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  1. Default Road trip from Lexington, KY to Los Angeles

    Hi everyone, I will be relocating to Los Angeles next weekend, making the trip by myself. My date to check into my hotel is December 4th. I will be taking the I-40 route. I'm 21, and have never even driven out of the state by myself, let alone all the way to California. I'm very nervous! I have my map prepared and my GPS of course. My question is, when should I leave if I'm supposed to check into the hotel on Sunday Dec. 4th? I don't plan on sightseeing or stopping much, just driving and stopping at night to sleep. However, I don't want to be racing to get there. Google maps says it's 2,165 miles. If I left early on Dec. 1st would that be plenty of time? Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Just about.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Four days is really the minimum amount of time you should take for this trip, especially when considering you are a little apprehensive and it's your first big road trip. You should plan on taking regular stops to get refreshments and get a little fresh air and to move around to stretch the limbs. Eating properly and getting a good nights sleep [in a bed] is also important. As this is a marathon and not a sprint, you should pace yourself accordingly and not try to do too much too soon. You might feel you can go much further on day 1, but then might suffer for it the rest of the trip.

    To do this you should be looking for your overnight stops at; Springfield MO, Amarillo TX and Winslow AZ.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default For comfort and peace of mind.... make it a five day trip.

    Southwest Dave has highlighted one issue which, when alone is easy to overlook. And that is stopping for good wholesome meals. As well as that, make sure you drink plenty of water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad T View Post
    However, I don't want to be racing to get there. Google maps says it's 2,165 miles. If I left early on Dec. 1st would that be plenty of time?
    True this trip can be done in four long days, but I would not think of it as 'plenty of time'. Since it is your first trip, and considering not only your apprehension, but also the time of the year, you would be very wise to leave a day earlier, and make it a five day trip. It will allow you to sit out any possible adverse weather along the way, without getting stressed. And will be a buffer for any other holdup you may strike along the way.

    And as well as your GPS, make sure you have good paper maps with you. If you are a AAA member, maps are free. And if you are not a member of any roadside assistance plan, I suggest that it may be a good idea to join, before setting out on your trip. You never know how you may need them, when you are alone, and miles from anywhere.

    Have a safe trip.

    I should add that I have fond memories of a short stay in Lexington KY on my first trip, in 2001.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Another couple of pointers.

    Make sure your vehicle is up to date with it's servicing. Before hitting the road make sure all your fluids are topped up, including the washer bottle and that it contains screenwash. Tyre pressures and condition are also very important, including spare and that you have the tools to change it if needed. If you are unsure, get a competent mechanic to give it 'the once over,' where things like belts and brakes can be checked. The better shape you set out in the less chance of disruption.

    If you look for lodgings West of towns, you will miss the main work traffic heading 'in' for the day. To the top right of this page you will find the RTA reservations page where you can search for options.

    Have a great trip !

  5. Default

    Thanks for the replies. I will make this a 5 or 6 day trip instead of a 4 day like originally planned. I just dropped my car off at the shop for a complete check up and oil change. Also I'm planning on calling AAA monday because that will be comforting to have even if nothing goes wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Suggestion: if you have a AAA office locally, you might want to actually stop in there to purchase your membership. They'll give you a temporary card (and hopefully you have a mailing address to have them send the permanent card, even if it's a new work address). Plus you can pick up a load of maps for your trip, and Tour Books if you want them.

    That suggestion of putting yourself on the west side of the towns is a great one, to avoid rush hours. If you get into Winslow at a decent hour, you could peek at some of the remnants of Route 66 like the Wigwam motel.

    When checking in (or shortly thereafter), you could ask the hotel staff about the best local restaurants that are reasonably priced with great food. I know Amarillo has a couple of places - - one is the place that advertises for miles about "eat a 32 oz steak in an hour and we'll give it to you free". My husband says it's pretty good steak, too. The other is Calico Country Cafe, which serves a darn good breakfast.

    When you get to your new digs, we'd love to hear how your trip went!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    one is the place that advertises for miles about "eat a 32 oz steak in an hour and we'll give it to you free".
    That's the Big Texan. It's a 72 ounce top sirloin. If you don't finish it (you have to eat everything it comes with too), it costs you $72. For "normal" appetites, I highly recommend the ribeyes, they come in a few different sizes. The motel on the premises isn't bad either, and with a room you get a voucher for a free breakfast buffet in the restaurant. Amarillo isn't a big enough city to have major traffic issues, so it's no problem getting out of there in the morning.

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