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  1. Default Road trip from Seattle to Orlando

    Hello everyone. I am planning on a road trip from Seattle to Orlando the end of January. I moved here after graduating, and for my girlfriend, but things aren't working out. I shipped my car up and flew out when I came here. I'm really determined to do a road trip this time, and really trying not to back out last minute.

    I've never done a road trip before, and don't know too much of the United States to know any site-seeing spots or attractions to hit along the way. My planned route was to go to Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Houston, to Orlando. Each spot I know family/friends that I'd be able to stay at.

    From what it says, it will be around 3900 miles. I have read I should only drive 500 miles a day, which I plan to do. I don't think I could drive more than this each day. I have no time limit really, I might make this a month long adventure, shorter if it happens to be. I want to be in Los Angeles by February 4th to celebrate Chinese New Year with some family there. No date/time restrictions other than that.

    Also, I have all my clothes and a few other of my personal items that I am taking back, so I believe my trunk will be full. Will this be an issue at all? I have a Mazda 6, so it is not a very large vehicle. I plan on getting it serviced before the trip.

    What things should be a necessity to take, other than snacks, bottled water, phone charger, first-aid kit. I have a FM-transmitter for my ipod already for music. I want to be prepared for emergencies though, worst-case scenarios.

    I'm open for all help and suggestions. The longest I've ever drove was from Orlando to Atlanta, which was about a 430 mile drive, I think it took about 7 hours.

  2. Default

    Get a tune up on your vehicle before you go. Spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, oil change, check all the fluids, coolant, tires, tire pressure. Are you going on the trip alone or with people? Also make sure your spare tire is inflated as well and it's probably a good idea to have an actual spare tire not just a donut tire.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Other Things to Consider

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, sorry things didn't work out for you in the Pacific Northwest. Some things to keep in mind as you prepare for your RoadTrip. The volume of stuff you have to pack into your car is not the real consideration. As long as it fits and you're not obstructing your rear view through the mirrors and back glass, that is not an issue. If you really are going to be tightly packed in the trunk, then you should probably keep your traveling clothes and anything else you'll need on your journey in the passenger compartment with you. that will save you from having to repack the trunk each morning. If you do that too often, you'll find that things no longer fit. The only thing that would matter with a fully packed car is weight, and clothes simply don't weigh that much. I seriously doubt that even fully loaded with the things you describe, you'll have more weight in the car than when you've had three friends filling the seats. Your gas mileage and acceleration may take small hits, but handling should be largely unaffected.

    If, as you say, you're in no particular hurry to complete this trip then by all means enjoy it at a relaxed pace. Take the time to see some of the many sights along the way. Just a couple of notes on that. If you think you're going to end up visiting 4 or more National Parks or Monuments on your journey, then it is probably worth getting a national parks pass ($80 or so) that grants free admission to all of them for a year. Just ask for it at the first park you enter. Oddly enough, you can make more miles in a day by taking fairly frequent breaks to relax your mind and exercise your body than you can by trying to relentlessly lay down mile after mile. It's more fun, too. There are lots of other helpful hints hereabouts, both on the forums and amongst the article, that will aid you in planning and executing your trip. Poke around at you leisure and don't hesitate to ask if you have further questions.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you have a month to do this, you have plenty of time to explore all the way across. Your map is essentially just going from city to city. You can drive all the way down the coast roads from Seattle to LA, you can visit Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, and some of the southern Utah parks.

  5. Default other things to bring

    I found one article where someone listed a ton of things to bring, would all this be necessary?

    2 FRS radios, flashlight, multi-function knife, paper pad/pens, atlas, warmer hat, gloves, raincoat, flares, a couple of 24-hour emergency candles, poncho, blanket.

    Is this all necessary, or for people more planning for camping when road tripping? I plan to stay at either people's places I know or a hotel. I plan on bringing a toothbrush and my shaving supplies.

    Just want to know what money I should spend to be prepared. I was really thinking at least getting a multi-function knife just in case of anything.

    Thank you everyone else for your input. Would driving out to the grand canyon be worth the trip? How far of a drive is it from Vegas?

    Oh, and I am driving by myself the entire trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The Grand Canyon is about a 5 hour drive from Las Vegas. If you have never seen it, it would be a shame to bypass it being that you will be so close.

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