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  1. Default Winter Cross Country in 2 weeks

    Hello All,
    I'm new to RTA but not new to roadtrips! A couple friends and I are planning to cross the country (starting in Philly, ending in LA) from about 3/1-3/15/12. I'm used to trips only lasting a few days, so this one will be an adventure. Had a few questions for those of you more experienced with winter travel:

    1. Is that a reasonable about of time to make the trip?
    2. We don't have many sites we'd like to see besides: Nashville, travel Rt. 66, snowboard in CO, 4 corners and the Grand Canyon in AZ. Will our time frame allow for those sites?
    3. Any tips on a national insurance company that takes care of you in a bind?
    4. In your experience how much do you spend when traveling cross country?

    Thanks in advance!
    -Jasmind

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    To answer your questions:

    1) It takes about 6 - 7 days (in good weather) to make the trip across country like that, driving 500 miles per day. So if you have 12 days to travel, you have time to stop here and there (but not for many days in a row). You need to leave a day for weather issues, as March can be wintery in some areas along your intended route.

    2) Nashville - you could stop and see a few things there. Route 66 - was decommissioned in 1977, but it's still got some remnants here and there. Most of US 66 is now I-57 (IL), I-44 (MO and OK), I-40 (OK, TX, NM, AZ and CA) and I-15 (CA). Snowboarding in CO would mean you're going to take a detour off of those routes. Others here may be able to recommend some snowboarding havens. Grand Canyon South Rim is definitely accessible.
    3. We have been exclusively State Farm customers for over 33 years. They have always taken care of us.
    4. About $150/day per person. Overnights are $50-85 (moderately priced hotels), meals about $15/person per meal, and gasoline varies (use the calculator above).

    Hope this helps!


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    most of us 66 is now i-57 (il)
    i-55........

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Entirely possible

    Hi Jasmind,

    That sounds like a nice time for that trip, which I assume is a one way trip. I have done several coast to coast trips which needed to be done in around 10 days. Decide on which places are must sees for you, and lay the trip out on a large map. Then you can see where it goes, what other attractions it passes which you may like to check out. Just remember, you can't see it all. Be sure you have the discipline to stop only at those places you plan to stop, lest you need to rush the last days. But all the places you mention should fit relatively comfortable into your time frame. And as suggested, leave a day swinging in case of adverse weather and road conditions.

    AAA has served me well, on the odd occasion that I have needed roadside assistance. And besides, you can get your free maps and accommodation guides from them. A great help along the way. (Don't be tempted to rely solely on a GPS.)

    Your major cost will be fuel... and even this you can to some extend control by driving at fuel friendly speeds (60 - 65 mph), anticipating stops and taking off gently. For accommodation, use the coupon booklets available at rest areas, welcome centres and some truck stops, to find discount hotels and motels. Ask to check the room before committing to it.

    For meals, it is often much cheaper to purchase ready to eat hot or cold food at a supermarket (such as chicken or meats, and ready made salad) and take it back to the hotel. Pack a plate, mug, and basic cutlery. And for breakfast, a box of cereal lasts many days, all it takes is to purchase a small container of milk, available almost everywhere. Most accommodation has free coffee and some even have tea. You can intersperse all this with restaurant and/or chain meals.

    Enjoy the planning.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default snowboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57
    Most of US 66 is now I-55 (IL), I-44 (MO and OK), I-40 (OK, TX, NM, AZ and CA) and I-15 (CA). Snowboarding in CO would mean you're going to take a detour off of those routes.
    There are a number of good ski/snowboarding areas in northern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado that are not too far off of that route.



    There are other ski areas around here, but most of them are a bit smaller and probably aren’t what the original poster is looking for.

  6. Default

    Thanks all! This is awesome advice! Lifey, you're correct this is a one way trip. I've started to make a loose timeline of places and pit stops. We have to keep to the schedule, so the only days we're planning to really stop and stay for a day are Nashville, and CO. Other stops will most likely be for a few hours, just to see the sights. $150/day isn't bad at all. I was thinking it might be beneficial to do light grocery shopping for snacks, and microwavable dinners/lunches when we come to pit stops or hotels, and maybe hit up diners for breakfast (because its an easy, fast, and cheap meal), or dinner if there's a "must try" restaurant.
    Also, I have heard good things about AAA but is it supplemental to your current insurance?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    a AAA membership isn't insurance (although they do sell insurance for both car and home), it is a roadside assistance plan that will provide towing if you have a breakdown, as well as discounts on things like auto repairs, hotels, etc. They also can provide maps and other planning books and help.

    However, I'm a little confused by your questions about this and insurance. If this is a one way trip, I'm guessing it will be in a rental? If it is then AAA isn't really needed, since breakdowns will be covered by the rental company. Insurance is also different, as you don't get a standard auto insurance policy for a rental. If you have insurance for your own car, you'll likely have similar coverage on a rental, otherwise you'd need to purchase it either through the rental company or a third party that provides rental insurance.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Many hotels/motels have a complimentary breakfast, ranging from very basic continental to a full hot buffet.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jasmindt View Post
    Hello All,
    I'm new to RTA but not new to roadtrips! A couple friends and I are planning to cross the country (starting in Philly, ending in LA) from about 3/1-3/15/12. I'm used to trips only lasting a few days, so this one will be an adventure. Had a few questions for those of you more experienced with winter travel:

    1. Is that a reasonable about of time to make the trip?
    2. We don't have many sites we'd like to see besides: Nashville, travel Rt. 66, snowboard in CO, 4 corners and the Grand Canyon in AZ. Will our time frame allow for those sites?
    3. Any tips on a national insurance company that takes care of you in a bind?
    4. In your experience how much do you spend when traveling cross country?

    Thanks in advance!
    -Jasmind
    1. yes, i think
    2. yes, i think. put in a full 24 hours for unexpected delays.
    3. personally, i have dirt cheap car insurance, so for my cross country trip, i bought AAA (cost me $100). if you're renting a car, you can call your insurance company and see if you can add a couple things that'll cover your rental in a bind, and they *should* pro-rate the cost for you, so you don't pay for it for more than the 2 weeks you're gone.
    4. not a lot; i'm un-high-maintenance. i usually stay at KOAs (www.koa.com), will tent-car-camp in warmer/dryer weather, and will cabin in colder/wetter weather. think outdoor motel with clean bathrooms, usually free wifi, and a common room to lounge on a sofa/play pool in. i actually like them a lot, and they're significantly cheaper than hotels/motels. 20/night if in a tent, 40-80/night if in a cabin (depends on location; los angeles will cost you more than podunkville). i also like to, when i have the willpower, make my own food. small camp stove, one pot, one skillet, a small cooler, and the planning/ingredients (pit stops at wal mart when needed) necessary to make that work. think oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, chili or pasta for dinner, and fruit/jerky/trail mix for snacks between. saves a lot of money, and i happen to think it tastes better than fast food on the road for the most part.

    i did a two week, round-trip road trip, with my preferences above, for ~$945 in gas (a corolla), ~$375 in lodging (3 nights crashed with friends), and about $150 for food. i had a second person with me on the way back, so i adjusted my totals to reflect just me, roughly. that means i did it for about 1,500, not including the AAA (100), and a couple other miscellaneous things (like the $80 national parks pass i bought).

  10. Default

    To clear up the insurance question:
    My friend is in the process of getting a national insurance provider, I just wanted to get a feel for a company that anyone has had a great experience with. I take it since most people here travel quite a bit, that factored into what company might be a little more reliable given the situation.
    We plan to stay with as many friends and acquaintances a long the way to cut down on hotel costs. Has anyone used hostels on a consistent basis?

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