination....or even maybe Washington?
    Again, take note of traffic in the Northeast, you could drive to Washington, but when you factor your drive back to Philly the next day, you'll spend all of your time in the car, and basically no time seeing anything.

    September 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 --- Drive to Las Vegas
    This is going to be a long stretch, and we were thinking of driving 8 hours a day.... but maybe a little more on some days to cut back on driving on others
    Again, here is where you seem to be treating your trip across country as an afterthought. 5 days is about right, to make the trip being on the road 8-10 hours a day. You'll likely have time to make a few stops here or there, but you really can't linger anywhere, and even a relatively short detour to a place like Rocky Mountain National Park or the Grand Canyon would be fairly difficult on this schedule.
    September 23- Drive to Burbank , as we have tickets to the Tonight Show
    You still want to see it post-Conan?!
    September 28--- Wake up early and drive to San Franscisco, just spend the day or one night, depending on how long we want to stay there
    To me, this would be a huge waste. First, you'd have to miss out on the Pacific Coast Highway because that's a drive that take two days. Second, even when you take I-5 a drive that's going to take most of the day, leaving you very little time to see anything in SF. Since you're heading back the other direction to Yosemite the next day, I just don't see the point.

    September 29-30-1- Yosemite National Park
    There's certainly nothing wrong with this, however, it really stands out as an oddball among the rest of your trip. Its really the only natural type stop you've included, and you're spending 3 full days here - which is great, but it just seems a little strange that you'd plan to spend a little more time than usual here when you haven't mentioned any other parks that you plan to visit.

    Head Home -- 60 hours or driving spread out over
    Oct 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    I'm sure you got this time estimate from a computer program, but you should know those times are always extremely optimistic. However, it really doesn't matter in when talking about a distance of this size. The reality is that you're once again going to need every one of those 7 days, being on the road for 8-10 hours, with little time to do much anything beyond short stops here or there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You still want to see it post-Conan?!
    Hey! I can't STAND Conan! Not that Leno is that great, but he's a heck of a lot easier for ME to take. I'm dating myself, but it hasn't been the same since Johnny Carson retired.

  4. Default

    thank you so much for your comment! we are definitely going to consider your points... but i would like to point out, that the drive to new york from where i live is actually only 12 hours. i live right on the border and have made this drive before :) i did it in one day before, so i think breaking it into two is a lot better.

    maybe we'll skip washington and just take our time driving to phili :)

    i didnt realize we'd miss the pacific coast highway, i thought that san fran was near this.... we aren't too big on going here anyway, i'd rather drive the coast :)

    yosemite is just something we're both interested in :) also seeing the grand canyon and death valley. we've always wanted to go so that's kind of what sparked the trip to california, then we thought, hey it could be fun to drive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by torim View Post
    i would like to point out, that the drive to new york from where i live is actually only 12 hours. i live right on the border and have made this drive before
    If you live right by the border that makes sense, I was going based on you saying you were starting in Atlantic - which appeared to be Atlantic NS. Of course, if you live right by the border, I'd think you'd want to get farther than Bangor which is only about 100 miles from Canada.

    Since you've made this trip before, it also reinforces my point that spending time on the east coast is something that you really could save for a time when it doesn't take away from everything you could be doing - but currently don't have any time for - out west.

    i didnt realize we'd miss the pacific coast highway, i thought that san fran was near this.... we aren't too big on going here anyway, i'd rather drive the coast :)
    Well, San Francisco is right along the coast, so of course the Pacific Coast Highway is near San Francisco - but the road runs from LA all the way up through San Francisco, and then on up into Oregon and Washington. Its a slow going road and you need at least 2 days to make the trip from LA to SF.

    yosemite is just something we're both interested in :) also seeing the grand canyon and death valley. we've always wanted to go so that's kind of what sparked the trip to california, then we thought, hey it could be fun to drive.
    I think you missed my point here. Right now you aren't giving yourself any time for the Grand Canyon, and I have no idea where you think you can squeeze Death Valley into your current plans. These places take time to see - and there are many other places like this that you also might enjoy - but right now, you don't have any time budgeted for them.

  6. #6

    Default

    you should keep in mind all the great places you'll wish you could have stopped and checked out but couldnt if you dont make time for them. I know when I am on the road driving, it gets very exhausting on a trip of this magnitude. To help avert being tired we always plan to stop for 2-6 hrs everyday, somewhere, anywhere, to break up the driving mania and really see america in the meantime. I know some might think I am crazy, but it works, even if it does take longer to get to a destination. At least I am not as worn out and tired of driving, and having a good time at it. It is more fun, interesting, restfull and educational if you take time to smell the roses along the way.

  7. Default

    I did the CA to NYC trip last August. We took the 40 all the way to Tennessee then took 81 up through Virginia-DC-NYC. The 40 was very easy and is a straight shot across the country. I would recommend this route for speed. Once you get to 40 you can jump off in AZ to get to Grand Canyon then cut across to Vegas. There's a lot of really cheap road side motels along the 40. We planned on sleeping in car too but after driving for 10+ hours a day you will pay double for a bed. Good luck, have fun.

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