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  1. Default Irish girl on a roadtrip across the states

    Hey. Just came upon this site, really informative stuff on here. Hoping you can help me.
    This is my dilema. I'm an Irish girl, travelling over to the states for a bit of an adventure, albeit a short one with a few of my friends!
    Basically, our plan is to fly into New York, get the Amtrak down to Washington D.C. and rent a car from there. We are arriving in mid July. I plan on renting the car for the full month we are going to be in the States for and the cost is looking pretty reasonable, about $800 for the size of car we want. I have been using this site to plan routes and other things, and my God has it helped! Thank you. I just want to throw my plans out there for someone to tell me whether it is overly optimistic given my short stay.
    Arrive: Washington D.C. Day 1
    Sightseeing, etc. Day 1 & 2, pick up rental car
    Drive 660 miles, day 3, to Nashville

    Arrive: Nashville day 3
    Sightseeing day 3 & 4
    Drive 210 miles, day 4, to Memphis

    Arrive: Memphis day 4
    Sightseeing day 5 & 6
    Drive 700 miles, day 7, to Charleston

    Arrive: Charleston Day 7
    Sightseeing day 8 & 9
    Drive 240 miles, day 10, to Jacksonville/or Savannah 83 miles

    Arrive: Jacksonville/Savannah day 10
    Sightseeing day 11
    Drive 560 miles, day 12, to New Orleans

    Arrive: New Orleans day 12
    Sightseeing day 13, 14 & 15
    Drive 520 miles, day 16, to Dallas

    Arrive: Dallas day 16
    Sightseeing day 17
    Drive 1230 miles, day 18 & 19, to Las Vegas

    Arrive: Las Vegas day 19
    Sightseeing 20, 21 & 22
    Drive 416 miles, day 23, to San Francisco

    Arrive: San Francisco day 23
    Sightseeing day 24 & 25
    Drive 348 miles, day 26, to Los Angeles

    Arrive: Los Angeles day 26
    Sightseeing day 27 & 28

    Home on day 30. I'm sorry if my post is confusing and that I haven't entered the routes I'm planning on taking, but I will do. There will be two other drivers with me. We plan on sharing all the driving. Am I putting too much pressure on us for such a short trip? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Standard Caveats

    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You're overall plan is relatively reasonable. There are a couple of things you need to be aware of, though, and take into account during your planning. The biggest is that you simply can't get as far in a day as computer-based mapping routines suggest that you can. When such an algorithm says that you can cover 700 miles in 10 hours (or some such), it is assuming that you can drive at or above the speed limit for every second of every one of those ten hours AND that you will never need to stop for gas. you will never be slowed down by traffic, you will never have to stop for a meal, you will never get tired or have to stretch your legs, you will never change drivers, you will never have to go to the bathroom, etc., etc., etc. Sound realistic? If you want to enjoy your drives, plan on making no more than 500 miles or so in a day devoted almost entirely to driving, but do take some well deserved mental and physical breaks. 600 and 700(!?!?!) mile days are simply impossible, even with multiple drivers, if you want to be alert the next day.

    By the same token, be sure to schedule a day every third or fourth day where the three of you can go your separate ways. While traveling with good friends can be a wonderful way to experience a new country, it's also true that non-stop "togetherness" will begin to wear on your friendship after a relatively short period. It will also do you good to get away from the insulation that only talking to your friends will impose and meet a few 'real Americans' while you're at it.

    Finally, a warning about the car hire rate. Make sure (if any of you are under 25) that it includes any 'underage driver' fees. This can be as much as $75/day in addition to the basic rate quoted on a website if you are all between 21-24. I will note that if you are booking your car through a European consolidator this fee is often waived, but you want to make sure, and not be caught by surprise when you pick up the car in DC. If any of you are under 21, you want to similarly make sure that you will even be allowed to drive the car, and what extra fees will apply.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-09-2011 at 07:40 AM. Reason: getting some numbers right

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default One dimensional.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip is doable although you have a few long days on the road, the stand out one being 700 miles where perhaps you would be best off stopping short of Charleston and finishing the trip next morning. The thing that stands out to me the most though is that you are driving from City to City and doing all your sight seeing in them. For instance you have 2 hard days on the road from Dallas to Vegas where you won't have time to visit the Grand canyon or any other attraction along the way. From Vegas to SF you have Death valley and Yosemite and from SF to LA the Pacific coast highway all of which you will have no time for with your itinerary. The same could be said throughout your trip, but if it's City after City you want then with couple of little tweaks and you are good to go. Personally I would want more of a balance to the trip than Interstate and concrete jungles, especially when the US has some magnificent scenery, towns and 2 lane roads.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Sub-optimal routing?

    Wouldn't DC-Charleston-Savannah-(I'd skip Jacksonville)-Nashville-Memphis-New Orleans make more sense?

    I think you save 500-700 miles.

    You could even pass through Asheville and Great Smokey Mtns between Savannah and Nashville and still save 500 miles.

    I've been to Jacksonville (on business), nice town but unless you know somebody there I'd trade GSM for Jacksonville any day of the week.

    Also; on this routing between Memphis and New Orleans you can hit Vicksburg and Natchez along the Mississippi river.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!AZBuck
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!


    Finally, a warning about the car hire rate. Make sure (if any of you are under 25) that it includes any 'underage driver' fees. This can be as much as $75/day in addition to the basic rate quoted on a website if you are all between 21-24. I will note that if you are booking your car through a European consolidator this fee is often waived, but you want to make sure, and not be caught by surprise when you pick up the car in DC. If any of you are under 21, you want to similarly make sure that you will even be allowed to drive the car, and what extra fees will apply.

    AZBuck
    We are all over 25 so hopefully we won't have problems, although I know we will be charged extra for one-way travel alright.
    Thanks for your tips regarding "in car relations"! Makes sense.

  6. Default

    I know, that is what I am most worried about, missing out on things on the road. I suppose I'm just trying to suit everyone travelling. I lived in San Fran a few years ago and never got to visit Yosemite, I have regretted it ever since.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalOldBlue View Post
    Wouldn't DC-Charleston-Savannah-(I'd skip Jacksonville)-Nashville-Memphis-New Orleans make more sense?

    I think you save 500-700 miles.

    You could even pass through Asheville and Great Smokey Mtns between Savannah and Nashville and still save 500 miles.

    I've been to Jacksonville (on business), nice town but unless you know somebody there I'd trade GSM for Jacksonville any day of the week.

    Also; on this routing between Memphis and New Orleans you can hit Vicksburg and Natchez along the Mississippi river.
    Yes, Jacksonville was only added in because of a suggestion from one of the girls. Would your suggestion make much more sense? Hope so.

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