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  1. Default Fayetteville, NC to Sacramento, CA Round trip

    So I've seen some posts on here regarding XC trips from NC to CA, but not necessarily exactly what I am inquiring about. My husband and I want to plan a trip from Fayetteville, NC to Sacramento, CA and then back. The first trip to CA will just be my Husband and I. We aren't really looking to do much sight seeing. We more just want to get there, safely and as cheap as the country will let us :-) We will be traveling in a 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander sport we just recently purchased (hence why we are being cheap). Hoping not to take too many days because of the hotel/motel stays, unless we can sleep somewhere safely, & legally, in our car.

    The second part of this trip would be going bak to NC. The twist on this would be 2 children. A soon to be 1-yr old and a 2 1/2 yr-old. Now of course bringing the little ones into the equation changes this whole trip up. We plan to take our time coming back, but not too much time.
    Any advice traveling XC with small children?

    We do have the option of flying, it's just the amount of time we will spend visiting CA, having our own car is so essential, but not necessary. Hmm, after writing this out, I think flying sounds better?!

    But I would love any advice anyone has to offer! Anything from routes, time spent driving each day, miles to cover each day, going thru certain states (such as tornado areas), traveling with small children, places to stay, etc.

    I know I will have to do my own homework! Also, these trips will take place in mid-July to mid-August.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default An Approximate Cost Comparison (And Other Considerations)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Doing a quick look at the costs of flying vs driving... You'd need two round trip tickets plus one one-way for the two-year old. I think that lap babies are still acceptable, and I've assumed Charlotte to Sacramento. The best I could come up with was $1000 for all flights combined. You'd have to fly out mid-week, do all carry-on bags, and even take a red-eye back, but that's the rock bottom for flying. You'd also have to include getting to Charlotte and back, and probably parking your car at the airport for a week or so. Driving would at a minimum be around $1100 just for gas and eight nights in fairly low cost motels. Also, while you have to eat no matter what, it is more expensive to eat on the road than in your own kitchen. So, it's close to a wash as far as cost for the two modes of travel.

    This being a RoadTrip site, we tend to favor traveling by car and seeing some of America, particularly where kids are involved. But to be fair, neither of these children is old enough that they're going to remember anything about this trip, so make your decision based on what will make the adults happy. You can eat out of a cooler rather than in restaurants, and camp on occasion to keep costs down. And you'd have your own car in Sacramento. But it's just too far to try to drive this in only four days (three nights) even with two drivers. We generally recommend 550-600 miles as a daily limit on long, multi-day RoadTrips, maybe a bit less when there are kids involved and you should be stopping more often.

    As for routing if you drive, your best (fastest) route out would be to go up through Winston-Salem to I-77 north to I-64 west to St. Louis, I-70 to Kansas City, then I-29 up to I-80 which would take you the rest of the way. Coming back you could, for only a very few more miles, drop down on CA-99 to CA-58 east at Bakersfield to I-40 east all the way to Memphis, use US-78 to cut down to Birmingham, and pick up I-24 east which will bring you out on I-95 a bit south of Fayetteville. So take look at those two routes, and if the idea of seeing them appeals more to you than flying, by all means drive.


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