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  1. Default Moving to Rochester,MN from Bay Area,CA

    Hello !

    We will be relocating to Rochester,mn from Bay Area,ca in first week of December. We have planned to ship our stuff and
    drive our car to Rochester. Since, we will be traveling with our children age 3 and 5 we are not too sure about it. I know that weather
    can be really bad in Nov and Dec. Can anybody who had made this kind of trip please let us know what to expect. Should we drive our car or ship it ? What would be the cost in both options.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Drive, of Course!

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I think you knew before asking our opinion what advice we'd give you. This is a RoadtTrip site after all! But as a grandfather who has seen the wonder in my grandchildren's eyes when I take them on RoadTrips, and as someone who's own fondest memories of childhood come from RoadTrips taken with my own parents and siblings, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to take this opportunity to show your own kids some of the most stunning parts of the country.

    That said, here are some basic caveats and bits of advice. You will need a minimum of five days for this trip to be enjoyable. One or two more days wouldn't hurt and could be devoted entirely to seeing some of the amazing sites along the way. Plan on stopping several times each day at some of the smaller venues to give the children some time to run and play, and to see something other than the inside of the car. As you can see, you shouldn't plan on covering more than about 400-450 miles on a 'good' day, no matter what some software based mapping routine will tell you. For this to be fun and memorable, you're going to have to take your time. Finally, keep a day in reserve just in case you run into some bad weather. That way, you can just pull up for a day and relax at a motel rather than taking chances on the road. Let your kids enjoy the (hopefully indoor) pool and/or watch TV, while you just relax and let the road crews do their professional job.

    I have no idea what shipping the car would cost, but probably the lowest cost option would be a 'drive away' company that will match up someone who wants a free ride from the Bay area to near Rochester and would be willing to drive the car for you. But then you'd have the expense of 4 plane tickets and would still have to pay for meals and lodging until your new digs were ready. as a rule of thumb for two adults and two small children, sharing a single motel room each night, making liberal use of the 'free' breakfasts that come with your room, and eating as much as possible from a grocery stocked cooler rather than from fast food joints, I would think about $150/day would suffice. That would be everything but the gas. Gas, of course, will vary with whatever mileage you car gets (loaded, remember) and how far you drive in addition to the direct route, but somewhere around $500 should be in the ballpark.

    Finally, you will need to remain flexible, both as noted to be ready to sit out bad weather, but to also be set to take advantage if the weather is good. As you are progressing eastward, keep an eye on the weather forecasts as they shape up, particularly for the region including eastern Wyoming and the Great Plains. If the weather looks good, then you should cut up on US-287/WY-220/I-25/US-18 from Rawlins WY through Casper and Lusk to the Black Hills of South Dakota to show your children Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, then use I-90 to Rochester. But if the weather looks threatening, then you should stay on the Interstates and use I-80 all the way through Nebraska (where it follows the route of the old Oregon Trail) before taking I-35 north from Des Moines IA to southern Minnesota.


  3. #3


    We have not made this trip either. One thing to consider is the type of car you are using. If it is a small compact and you are crammed in like sardines then it could very well be a misserable drive.
    I would suggest a day or so of food even peanut butter and crackers ,Plus a few drinks as well as a few bottles of water,a couple of blankets and even a can or two of sterno as well as a portable heater that burns on propane, a good flashlight with extra batteries
    I was with a search and rescue team for a few years and making a trip that far anything can happen
    I can see that you would maybe run I 80 all the way yet you need to be prepared for an emergency. I keep some of these items in my car and truck year round and in texas summer gets hot
    To save cost and maybe see something new check some of the smaller towns that you will be traveling,you can call the police,fire depts or the city hall and ask for motels that are more in town and off the interstate. Traveling I 15 and I 70 we found very nice rooms for as low as 36.00(cash) 39.00 (with card) a night nothing fancy but you are sleeping showering and going on down the road. We stayed at several off the beaten path and found internet service was faster than at the name brand motels,the breakfast that most of the more well known places serve is usually more than what you would pay for a good meal at a fast food place.The less know places may have been a mile of the interstate and ata glance you may take them as shoddy and run down,keep in mind they are old established places but inside the room is as good a bead as you can ask for.
    One place had three king sized beds,microwave,coffee pt ,fridge cable tv and interneat for 58.00 a night plus tax a nice plush room can't ask for more than that yep mile off the interstate
    Do the same with fuel look ahead and find places in your route that will have cheaper gas just off the Interstate or at the next exit
    We just went thru Utah and at one exit gas was 4.10 a gallon the very next exit it was 3.79 a gallon the difference is that was the first gas station sign and not knowing if another was down the road people would pull in and pay the higher price.I would not let the gas tank run low at about 3/8 of a tank I would fill up again. There is a lot of open nothing for miles road to travel. I 80 may not be that way.We found gas as high as 5.00 a gallon so was able to pass it by others were not as fortunate.
    AS AZBuck stated be sure and watch the weather and do not try to run more than 400 miles or so a day with the kids.(I would have to say age will be a factor as well) being young and having to stay in a car seat or something then those little legs dangling down can go to sleep and cut ff circulation to the feet keep that in mind.
    The wife and I ran from Dallas Texas to Farmington New Mexico we did stop a couple of times for sightseeing and fuel. This was 847 miles and it took us 2 hours plus longer than all the maps and road assistence stuff says it would.
    I would sign up for a road side service of some sort that wiil get you room discounts and free towing,your car insurance tow package is not usually good for breakdowns .Some phone services has a package as well
    Hope this helps post back if you have more questions maybe we can help

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