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  1. Default 1st Road Trip 1st time driving in the USA.

    I am in the US on business mid July.

    My plan is to hire a car in New York on a Sunday, and spend the day getting use the the roads (I am staying in Palisades so will drive around NJ a bit). Business Monday to Friday 22nd lunch time (may do a couple of runs in the evening) - again just getting used to things.

    My flight back to the UK from JFK is Sunday evening on the 31st.

    I have booked a flight from San Francisco that leaves 11pm on the 30th. That gives me 9 days to cross via route 50 which I will intersect where it crosses the I81 at Winchester - and I need to average around 350 miles a day.

    It looks doable here are some example stops:

    But there is no contingency.

    I am on my own I am not bothered about stopping and seeing things I am happy to take the scenic route sitting in the car for 8 hours a day chilling out. I will stop at motels - too middle aged to rough it.

    I have not booked the car yet. I keep toying with the idea of taking a plane out of NY on the Friday and starting closer to the west coast - but can't find anywhere suitable to fly too.

    What do you helpful people make of my plan?
    Last edited by electronspin; 06-25-2011 at 07:41 AM.

  2. Default

    HI Electronspin,

    just got back from the west coast and was my first time driving 'on the wrong side' too. Just keep "short right, long left" in your head and you'll be fine. I found the road system very intuitive and, from my short experience, US driver's very polite.

    A GPS is a must though, especially one with lane assist.

    Have fun.

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

    Default Purpose ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If driving across country what you decide to do, it will certainly work and you have the time to make it doable, but I am not sure what to add. Have you chose that route for a reason ? If you don't want to stop and see 'things', I wonder Why ? [I am getting a blank map with the link you gave.]

    You could fly into any number of destinations out West and do a tour from there, either a loop or one way trip. SF is a fantastic place to start a loop from. Denver, Las Vegas, LA would all be possible options. Until we know a little more about your interests and goals for the trip it's hard to add much more.

    As mentioned above, the driving side of things become very natural really quick, so I wouldn't worry to much about adjusting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A great help....

    Quote Originally Posted by big-lebowski View Post
    A GPS is a must though, especially one with lane assist.
    But make sure you have good maps as well.


  5. Default

    I was interested in peoples views of the logistics i.e. 9 days - 350 miles per day. I think that is enough time but wanted some reassurance - having never done it before.

    I think of this road trip a bit like the way I walk up hills. It the achievement of getting to the top that I like, and get a buzz from. Driving across the states is to me a bit like getting to the top of a very big hill -something I can say I have done. If I was with family / friends I would plan it completely different - and indeed when the time is right would like to do that.

    I don't want to go to extremes though, and therefore picked this route since it looked like I was going to get a decent view out of the windscreen.

    I am going to delay booking the car for a bit - the option of a loop starting from the west is of interest.

    Decisions decisions.

    The link I think works now though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I'm also curious as to why you chose that particular highway. True, it IS one of the few coast-to-coast US highways that hasn't been replaced by an interstate.

    Logistically, 350 mi per day for 9 days is pretty easy. But with things to see and do, you might think about that loop trip that SW Dave suggested. Perhaps you might want to see something on your way across, if that drive across the US is just calling to you. If you wanted to do that, that are different ways to go and different things to see with each route. There's a Map Center on this site that you can play with, to see what's available along the route you choose. Or just get a good USA road map and see what's where that's of interest. Once you do that, we can help you figure out what else is out there along your route.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Go for it!

    If your purpose is to be able to say that you drove cross country, I cannot think of a better route to choose. US 50 is a diverse road, as it crosses the continent. There are many places along it where you may want to stop and look. And the diversity of accommodation you will find, will give you a good overview of the country and culture.

    I'd say, "Go for it!"


  8. Default

    Well I am going to spend the rest of the day exploring the start and stop in San Francisco option. Since the car is not one-way and it is a week not two weeks hire the rental is 20% of what I was going to have to pay. Even with an extra flight this is still much less money.

    I am quite enjoying planning this - but boy is it taking time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's all part of the fun !

    Weighing up all your options and deciding what is best for you and putting your plans in place is all part of the fun !

    Here's a few links to some of our favourite threads covering the Southwest to help you on your way. As mentioned, the Map centre will offer Lot's of attractions in the Southwest, or for the cross country drive. If you are going to climb 'that hill' you might as well choose one with great views as a bonus. ;-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    With 9 days to get from SF to NY, I think I'd do the west coast loop and fly back to NY rather than driving all the way across. You will be able to see a lot more attractions instead of just piling on miles and miles. Now, if you had 3 weeks to get across, then I'd drive the whole thing.

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