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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,127

    Default

    A tip to save on off-net ATM fees - go buy something at Walmart, and if you pay with your debit card you can get up to $100 cash back with no service charge.

    I try to have no less than $100 and no more than $200 cash on me when I travel. I try to keep an assortment of small bills because even if I use my credit/debit card in a restaurant I prefer to leave a cash tip. I usually don't bother using the card for purchases or meals much under 20 bucks.

    If you are not a member, join AAA.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,645

    Default AAA membership

    If you are not already a member of AAA, I would highly recommend you join before your trip. And not just for the free maps you can get. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind. You never know when you may need them.

    Let's hope you don't!

    Lifey

    Edit: I see glc was thinking the same as I was typing.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I was going to get a AAA membership, but with my car I get free roadside assistance anywhere in the US for the first 36,000 miles, so I think I'm covered.

    But aside from the "getting help if I need" it aspect, is there anything AAA really pays off with? I know you get maps and discounts on certain stuff at certain businesses but it seems like AAA doesn't have anything super unique to it (at least that I can find).

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,645

    Default

    No! There is no further benefit, in joining AAA.

    Lifey

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,579

    Default

    I'll be honest, if you have roadside assistance, I wouldn't get AAA.

    I do have it, but really its only because I've got high mileage cars, I drive a lot, and a year of membership costs a little less than a single tow, so its basically cheap insurance. The roadside coverage really is the only reason I have it.

    I really find their other benefits to be at best marginally useful. I rarely take advantage of the AAA discount at hotels and similar places, simply because I can almost always find a better deal through other means. "Free" maps are nice, but I can buy a lot of them for $70, and I really think their other tour books are basically worthless.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Excellent. sounds like i will skip the AAA since i have roadside assistance.

    another question (my apologies on the 20 questions. more like 20,000...) i have is, has anyone driven through Nebraska? i hear (from everyone seemingly) that it's the most boring state to travel through and that it makes a trip feel much longer than necessary.

    is this true?

    oddly enough i've also heard North Dakota doesn't have much to see (almost seeing no cars for long stretches) but people seem to enjoy that drive, so i'm curious as to why Nebraska gets all the hate?

    Google maps has a few different "main" ways to get to Oregon, and i was going to likely take North Dakota on the way there, but don't want to take the exact same way back, and on the way back, one route is possibly through Nebraska. i enjoy scenic driving and quite, lonely highways, so i think Nebraska would be a good fit for me, but some info from those who have traveled it would be nice!

    cities i'd be going through / passing are: Lexington, Grand Island, Lincoln, and Omaha.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,645

    Default That's up to you!

    Boring is a state of mind, not a place, route, road or highway. These States and routes will be to you, what you decide they will be.

    When I drive those long stretches through those beautiful and serene States, without all the busy traffic, I take the opportunity to reflect on what is around me. The farms and ranches which feed so much of America (and the world). What would we do without them? The folk who live there often isolated from the services we city folk expect at our fingertips. I think of the pioneers who came before them, and how they must have struggled without any support services at all. I imagine the early explorers travelling over this land, not knowing what was over the next hill. And I think of how the North American natives lived off this land for centuries before white settlement.

    And then I hear others call that boring. To me it is a lesson in History, Geography, Geology and every so much more. Especially if you have time to stop off at some of the visitor centres in the small towns. They will tell you all about their little corner of the world.

    Enjoy.

    Lifey

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    51

    Default

    howdy folks.

    looking at Google Maps for the full round trip it tells me this:

    4,791 miles
    drive time: 3 days 10 hours

    the drive there will be going through northern states (MN, ND, MT, ID (barely), WA, and OR) and then on the way back i'll be driving through NV, UT, WY, NE, IA and then back home in Wisconsin.

    so, adding in getting lost / confused. stops. out of the way attractions and traffic and other stuff, i'm preparing mentally to be driving a total of 5 days and probably another 1,500 - 2,000 miles (depending just how lost i get haha). i have 10 days, leaving August 17th at about 5 or 6 am and returning home sometime Sunday August 26th. i'd like to be home by about 4 or 5 pm so i can unpack, settle in and get some sleep before going back to work the next day, but if get home around 7 or 8. oh well.

    last few days i've been figuring out rough estimate areas of when to get gas (every 250-300 miles or so. never getting down past 1/4 tank!) and when to stop and get a hotel. also debating if i should get hotel reservations NOW or a bit later... i worry if i make "restrictions" then i kind of force myself into a corner, which seems no fun. but either does driving 12 hours and then having nowhere to sleep properly! so we'll see..

    original idea was spend the first night in Fargo, ND since it's about 10-12 hours from home and then the next night in Billings, MT and then somewhere in WA or OR before heading to Bandon. i'd really like getting to Bandon by the 21st. spending a day or at least 10 or so hours around there and then continuing on.

    Bandon is the "destination" but i certainly won't be able to spend a whole lot of time there, which i understand and know full well. the purpose of this road trip is to just experience the open road on my own and venture out to see what's out there not to necessarily see one specific thing.

    i recently bought a Garmin Nuvi 1450T GPS (my first) with lifetime maps and traffic off amazon (brand new, i never buy electronics used) which will be here by the 20th so i can test it out and see how it handles before the trip. after reading about 4,000 reviews for every type of GPS this one seemed the most solid and contained what i really wanted, so i hope it's worth it.

    i should note one addition to the miles is that i want to drive the "A Pacific Northwest Passage" scenic drive in Oregon (from Portland up to Astoria, down to Florence following the coast). without it, i'm only saving 3 hours, so in the long run i think i'll be pissed if i skip it. and aside from hitting Astoria, the rest is on my way anyway, so i think i'll be good.

    my plan has also been to increase gas to $1,000 just in case (no idea how expensive other states will be, especially with taxes on food and stuff), $800 for hotels, $400 for souvenirs and whatnot and $250-$300 for food. of course, if i do stop for food, i want to hit some restaurants that i've never eaten at before, so who knows what prices will be.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    7,937

    Default Fantasy land.

    looking at Google Maps for the full round trip it tells me this:

    4,791 miles
    drive time: 3 days 10 hours
    You know that's impossible in the 'real world', right ? It would take a bare minimum of 8 days to travel that distance and that adding another 1500-2000 miles would be another 3 days of driving. When Google maps says 3 days and 10 hours for a trip like this, it is in 'Fantasy land' where you never have to sleep, fill with gas or even eat. You need a perfect run with no traffic or road construction delays.

    I don't know of any human or vehicle that could travel at almost 60mph continuously for 82 hours without stopping, that's what would required to match Googles estimate. Just to be clear, if you add another 1750 miles to the 4791 miles, you will be driving 12 hours a day for 10 days.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    You know that's impossible in the 'real world', right ? It would take a bare minimum of 8 days to travel that distance and that adding another 1500-2000 miles would be another 3 days of driving. When Google maps says 3 days and 10 hours for a trip like this, it is in 'Fantasy land' where you never have to sleep, fill with gas or even eat. You need a perfect run with no traffic or road construction delays.

    I don't know of any human or vehicle that could travel at almost 60mph continuously for 82 hours without stopping, that's what would required to match Googles estimate. Just to be clear, if you add another 1750 miles to the 4791 miles, you will be driving 12 hours a day for 10 days.
    Dave, those miles were for round trip and I am fully expecting 12 hour driving days for all 10 days of the trip.

    I was planning on driving 3 hrs at a shot. Stopping for a meal. The driving another 3-4 hrs a pop. Stop after about 12 hours DRIVE TIME and get a hotel, sleep 7-8 hours and continue on.

    That leaves me with 12 hours driving, 7-8 sleeping, 4-5 "other".

    I know you "veterans" of the road may scoff or whatnot, but I think its doable.

    And if I'm 4 days out and exhausted or whatever or nowhere close to Oregon well I can always turn around and start heading home but still enjoy the journey!

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