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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hazel Park, Michigan, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Detroit-Los Angeles ...Roadtrip Newbies

    Hello!

    I was so excited to find this forum! A friend and I are planning a move to Los Angeles this Fall (Either September or October). Currently, we do not have any concrete plans but we do know that we want to move majority of our things plus one car through a mover. So far, we received a quote that it will cost 3000 to move our things and roughly a grand a car. (We are still looking around for quotes while trying to figure out a less costly route) My friend thinks that it will be cheaper to drive one car, however, I'm nervous about the trip. More than likely we will be driving her car which is a 2008 Dodge Caliber. I have a 2011 Ford Fiesta, which is good on the road however it sits really low and I am worried about rain/puddles and comfort. We are also planning to move things in the car as well (my Fiesta is tiny.)

    The farthest road trip that I have ever went on was a 10 hour drive with a GROUP of people. The cost was split up between 4 people. We drove a caravan with no major stops.

    As stated before it will cost up to a grand to move our car through a mover, we will also have to pay for plane ticket that will cost rough 300 (for both), and pay for a taxi to our new place. We don't plan on making any fun stops (can't afford it!). I am so scared that it might cost more than the 1200 that we will could've spent going through an actual mover. However, safety is my biggest concern being that we are two girls who can not change a tire! =)

    Here are my questions:

    What is the weather like?

    When/how often should we stop?

    At what point do we get a hotel?

    Will we REALLLLY save a lot of money?

    How long will it actually take?

    Any other suggestions, tips, and costs?

    THANKS IN ADVANCE!!! (Excuse any typos and errors please)

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

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Detroit to LA is about 2300 miles. That means you're looking at a trip that will take at least 4 days to do it safely. You really shouldn't try to do more than about 600 miles, which works out to a good 10 hours on the road, on any day. After that you should be looking to get into a hotel and rest up for the night.

    For costs, you're looking at 3 nights of hotels, so that's $150 or so, if you're staying at budget places. You'll be looking at about $400 for gas for one car. That's about $550 for the trip. You'll have to spend money on food, and while you might spend a bit more eating out while on the road, that's basically money you'd be spending either way. If you aren't doing anything else extra, those are really your only expenses. So, driving yourself should save you, at the very least, several hundred dollars.

    BTW, before spending $3000 to ship all your stuff, you might also think long and hard about the value of that stuff. It could very well be much easier and more cost effective to sell most of your stuff and just buy replacement items in California.

    You should also certainly get a AAA membership, or similar roadside coverage policy, to cover any tire changes or similar issues that could come up on the trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hazel Park, Michigan, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the reply Midwest Michael! We are both recents graduates so most of the things that we are bringing is fairly new. I have calculated that it will cost us the same amount if we replace everything (We have two new bedroom sets and a new couch). Right now we, have the basics for each room. Everything we don't have now we will/buy later.

    That price looks good if we can find affordable places to rest (One night at a hotel is usually 150)! Also, I am glad you mentioned mileage because I was originally thinking we can do 7 hours each and then rest! My roommate was thinking 10 hours each. So, basically we now just need to figure out where when going to stop and where to find good hotel prices!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Derrecka Ellis View Post
    That price looks good if we can find affordable places to rest (One night at a hotel is usually 150)!
    No, you misunderstood. You can usually find a budget room for about $50 a night, so $150 would be for your entire trip.

    Also, I am glad you mentioned mileage because I was originally thinking we can do 7 hours each and then rest! My roommate was thinking 10 hours each. So, basically we now just need to figure out where when going to stop and where to find good hotel prices!
    Yeah, you can't do 14 hours a day in a car and be a safe driver, and you certainly can't do 20 hours! It isn't something where you can simply add up hours, where if you can do 7 hours as a safe driver, then you can just switch and expect your passenger to be able to safely drive 7 hours. Being a passenger is also fatiguing. One, simply sitting in one spot for hours at a time is draining, but more importantly, the passenger should be helping the driver, with navigation and making sure they are staying alert and engaged.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    To be safe, I'd plan on $75 a night for hotels by the time you get done with tax. Generally, hotels in and very near large cities are the most expensive, you find the better deals at Interstate exits in more rural areas and smaller towns. There can also be safety issues in large cities, as you probably well know being from near Detroit.

    Something that can save you here - stop at rest areas and pick up coupon books for hotels. You can get some really good deals that way.

    If you have a smartphone, you can get the hotels.com app to research hotels along the way.

    I don't see a need to prebook hotels as long as you get off the road at a reasonable hour. When I travel I'm on the road early and try to finish around dinnertime. It's also a lot less tiring if you minimize driving after dark and before dawn.

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

    Default Staying safe.

    One way to make sure you are safe when staying at the budget hotels, is to ask to see the room, before you commit. As a solo senior female traveller, I always do. Make sure, that as well as the obvious, cleanliness, etc., that you check to make sure that the smoke detector has not been disabled. (An umbrella with a long point comes in handy here.) Also make sure that the room has a lock which cannot be unlocked from the outside, such as the chainlock. That is going to be your greatest safeguard.

    Of course, if you feel uncomfortable in any place, leave and find another place. Follow your instincts. With two of you, you are already better off than I am, on my own. But these are the security checks I make at any and all places I stay, no matter what they cost.

    There have been times that I have felt most uncomfortable and unsafe at a medium priced hotel, and mostly have felt very safe and comfortable at the cheapest of places. I prefer the type of motel where the car is outside your door, rather than leave your car in a parking lot and go in through a lobby. It is in the latter that I have always felt least safe.

    Make sure to pick up all the discount booklets you see at rest areas, truck stops, Welcome centres, etc. If you don't see any, ask.

    Lifey

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