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  1. #1

    Default LA to NY in 5 days

    Hi

    I am travelling to USA in Dec and driving across for approx. 6 weeks. I am planning to arrive in US on Dec 23 and have accommodation booked in NY on the 28th, i do not have any specific accommodation on the way. What would be the best possible route (coming from Australian summer, i would prefer to avoid as much snow as i can). I have planed a route from LA > Flagstaff > Albuquerque > Fort Smith > Knoxville > Philadelphia. I am open to suggestions if i should make any specific changes to the trip, as i'll look up accommodation as i go, and what road side attractions can i visit around the route.

    I am also looking to buy a GPS navigator as renting that with a car is way too much that buying one. Can i purchase it anywhere in or near LAX.

    Cheers

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

    Default You won't have time for sightseeing.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Driving from LA to NYC is five long days under the best of conditions. From your post I get the feeling that you will be hitting the road the moment you arrive at LAX. Not a wise idea, after a long haul flight. No matter how capable you think you are, your body will not be in tune with your new surroundings.

    With Bathurst on this weekend, it is a good time to remember that that is exactly what Peter Brock did, and we all know what so tragically happened to him. Unless you are confident that you are a more experienced driver than he was, I would highly recommend that you hit the road, 24 hours after landing at LAX.

    When driving this route in Dec we highly recommend that you leave a day for some wiggle room, in case of adverse weather. That's when you get off the road and wait until the road is cleared, before continuing.

    Satnavs are widely available, but if you have one here, why not take it and just buy the US maps?

    Lifey

  3. #3

    Default

    The trip was planned in a hurry and i see that i have less time to drive, we are 4 people so i am confident that we can make our way at least 4 - 7 hours out of LA without any hassles. I have had trips in Aus where i have driven 12+ hours straight on the eastern coastline. But this is one main reason why i want to book accommodations as we go, see how far can i get out of LA. Plus i am hoping for (fingers crossed) less traffic due to christmas not that far from our landing.

    I dun really use Satnavs here, its mostly follow the road signs or use google maps on the phone. I do intend to get a phone but dun wanna use internet data on it as that can be very expensive.

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

    Default Paper maps.

    Make sure you take your automobile club - RACV, NRMA, etc. - membership with you. This entitles you to free good maps and tourist information from the AAA. Very worthwhile having, especially if you have others in the car who can look things up for you. Do not be tempted to rely solely on electronics. I did not document, but I should have, how often mine took me to a wrong address; along a questionable route. Check out this thread.

    Picking up accommodation along the way will not be a problem, at that time of year. Look out for hotel/motel discount booklets at rest areas and truck stops. I wouldn't count on there being less traffic, because of the holidays. Likely to be more traffic, as folk go and visit family. Especially in LA... and even on a Sunday.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Worth it ?

    If you are in the US for 6 weeks why are you planning on shooting straight across country ? I doubt that you have just done a long haul flight either, when you have undertaken these 12 hour drives ? A 12 hour drive by itself is not so much a problem, but arriving tired staright off an International flight with your body clocks out of zinc and then driving a long distance is not so good, then having to get up and do long drives for the next 4 days while hoping the weather stays fair, is a different ball game altogther. You will also do well to get to Flagstaff in 10 hours by the time you clear customs and pick up your car.

    Why not alter your lodging dates in NY and give yourselves a little more time for the drive. Arriving a couple of days later will still see you there in time for New years eve [?] and allow you to arrive safely and a lot fresher. If that's not an option I would simply fly to New York and spend time in LA and/or Vegas for a few days.

    Good luck !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default the point?

    I have to agree that I just don't see the point of try to race across the country, just minutes after getting a flight from halfway around the globe.

    If I'm understanding correctly that you are hoping to get from LA to Flagstaff on the same day you arrive after such a flight? I can't even begin to express just how bad of an idea that would be. Is it really worth it to risk your lives and the lives of other people on the road - right around christmas no less - because of a hotel reservation on the other side of the continent?

    Even going 4-7 hours from LA, which won't get you anywhere near Flagstaff, is still way too dangerous to even consider after a flight from down under. I could see driving out to the eastern edge of the LA area (say near the Ontario Airport, around where I-10 and I-15 meet), but heading from there east, into the desert where you'll have very few services and more than 2 hours between options for hotels is a very, very bad idea.

    The reality is that having 4 drivers isn't going to make it easier for you to make this drive, because you'll all be in the exact same condition of jetlag and exhaustion. Its also a very flawed thought that it will be easier to make this drive around Christmas - in fact, it could very easily be worse, as you'll be sharing the road with thousands of people traveling for the holidays.

    Its also far from a sure thing that you'll see good weather. Flagstaff is at an elevation of 7,000 feet and certainly can - and does see plenty of snow in December. From there all the way to New York, you will have the chance of seeing snow and ice, which could additionally create even more problems for a plan that's already pushing the limits of what's possible. Simply put, there is no route from LA to NY where winter weather can be avoided, but there is no way of knowing what kind of weather you'll be looking at until you get here.

    I very much agree with Dave that you really need to plan for this drive to take more time, and if you won't change your hotel reservation, then flying is really the route you should be looking at.

    You do have time to make this trip by car if you're open to arriving in NY at a later date, but you need to go back to the drawing board and redo what you've already admitted was a plan that was slapped together, and come up with something that better reflects the rules of reality.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I also don't see the point of racing across the country - you are going to be here for 6 weeks but you need to get from LA to NYC in 5 days? If you want to see some scenery, why don't you take Amtrak (the train)? I assume you want to be in NYC for New Year's celebrations - you don't need a car in NYC. You didn't say what you would be doing for the rest of the 6 weeks, but it would make more sense to rent a car when you are ready to leave NYC for the rest of the time.

    Amtrak - train leaves LA at 6:15pm 12/24 (or 12/25), arrives NYC at 6:35pm 12/27 (or 12/28). Fare is $212.00. 6 hour layover in Chicago, change trains. Even for 4 people, that's going to be cheaper than the car rental with one way dropoff charge, petrol, and hotel stays.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback, does give a better understanding on what i can expect there on the road. As far as delaying the trip is concerned i can only delay the by 1 day, as i plan to catch up with my brother in NYC who is leaving on the 30th back to Canada (he is under 21 not allowed in clubs in USA). My plan for the rest of the trip is to spend entire January, driving from NYC to LA back (east coast and southern border) and have more of a scenic route, see a bit of US nightlife and a few Meuseums in DC. I intend to leave NYC by the 3rd and arrive in LA by 28th, then from there i plan to drop the car and take a bus to Vegas for my and a mates birthday and back to Aus by 8th feb.

    I can skip through the sight seeing on the way to NYC in the beginning i wanted to add some only if was possible, but i have to cover this leg in 5 (max 6 days only if weather causes an issue). I feel confident with driving as the flight will not be a big issue as i have a 15 hour layover in fiji (only 9 hours from there) and can relax in Fiji. I have driven in much worse (traffic conditions) in India after a 15 hour direct flight from Aus to New Delhi, so driving wise i am confident that i will make my way if not to flagstaff at least 4 - 5 hours east of LA and look for some accommodation around there.

    Great advise from Lifemagician, i am looking to get an atlas or a detailed map to see and familiarize myself with routes to take for travel. Cities i wish to visit are Phili, DC, Miami, New Orleands, hoover dam, san fran, and drop the car in LA on 1st feb in the avo.

    What sort of attractions can i expect to see around these areas. Also i have heard about this place in texas somewhere where you if you can eat a massive steak and potatos and salad and other stuff in under an hour its all free. I wanna visit that place for sure.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    driving wise i am confident that i will make my way if not to flagstaff at least 4 - 5 hours east of LA and look for some accommodation around there.
    The problem with that is that 4-5 hours outside of LA puts you in the middle of the Mojave Desert, where you're not likely to find a hotel. I get the impression you are massively underestimating the distances you are trying to cover. LA to Flagstaff is a solid 8 hour drive, in the best of conditions.

    Your confidence in your ability to do major long haul drives while jetlagged after long flights is a little scary. Long haul driving through remote areas while fatigued is simply an entirely different kind of challenge than the intense urban experience of driving in India. Lifey's previous reference to the legendary racer whose lost his life in a crash due in large part to fatigue and jet lag are perfectly on point, especially for those who don't think anything could happen to them.

    The place with the 72 oz steak challenge is the Big Texan in Amarillo. Note, its also $72 if you don't complete the entire meal within an hour.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default It's not the same!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Long haul driving through remote areas while fatigued is simply an entirely different kind of challenge than the intense urban experience of driving in India.
    As well as that, flying from anywhere in Oz to India only traverses a couple of time zones, and has nowhere near the jetlagging affect that the flight to LA has, which crosses something like half the clock.

    If this were me, I would seriously look at glc's suggestion of the Amtrak. I have actually travelled on this train, which is comfortable, a great lounge and dining car as well as snack bar. It will get you to NYC cheaper, quicker and safely. As well, you will be well rested to enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-04-2012 at 06:34 PM. Reason: more thoughts

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