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Thread: Summer trip qs

  1. Default Summer trip qs

    Hey all,
    I am planning my first cross country road trip from MN to NY and am driving solo. I have never done a long road trip before, let alone a solo one, and was wondering how far is safe to drive in one day? The trip according to google maps is 1227 miles one way. Any other tips for driving solo (saving money, entertainment, fatigue busting...) would be highly appreciated!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    One of the most effective ways to save money on a road trip, is to make sure you accelerate gently, keep your speed down, and anticipate stops rather than braking hard. (60-65mph has been shown to be the most fuel efficient speed.) There is no shortage of budget accommodation along the route, and one of the best things you can do is to pick up the hotel/motel coupon books, usually found at rest areas, travel plazas and welcome centres.

    As a solo driver make sure you get out of the car at regular intervals to stretch the limbs and keep the blood circulating. Even if you only spend 10 minutes walking around the travel plazas along the turnpike. Pennsylvania in particular is a beautiful state to cross, and if you have the time, it pays to get off I-80 for a change of pace and scenery.

    It is a trip which can comfortably be enjoyed in three days, or done as a hard slog in two.

    Drive safely.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-26-2011 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,749

    Default Horses for courses.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I have never done a long road trip before, let alone a solo one, and was wondering how far is safe to drive in one day?
    Unfortunately there is not a definitive answer to this question. We generally recommend no more than 500-600 miles a day, after which your alertness and awareness can be compromised. Some can do more, some can't/don't want to travel that far. Some people are more tense on a road trip and others totally relaxed, some will sleep well before hitting the road, others will be restless with the task ahead. These and other varying factors all affect how far you can 'safely' go. If you want to plan ahead then look to reaching smaller goals and take your time, as Lifey mentioned above, 3 day's should be reasonably comfortable and regular stops will keep you fresh. If you can leave things open to change, not book in advance and have time to spare, then the common sense approach of stopping for the night before you start feeling tired is the way to go. Having said that, even if you have booked lodgings, but start feeling fatigued you should get off the road for the night. You can't put a price on your safety so listen clarefully to what your body and mind is telling you!

    Of course, if you can spare more time [and money] you could turn a 'drive' into an adventure !

  4. Default

    Thank you! How difficult is it to cut through Canada? It would save about 75 miles on my trip and I have a passport, would it be easy to get back into the United States?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Just Show Up ...

    ...and smile. Show your passport and you may be asked a few simple questions such as where were you born, where you're going, or the purpose of your trip. They might choose you (at random) for a visual inspection of your trunk, but that's going to be it. Same at both borders - this should really not be a problem or a concern.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default

    One of your initial questions was about money saving tips. Keep in mind that going through Canada could be more expensive, as fuel is quite a bit more expensive. So you will need to calculate whether the 75 miles saved is going to be worth the extra cost. It well could be - but make sure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Where in NY are you heading?

    Assuming you are going to someplace upstate (which is the only way you'd be saving miles by going through Canada), going through Canada is certainly a reasonable option, and one that I frequently use when I drive to visit the in-laws in the Syracuse area.

    Lifey is true that everything, especially gas, is more expensive in Canada. However, if you are just cutting across from Michigan (Either Detroit or Sarnia) to Niagara Falls/Buffalo, you should be able to make it across Canada without filling up. Just make sure to top off your tank before you cross the border. If you are taking the Detroit Ambassador bridge, you can get cheap gas at the Duty-Free shop, and there are gas stations near all the other border crossings.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Michael, it is four years since I was in that part of Canada, and two years since I was in the west. It certainly was true then. But my reply was in reference to the request for money saving tips, and as such, it would pay to do one's homework, before assuming that cutting 75 miles from the trip, is necessarily going to save money.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    No arguement Lifey. As I noted, you are right that Gas is far more expensive in Canada (about $1 a gallon more) and it is important to know that before you go so you don't enter Canada with a half a tank and have to fill up in Canada with the more expensive prices.

    I'm just pointing out that this specific section of Canada is less than 300 miles long, so most cars that fill up at the border can make it across using good ol' American gasoline!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    .. so most cars that fill up at the border can make it across using good ol' American gasoline!
    And it is such a nice change from I-90.

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