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  1. Default Planning road trip for NEXT summer...oregon to ohio and then new york!

    Hi there!
    Next summer my best friend and I will be graduated from high school..very exciting. I will be 18 but she will not be. We have been planning this road trip for a very long time but now it is getting a little more serious as we are starting to think about what we will need to do to get ready...
    We live in Portland Oregon and we are wanting to drive to Sandusky, OH to go to a theme park we've always wanted to go too. We also wanted to go to New York city for a night or too to experience the city of lights. We were thinking to give this trip a 2 week period, do you think that is enough? Do you think two young girls could do this trip? We would definitely switch off on driving..but we want to get there as fast as we can. Would it be absolutely necessary to stay at motels/hotels every night? Or could we be able to switch off on driving and have the other just sleep?
    When we drive on the freeways, would we be able to just keep driving until we get tired and find a cheap hotel? Or should we have reservations? How much gas do you think we would go through? How many days do you think it would take us to get there if we wanted to make a few pit stops? I think the plan is to take our time getting there/visit places we've wanted to go/and just enjoy the trip..and then on the way back rush and try to sleep in the car through the night instead of going to hotel rooms.
    Do you think we would be safe? Our biggest concern is out safety as we will be young/blonde/small 18 year old's traveling across the country.
    We are so excited to experience and I would just love your advice!
    We also wanted to get your guys's estimate on how much this trip would cost if we stayed at the cheapest hotels possible..with gas, and food, and hotels in New York as well...
    We have been saving for a while but as this next year continues we will need to start saving a lot more.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default potential problems

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are some significant issues with traveling like until you are both 18. There are some of the day to day things like motels - where many, if not most, places will not allow an unrelated minor to share a room with an 18 year old. There's also very serious things that you probably wouldn't think about like what would happen if you got into an accident, or your friend got sick. Without being 18, she can't authorize her own medical care.

    The other issue is time. I don't think 2 weeks will be nearly enough time for the kind of trip you are talking about. Even at a speed run place, where you ignore everything between Oregon and Ohio, you still need a good 5 days to make it to New York.

    Trying to drive non-stop by alternating people sleeping is extremely dangerous and absolutely not something you should try. (That's far more likely to be deadly than anything else you could possibly come across during your trip.) Sitting in a moving car will not allow you to get the real sleep needed to be a safe and alert driver. 600 miles a day is a good rule of thumb for the most miles you should look at traveling even in a long day on the road.

    Doing this over 2 weeks - which literally would only leave time for one day in Sandusky, and 2 days in NYC - and long days on the road every other day wouldn't be cheap. Very rough estimates for a cheap trip - 1100 for fuel, 800 for motels, 350 for food, and a few hundred more for entertainment and other misc. expenses. However, those costs would go up if you give yourself time to actually explore what's along the way.

  3. Default Info for your road trip :-)

    Hi :-)

    3+ years ago, I drove from NY to Portland... moved here for a job. And actually, I am driving back to NY for a job in about 10 days or so.

    Okay, I definitely think you two girls can do this trip. I did it alone w/ my dog and was fine. However, it would be good to have an arranged check-in time w/ a family member or friend every day or evening. Set it for a specific set time every evening for example, so they will know when to expect your call. Be sure they know the route you are taking and that you give your location every evening when you stop & the motel you will be staying at (BTW, I found Motel 6 was the most reasonable if you're trying to save money, but there are also some cheap clean little Mom & Pop motels that will do just as well. You wont need reservations, but it will be cheaper along the way if you stop either just before entering a larger city or just after. The rates were around $35-$40/ night). That way, if something should go wrong, someone will know where you were supposed to be and where to look for you.Make sure you give them your hotel ph # whenever you stop.
    You sound very excited :-) No you dont have to stay at a motel every night but, I do suggest you might want to take just a bit more time to actually see some of the country as you drive across. Believe me, it is incredible and there is so much variety and beauty and cool things to see along the way like Mt. Rushmore for example (Google places of interest to see on a cross-country road trip). It really would be a shame to pass up such a great opportunity. Most people I have talked to envy my road trip and the things I saw.

    Now, if you want to save money by not staying at a hotel every night, you can pull into well-lit truck stops and sleep in the car. They have showers for women where you can get cleaned up that are safe and secure... and then maybe grab some breakfast before you head back out on the road.

    I took my time and stopped off a couple places and it took me 5 days. On my way back to NY this time, I am planning on stopping off several places so, I expect it will take me 7 days or so. When I drove from NY to Portland, I drove a minivan that was very weighed down w/ lots of stuff, and it cost me about $500 in gas.

    To be safe... do NOT sleep at rest stops or on the side of the road or anywhere except motels or well-lit truck stops that advertise security cameras, etc. I strongly recommend that you two stay together (even when going to the bathroom) just to be on the safe side. I think my biggest concern for you two is when you actually stay in NYC. Stay together. The thing is, you'll probably be wanting to spend time in Manhattan (check out Times Square, SoHo & Greenwich Village, all of which are actually neighborhood cross streets inside Manhattan. There is a lot of funky stuff to see & cool shops, street musicians & artists, etc). Now, if you're planning on staying in NYC, stay in Manhattan but, you should know it will be expensive. You will absolutely need to book a reservation but beware, when I did it as a young girl, I found a hotel in Mid-Manhattan, that I thought was a good deal for $130, but it turned out to be a dive w/ roaches. Honestly, I would suggest doing your homework to find a decent, reasonably-priced hotel. Also, NYC is NOT cheap. Restaurants are quite pricey... even the crappy ones, so again, do your homework :-) It is cheaper and safer (and parking places are impossible unless you want to pay a lot of money at parking garages) once you get into the city to park your car in a hotel parking garage (which should be included in your hotel fee), and either walk or take a taxi. The taxi drivers drive a bit crazy (just like the movies), but they know where everything is.

    Now, unlike how the city is portrayed on TV, I found people to be quite friendly in Manhattan, BUT BE CAREFUL just the same. Put most of your money/ credit cards in your sock or somewhere else besides your purses. Do not talk to or go off w/ anyone sketchy. Stay off the subways at night. You are both underage, so you will not be able to get into any of the clubs. If for some reason you do get into one (or to a RAVE which I strongly recommend against bc lots of bad things can happen to young inexperienced girls there, & I'm not exaggerating), DO NOT leave your drinks and go walking off bc there are people who will slip things into girls drinks. Actually, this is true of any club or party you go to anywhere you dont know the people you are with.

    Now, I know I have stressed the things to be wary of, but you will also have a great time. Everyone should see NY at least once. If you have enough money, it would be great if you could make advance reservations to see one of the Broadway shows (also in Manhattan). Of course there are also HUGE museums of art, Science, Dinosaurs, etc if that is your thing :-) Buy yourselves some snacks and drinks for yourselves before you get into the city so you dont have to eat out every time you're hungry there bc it will get very expensive. In fact, I suggest you take a good size cooler w/ stuff for sandwiches, etc for your roadtrip and eat out maybe once/ day or every other day if you're trying to budget. It will save you money and time from stopping off to eat. There are always grocery stores where you can get snacks, fruit, etc.

    Okay, that's all I can think of. I hope it helps :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum, Debra!

    It's always nice when people join the forum and immediately start providing very helpful and useful advice!

  5. Default Road Trip

    Thanks Midwest Michael, happy to do it :-)

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