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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Woodbury, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Minnesota to California.

    I'm planning a solo roadtrip from Minnesota to California in late December. Approximately how long would this take?

    What should I bring for the trip? How should I plan for road conditions? Are there any good resources/sites?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Assuming by California you mean San Francisco or LA, you're looking at a 4 day drive in good conditions. Of course, in winter, it is entirely possible that you'd see some slowdowns or other weather delays that could force you to add a day or so to the travel.

    RTA's Article on Safe Winter Driving is a good place to get started in terms of planning for the trip, including items to bring and other resources and things to consider.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Woodbury, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks, yup from Twin Cities to San Francisco.
    How many hours a day on the road would a 4 day drive be? How can I cut down costs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    A 4 day drive would be about 9 hours a day on the road, leaving time for a few short breaks along the way each day. If you are in a rush, you could probably do it in 3.5 days, but you need to plan to spend 3 nights in motels on the road.

    As far as costs, it depends upon your overall plan. The basic costs are going to be pretty fixed. You'll have fuel, lodging, and food. Fuel you can save a bit by keeping your speed down, thus getting better gas mileage. Lodging, you can get discounts by shopping online (including using links on the right side of this page) or using coupon books you'll find at truck stops and rest stops along the interstate. Food, you can save by bringing a cooler so you can eat food from grocery stores rather than eating all of your meals in restaurants.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    That would be about 10 hours a day on the road including fuel, bathroom, and brief lunch stops, assuming you don't get slowed down significantly by weather, traffic, or construction.

    Assuming you have a smartphone and/or a laptop with wifi, use safetravelusa.com for links to real time road conditions in each state, gasbuddy.com for researching gas prices, and hotels.com for researching hotel prices. We also have hotel info here. I have both the gasbuddy and hotels.com apps on my Android. Upon entering each state, stop at the first rest area and pick up a hotel coupon book, frequently you can get walk-in rooms for under the published rates. Drive at the speed limit for the best balance between gas mileage and time on the road.

    3 evenly spaced overnights would be around Grand Island NE, Rawlins WY, and Wells/Elko NV. Take I-35 to I-80.

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