I took this coast to coast road trip in May/June 2010. I did get a lot of help from this site and thought I should share my experience as well. I am sorry that it took so long to post it here.
Long road trips are fun as well tiring, and expensive both in terms of money and time. Do not do it unless you really want to do it. You have to find means/ways to overcome fatigue, keep yourself enrgized and keep it fun & interesting. Take sufficient amount of time and buffer time in consideration based on miles that you are going to drive.
My reasons and motivation
I had heard and read about it. I wanted to do it for a long time and was waiting for right time. I had lost one opportunity to make road trip when relocating to Cleveland, OH from San Jose, Calif in 2000. My interests in travel, and seeing various land scapes are primary factor that attracts me for road trips. This trip gave me opportunity to pass thru varius landsacpes such as Deserts, Semi Deserts, Plaines, Mountains, and finally peidmonts(NC area between blue ridge mountains and atlantic coast).
Everyone who heard about this trip they attempted to discourage me for so many reasons. I appreciated their concerns and care. I would like to thank them for that.
Source of information
I spent a lot of time readin blogs on http://www.roadtripamerica.com/ before making plans that really helped me. This website also helped me find right audio books.
I liked both of these books
- The Girl Who Played with Fire (Stieg Larsson, Simon Vance)
- Void Moon (Michael Connelly, L. J. Ganser)
Please do not eat breakfast in those cheap motels.
Many of motels close their front office if you are really late in night. So call them and let them know
if are going to be checking in late.
Will I do it again
Yes. many times. I would like to go on road trip with my wife when we are a little closer to retirement. But not in vey near future.
Suggested Service Plaza
Love's Travel Stops and Country Plaza
All of them sucks and are not cheap. so I do not recommend any one of them. But they are your best friends for lodging on road trip most of the times.
There are risks as well associated with this. You car can break down. You may fall sick as sitting in car for about 6-8 hours (even with frequent stops) and eating out. It is hard for person like to make any plans even near close to perfection so yes staying in places with not much idea about it carry some risk to you and yor property. This risk is even while you are on the raod.
Each Day on this trip
Day 1: Calabasas, CA to FlagStaff ~490 mi
started at 7:30 Pm and reached 4 AM
Stayed in knights Inn, Flagstaff, AZ
Day 2: Flagstaff, AZ to Shamrock, TX ~700 mi
Started at 10 AM and reached at 10 PM
Stayed in Econolodge
Through: AZ, NM, TX
Day 3: Shamrock, TX to Dickson, TN ~ 800 mi
Started at 9 AM and reached at 11 PM
Stayed in Days Inn
Through: Oklahama, Arkansas, TN
Day 4: Dickson TN, Raleigh, NC ~ 600 mi