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  1. Default NY to Miami - need some guidance

    Hi, taking quick drive to drop off a car- no sightseeing. Thinking to stop 2 nights so my back survives. Maybe Florence SC (is it fairly safe- traveling alone) & st augustine (is this pricey)? Leaving saturday morning from Bklyn at 5 am- should I still expect traffic in DC? Do u think 4 hrs to DC? Is 95 easy to follow in DC? Read some posts that concerned me about getting lost. Sounds like my GPS is going to want to go on 295 (is this the BW beltway) & is it better than traffic on 95? I'm open to suggestions on my 2 overnight stops. Do u think 10 hrs to Florence SC? Then 4-5 to st Augustine then 4-5 to miami? Appreciate your comments & suggestions. Other posts are freaking me out about cops in carolinas so i wont speed. Little scared about motel being alone so plan on looking for hotel- do they have any? Someone mentioned pepper spray. Yikes! Is lodging on 95 gross? Thank you & safe travels

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you've got 3 days available, I'd skip the entire DC area by taking I-78 to I-81, then then cutting back down I-77/I-26 through the Carolina back to I-95. That detour does add about 100 miles, but avoids the most congested highway corridor in the US. Even on a Saturday morning, I'd expect some traffic delays around Baltimore and DC.

    I also wouldn't push so hard on the first day if you're taking 3 days. If you take my suggested route, I'd look to stop around Hillsville VA the first night, and then Brunswick GA or Jacksonville the second. If you stick to the I-95 route, then I'd say Fayetteville would be a better choice. Its better to keep things at an even pace than burn yourself out the first day and have two short days at the end.

    The other things you really need to remember is that everywhere is someone's hometown. Every area will have really nice hotels, and some that are run down. Its really easy to overthink things about being on the road, but most of the time, they just aren't that much different than the same rules and common sense you'd apply in your own hometown.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Allay Your Fears

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, the scariest part of the drive you're contemplating is the traffic between New York City and Washington DC. If you're used to driving in and around NYC, then you've already overcome the greatest obstacle. If you leave Brooklyn at 5:00 am, you should expect to reach the outskirts of DC around 12:30 or 1:00 depending on traffic and whether you take any short breaks on the way. Traffic should not be too bad on the Beltway at that hour. I would suggest that you take I-895 through the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore. This connects with I-95 at both ends and is just a 'saner' alternative to the Fort McHenry tunnel on I-95. There's less traffic and fewer entrances/exits. Then in Washington you have your choice of going around the city to either the east or west. In either case, you'd use the Washington Beltway, I-495. If you approach the city on I-95 from the north, I'd suggest going to the west around the city - follow the signs for I-495 to Silver Spring/Bethesda rather than for I-495/I-95 to Washington/Richmond. You can go either way, and they're both roughly the same distance, but I have usually found the western way to be a bit faster and easier, especially at the main junctions.

    As for overnight stays, I make your stops to be Roanoke Rapids NC and Darien GA based on 3 equal days of driving. You should be able to find clean and safe motels near the highway in both of those locations, but if you really want more choices, then you can look at Rocky Mount NC and Brunswick GA (or even Jacksonville FL) without adding too much to any day's drive. I just don't like the idea of getting up so early on day one and then trying to force your way through to South Carolina in one long day of driving. It's more unsafe to push yourself that hard than any of the things you're worried about. As for speeding anywhere, it's simply not a good idea. I prefer to drive at the 'wave speed' of traffic. This is simply the average speed of the bulk of the cars on the road. You can tell how you're doing relative to wave speed by just counting the number of cars that pass you and that you pass over a period of a few minutes. If more are passing you, speed up by a couple of miles an hour. If you're passing more, slow down by the same amount. Once you've determined 'wave speed', settle into an open spot between clumps of cars and just enjoy having the road largely to yourself.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Check them out.

    Even as a solo traveller, there is no need to worry about staying in Motels. For one thing, you are usually a lot closer to your car, and often can keep an eye on it. Just make sure that you check the room before you commit. If you are denied, move on. (This goes for hotels as well.) The things I check, besides cleanliness, is the smoke alarm - is it operating? (An umbrella comes in handy here.) Make sure the door has a lock which cannot be opened from the outside, such as the chain lock. If all is well, there is no reason why you should have anything to worry about.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I used to drive from nyc to plattsburg (near montreal) drop my child at college, eat & drive back home. Each way was 5-6 hrs so i thought i could make it to SC before dark & get a real good rest. My daughter was a victim of a push in motel robbery in Raleigh so that's why i'm concerned about area i stay in. That & the traffic in DC - hate standing still in traffic. Can't believe it's gonna take 6 hrs to get to DC. Oh well- i have my ipod with different types of music (fast, normal & talk programs). Also from the posts i've read DC seems confusing & don't want to waste time getting lost. Thanks again for your comments.

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

    Default

    Florence is roughly the halfway point of your trip, and if you want to push that hard to get there, you could. Its on the upper edge of how far we recommend for a day of travel, but it wouldn't be a bad choice, especially if you were trying to make this trip in 2 days.

    However, since you've got the 3 days available, I just think you'll find your whole trip a lot more enjoyable if you pace yourself, keeping all of your days at a moderate length, rather than pushing very hard on day one and then having 2 easy days (that probably won't feel as easy after that long day). I'd say that's especially true when you are starting your first day before dawn, and will be dealing with the section of your trip most likely to see a lot of traffic delays.

    As far as hotels, it really is a case of using your best judgement. Every city is going to have nice ones, and undesirable ones, but it's usually not too hard to tell the difference. And of course, practicing smart safety, like using the chain type lock that can only be opened from the inside, will keep you safe the vast majority of the time.

  7. #7

    Default

    If taking I-95, get off after the Delaware Bridge onto 13 south and connect to US301 in Middletown, DL. It's a nice 4-lane route, bypasses Baltimore and connects with the Beltway near Annapolis. Annapolis is worth the stop, too.

    GF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Good to see.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Great to see you drop by to give some suggestions with your first post, but sadly, this trip was almost six months ago.

    Feel free to jump in at any time with local knowledge. It is always appreciated.

    Lifey

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