Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default 21 Year old looking for a adventure.

    I've been looking around these forums for a few days now and just decided to join as I have a ton of interest in Road Tripping. Sorry for this being long too :/

    Some background, I'm a 21 year old junior in College in South Florida but home is Tampa, Florida. I've lived in Florida my whole life and have only been to different parts of the country a few times. So, why do I want to road trip? I'll be graduating in 2013 and I have plans to leave Florida and live somewhere else, getting a job and possibly graduate school. The main place I've been looking into is California. I have never been there but feel as though, from what I've seen, I would love it. But how am I going to know where I want to get a job until I've seen places. I think the best time to plan a trip would be summer between my Junior and Senior year, this time would be between May-August. My start destination would be Tampa, Florida. I do not mind to see sights, unless it works in my favor and I have time. Also, I need this trip to be as budget friendly as possible, meaning some nights I plan to sleep in my truck.

    Goal: To explore California and check out some cool sights on the way
    Start Destination: Tampa, Florida
    Ending Destination: Tampa, Florida
    Once I get to Cali: I'd like to drive up around the coast and checking out the main cities in California including-
    San Diego
    LA
    Santa Barbara
    San Fran
    Time: I believe I'd like to do this Road Trip in 2 weeks:14 days. I would like to take my time in Cali.

    Questions I have -

    I have thought about flying into California and renting a car.
    Pros: Saves Time, Maybe Money(haven't worked that out yet)
    Cons: Im 21(some rental places don't rent to 21 year olds), I wouldn't be able to see Arizona or all the cool states on the way.
    Do you think flying and renting would be better for my goals?

    If I were to drive from FL, which way would be best to come back (from North Cali)?

    Honestly, what I'm looking for is some insight to what other people think. I was talking to one of my professors and he said to me "how do you know where you want to live if you've never explored." I'm young, have no strings to hold me back and feel that now is the time. Please feel free to give me some input or advice, ask questions, or even tell me I'm stupid and I'm not ready to do this. Thanks guys.

    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default My first thoughts.

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    No, you're not stupid at all. Seems quite sensible to go check out the places where you may want to move. The pros and cons of driving as opposed to flying is something you will need to work out, taking into consideration time and budget. My way of thinking is...

    Not only will driving give you an opportunity to see some of the magnificent States and sites along the way, but it will give you more insight into more places to which you may consider moving. Driving straight through is not going to give you much of a feeling as to what the place is like to live in. If you can manage it budget wise, I would highly recommend taking as much time as you can afford, and stopping in places, rather than just passing through.

    There are many roadtrip budgeting tips on this site. There is even a complete forum devoted to saving money on a road trip.

    As for sleeping in the truck, make sure you only do that in campgrounds or at truckstops which make recreational vehicles welcome. I have seen people put up a tent in the back of their truck. And once I drove a truck across the country. It had a bench seat in the cab, and since I am not a very tall person, was most comfortable sleeping in it.

    Hostels are another great option as are campgrounds, some of which are quite cheap. You only need the basics, tent and sleeping bag.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Not Here

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I seriously doubt that you'll find anyone on these forums that will try to dissuade you from exploring the country. I certainly started my own cross-country adventures at about the same age you are and for much the same reasons. There are, however, a few practicalities and differences from 'back in the day' that must be taken into account. The two most critical to your plan are the amount of time it takes to drive that many miles and the changes in the cultural, safety, and legal aspects of just sleeping in your vehicle at random. It's going to take you five solid days to get from Tampa to the west coast, and five days back, I-10 would work one way, with I-8 for the last segment into San Diego, and I-5, CA-58, I-40, US-287. I-20, US-49, US-98, and I-10 would get you home from San Francisco. As a general rule, I'd suggest state parks as a good low cost place to camp and at least stretch out a good bit better than you can in the cab of a truck. You can also try truck stops, but they'll be considerably noisier and it is customary to at least buy something, such as a meal or shower, and let them know you'll be in their parking lot overnight. You'll find that it's illegal to spent the night sleeping in most roadside 'rest' areas, and for good reason. It's simply no longer safe to do so. An unconscious sleeper makes a perfect target for a mugging or worse.

    Until you're 25, I'm afraid that you'll find renting a car a fairly expensive proposition with the 'underage' driver fees. Those would quickly eat up any 'savings' you might realize by flying. So just understand that with only two weeks, your time in California is going to be limited to a few days, and use the time you'll spend getting there and back to explore the other regions of the country in between.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Add a week ?

    Good advice from Buck and Lifey. My immediate reaction was that taking an extra week to do the trip by road would still be cheaper than purchasing return flight tickets and renting a vehicle for an under 25 year old. I think you have too little time to drive and take an in-depth look at a possible new base in California, and to make it 'fun' along the way.

    In short, I would make it at least a 3 week trip and take a slightly easier approach to the road trip to have time to visit those cool places along the way and still have more time exploring California. It could be a great opportunity to visit the Grand canyon if taking I40 one way, also to take a couple of days to drive the amazing section of the coast Highway around Big Sur between SF and LA. If you were to do this and had the time, it will also be worth considering heading to SF first and then south to SD, putting the Oceanside pull outs on your side of the road.

    I would also be thinking about heading out Mid May into early June before the peak crowds and high desert temps arrive.

  5. Default

    Wow, Buck, Lifey, Dave...great advice and honestly perfect for what I was looking for at this point in my research. I'm still discovering more tips and tricks of Road Tripping on this sight, and you guys pointed a lot out to me. I don't mind adding the extra week, as long as it is between the time listed, so three weeks could work. I thought renting a car would be tough at my age, and like you stated Lifey, I would miss all the cool states and sights on the way, so looks like I'll be driving. As for the sleeping in my truck part, I'm short enough to fit in the back laying down. I drive a double cab long bed toyota tacoma. I will also bring a bed tent, sleeping bag, etc. For sleep safety it would be either camp grounds or truck stops for sure. In the next coming weeks I will start a more in-depth planning as to roads to take and places to see.

    Also, like Dave stated do you think it would be better to start in North California and drive south? I think that would be a good idea and better for me.

    Could you guys list some other sights, or I guess roads that would help give me the feel of the other states I would be driving through?

    Is there any type of log (of roads and stops etc) that maybe you guys or other people have made similar to the journey I plan to take?

    Thanks so much again guys, I'm learning so much and you guys are really putting it into perspective for me. I want to really have this journey planned on so that I don't run into trouble or problems anywhere, but I would like to be spontaneous as well, so if I see something that might interest me on the drive, I can go check it out!

    Matt

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

    Default Resources

    Matt, here are some additional resources.

    If you are not already a member, membership of a roadside service such as AAA is a good idea. A small insurance you hope you'll never need. AAA also has excellent maps and camping books which are free to members. It is worth having a map of every State and most urban centres through which you may consider passing. (Don't be tempted to rely solely on your GPS.)

    The Truck Stop directory lists those truck stops which welcome overnight parking for RV vehicles. Just park with the RVs.

    For hostels, check out this site.

    You may also find this site useful.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Roads Less Traveled

    While the Interstate Highway System does a remarkable job of moving a large volume of traffic at a fairly high speed and in relative safety, it does so at a modest cost that is not its fault. Unfortunately that high volume of traffic is an irresistible target for the chain gas stations, fast food joints and low- to mid-cost motels that make any exit ramp virtually indistinguishable from any other. However, it is still possible to get more of a 'local' feel for the country you'll be passing through, and for the people you'll be traveling amongst, by spending most of your time on the sections of the old interstate US highway system that travels between the parallel lines of the major Interstates.

    What you want to look for are semi-major US highways. Most of the major transcontinental routes such as US-90, US-80, and the like have either been replaced by or duplexed with the Interstate System. But most of the (only slightly) less major roads are still out there. Some, in fact, provide long distance travel through the heartland while still doing a remarkable job of avoiding the traffic hassles of large cities. Roads that you should take a look at include US-84 across southern Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; US-190 through Louisiana and south Texas; US-70 and US-60 in Arizona; and CA-62. They might cost you a little bit in terms of driving time, but if you can add a week to your travel time, they are well worth it.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Couchsurfing

    Matt, here is something which may be right up your alley. It is a great way to get to know the locals.

    Couchsurfing works best if you make an effort between now, and when you go on your trip, to build up some references, get yourself verified and create an interesting and honest profile. I far prefer this to any other accommodation, whenever I can find someone in the area where I will be travelling. It is usually appreciated if you reward your host in some way, be it with a small gift or bunch of flowers, or be it by offering to cook a meal, do the dishes or clean the bathroom.

    See if you can establish contacts during the months leading up to your trip, in those areas where you think you may be travelling/staying.

    And even though right now you may not be in a situation to host travellers, build up references by meeting up with other couchsurfers in your area and attending couchsurfing functions.

    It is a great community... not just a night's free accommodation... and by far the best way to get to know the locals, wherever you travel.

    Here is a field report of a couple who used couchsurfing quite a bit on a recent trip.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default One step up

    Or you can look at the Air B & B approach -- stay with local families and get bed and breakfast services. Some of the places listed in this service really appeal to me!

    Mark

  10. Default

    Again, great resources guys. All the links posted should help me out a ton as I plan for this trip. In the coming months I plan to plan my trip, by days, stops, camps and all the good stuff. Once I have the basis of my trip, I'll post back up here and see what you guys think! Thanks for all the help guys, and I'll talk to you soon and keep everyone updated!

    Matt

Similar Threads

  1. Nj to ca adventure!
    By Holmes in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-10-2009, 12:00 PM
  2. A year in the life: A year travelling (INDEX)
    By UKCraig in forum Chasing Cars: The World Tour
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-18-2009, 04:40 AM
  3. Our big adventure...
    By lentonfamily in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-14-2009, 06:24 PM
  4. Biggest adventure of the year-plz help me get it off the ground!
    By Ross Phillips in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-26-2004, 02:34 PM
  5. Looking for an Adventure
    By Stan Lee in forum Share the Gas
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-11-2003, 08:11 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES