2/3 of my friends and I are planning a large road trip for the end of this summer and I have some questions to pose for the well-traveled members of this forum. Thanks for making the resource available and thanks in advance for your help! I apologize for the length of this post!
We are all recent college graduates and share an interest in geocaching, an outdoor scavenger hunt activity that can be played almost anywhere. Our trip will take us to each of the 48 lower state capitals, where we will search for geocaches and explore for a small amount of time before moving on. Furthermore, one of our party went to college for film production. We will be filming much of this trip to cut the footage into a documentary upon our return, showing the adventure of geocaching, the beauty of the USA, and the fun we have along the way.
Here are some of my questions, I will just list them:
-I have scanned the forum and found that 10 hours/600 miles is generally accepted as the maximum safe/"comfortable" travel distance in one day...is this accurate? We have driven to Florida from NY many times, without stopping except for fuel, so we are not new to long drives, just looking for confirmation on these numbers.
-We have scoured the internet and have plotted a very efficient route to accomplish our goal. We will be starting in Long Island, NY. My issue is planning the itinerary. I am between two extreme options: a speed run, stopping in each capital only for a half hour and 8 hours a night to sleep...or the opposite, spending a night in every city we go to. A speed run isn't what we want to do. And 48 capitals = 48 nights, which would be great, but is too long of a trip. We want something in between these two extremes. How should I decide how long to stay where, and how many stops to make in a day?
-We considered avoiding interstates at times to get that back-country feel and possibly stumble across some "hidden gems", as I have seen it termed on this forum, knowing that this will make for slower travel. Good idea? If so any suggestions on which interstates to avoid and which alternate roads might be fun to drive?
Transportation is a very pressing issue for us. We all own our own vehicles, and are debating between taking one of them, renting, or buying an older vehicle for cheap to beat into the ground on the trip.
Option one is my car. It is a 2000 Honda Accord with 116k on it. It has been maintained extremely well, never been late for an oil change, no faults, driven daily. I am willing to take the car on the trip (which will total between 12000 and 14000 miles), but I am wondering if it will be able to handle the drive...anyone able to offer some insight here? Also I am wondering that barring a serious break down and obvious oil change expenses, what would a best/moderate/worst case scenario of maintenance to be done after/along the trip cost for a vehicle like this...if it is a feasible one to drive in?
Option two is one of my companions vehicles, which is a mid- 2000, also a Honda. It's also a hybrid :) The driver of this car has not decided if he wants to subject his car to this trip though, and so we cannot rely on this option at this time. If he comes around we'll take it, no question.
Option three is renting...we are all 23 however so there is an extra fee for being too young...and many (if not all) services seem to have limits in place on where you can drive and how far you can go...so this option seems to be out for us. If anyone knows more about this from experience please let me know!
Option four would be pooling some of our funds to buy a van or other vehicle solely to use on the trip. This would significantly increase the cost of the trip however, and leaves us wondering what to do with it after...etc. This would be more preferable if we were traveling for an entire summer.
This is a very long post so I apologize in advance, I hope you have survived to read this long and can help us in our planning process!! Thanks very much!