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  1. Default PA to CA summer trip

    I'm not sure if we're crazy for even considering this, but I'm planning on going to CA for 6 weeks or so this summer. With airfare being so outrageous at the moment, for the first time we are thinking about driving out there from Pennsylvania. The last time we drove cross country was 16 years ago when we moved from CA to PA, we did it in 3 days in a Uhaul pulling our car on a trailer and we only made one stop along the way to sleep. Not something I would want to do again!

    This time, my husband is working and can't go, but we have a full minivan regardless. Me, my son age 25, his wife and 15 month old baby; and my younger kids ages 14, 10 and 6.
    We want to stop and see a few things along the way, such as the Grand Canyon, but our primary focus is to get to CA as fast as possible, to minimize the trip costs. (We'll be staying with family once we get there).
    With my son and I tag-team driving, is it realistic to make the drive in 5 days? Obviously, we're going to have to make stops to let the kids escape from the car and run around. They are all pretty good travelers, but still have never spent time of this magnitude in the car.

    Any suggestions or pointers would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Yes/No

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You can make the drive from Pennsylvania to California (relatively huge 'targets', so all advice is subject to your particulars) in 5 days, and you can and should make frequent short stops, but you will not have time for major stops or detours. As you noted, and as most longtime RoadTrippers will readily admit, we only think we're super-human once and make the foolish choice to drive too many miles in too short a time. Take your own advice and don't either add miles to or subtract time from the straightest of straight shots form your home to your destination and back if you really plan to make the cross-continent drive in 5 days.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A little longer ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    It would be possible to do the drive in 5 days, but it will mean long hours in the car for the Kids, most likely between 9 and 11 hours with time for only short stops and depending on your exact start and finish points. If you want to start adding 'things to see' on the way you would have to add more time to that, and to make the trip bearable for all, if you can stretch it out for another 2 days, you could spend a little time along the way and make it an enjoyable adventure. I would recommend this, as travelling with a baby and children are going to mean more stops for the toilet, feeding, changing etc and that will be more time consuming. If they start to get restless [and who could blame them being in a car all day] day after day it could turn into more of a nightmare than a dream trip.

    Regular stops to get out of the car and allow the Kids to 'let off steam' while you refresh is vital and you can find places close to the Interstate to do just that in this thread.

    If you can manage it with your budget, an extra couple of nights could be money very well spent ! [and just one extra night could make a difference]

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