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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Troy, New York, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Cross Country Road Trip: Los Angeles, CA to Albany, NY

    Hi. In 3 weeks I will be making a drive from Los Angeles to Albany and I wanted some advice. Never done road trip before. I plan on going taking the upper route across Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, etc. Can people give me advice on where to eat, sights to see, miscellaneous tips. Also, I am most concerned about cities I will be staying. What cities are safest to stay in?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I would not stay *IN* cities. I would stay right at the Interstate exits by smaller towns and suburban areas.

    I would recommend an alternate route to avoid a bunch of tolls. The following route is only 100 miles longer than the most direct and is almost toll-free:

    I-15 to I-70 to Columbus OH
    I-71 to Cleveland
    I-90 to Erie
    I-86/NY-17 to Binghamton
    I-88 to Albany

    If you are just doing this trip to get there safely in a minimum period of time, it's going to take 5 days. Suggested overnights:

    Richfield UT
    Burlington CO
    Columbia MO
    Mansfield OH

    If you want to do any sightseeing, you will have to start adding more days. Overnights would have to be adjusted accordingly.

    Where to eat? If you don't want to buy prepackaged meals or cook anything, do what I do. I try to stay in hotels that have breakfast. For lunch, I usually look for truck stops that have fast food or basic restaurants. For dinner, I get recommendations at the hotel front desk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Troy, New York, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thank you for providing such great recommendation on where to spend the night. I look them up and they seem to be perfect places to stop and about the perfect amount of driving, especially since I will be driving by myself.

    Also, my friend who did this trip 3 times recommended I go through south through NM, Texas, etc, but I'm really afraid of the southern states, especially NM, Texas, and Mississippi. He claims its faster and safer. Is he right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    You're looking at about a 6 day trip, doing 450-500 miles per day. How long do you have for the drive? If you have a little more than 6 days, you can make some sightseeing stops along the way. This way is all Interstate, and some of it involves toll roads, so bear that in mind too.

    Where to eat -- whenever we stop at a motel and are planning to eat out, we ask at the desk for recommendations. A friend here always asks, "if you were going out to eat tonight, where would you go?" which is a nice way to put that! Most motels have something close by, otherwise -- family places, fast food -- and some know of places that will deliver.

    Cities to stay in and safety -- well, go with your instincts. If you pull up to a place and you don't like the area or the looks of the motel on the outside, you can pull away. If you get all the way inside the motel lobby and it doesn't seem right to you, go back to your car and move on. Once, I pulled up to a motel, got the shivers when I looked around and saw that all the businesses had bars on their windows, and moved on.

    Pick places that are about 450-500 miles apart, and make those your goal. We love staying in smaller towns rather than the larger cities. The rates are often better, or there are more amenities in the hotel for the price.

    Miscellaneous tips for a new road tripper: stop often, stretch, walk around the rest area/fast food joint/fuel station, get your blood flowing, use the facilities. Lock your car when you leave it and don't leave valuables in plain sight. Don't try to drive too much in one day -- this is why I recommended 450-500 miles a day. If you're a morning person, take advantage of that and start your drive earlier in the morning.

    From LA, your first stop should be somewhere between St George, UT, and Beaver, UT. The next one could be Denver -- but stay on the NE side of it so that you don't have to traipse through Rush Hour in the morning! Third night could be in Lincoln, NE. Fourth night could be around Tinley Park, IL, and the final one, just east of Cleveland, OH.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Troy, New York, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I was actually told not to stop in Lincoln, heard it was one of the most dangerous cities in US.

    Also, little more details. The point of this trip is to get my car to NY (so get to NY as quickly and safely as possibly). But since I am doing this trip, I want to do slight amount of sight seeing as well.

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

    Default Follow your instincts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Il Shin View Post
    I was actually told not to stop in Lincoln, heard it was one of the most dangerous cities in US.
    Every trip I get advice from well meaning folk, not to go 'there' or stay away from 'that place'. I have ignored most this advice and followed my natural instincts.

    Every place is someone's home. The most unexpected folk will come to your aid when required. As a solo traveller, if a place makes me feel uncomfortable, I move on. The same goes with hotels/motels. Ask to see the room, before you commit. It will give you sufficient time to sum up the place and decide if you will feel comfortable that night. If you don't like it.... move on.

    Never ignore what your instinct is telling you. (I have good memories of staying in Lincoln, on my own.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Il Shin View Post
    Also, little more details. The point of this trip is to get my car to NY (so get to NY as quickly and safely as possibly). But since I am doing this trip, I want to do slight amount of sight seeing as well.
    This is something I did for more than six months a decade or more ago. I relocated cars in limited time and safely. I got out paper maps of the States through which I would be travelling and checked to see what is along the route I chose. Many attractions and most scenic routes are marked on good paper maps - such as are produced by AAA (free to members) and Rand McNally.

    Have a safe trip.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Il Shin View Post
    I was actually told not to stop in Lincoln, heard it was one of the most dangerous cities in US.
    No offense intended, but where on earth did you here this? I've seen plenty of unusual rumors about places, but this one really just seems completely bizarre. I really can't think I've ever heard anyone refer to any place in Nebraska as Dangerous - especially not compared to a place like Los Angeles!

    Not only is whoever told you this wrong, according to a ranking by Forbes Magazine, Lincoln is the 5th safest city in the US!

    As Lifey mentioned, such rankings really don't really tell you all that much, and every places - even small, safe places like Lincoln - will have their good and their bad parts, and even if you were driving through a city that was ranked among the most dangerous, it doesn't mean there wouldn't be perfectly good and perfectly safe places to stop.

    Really, what it comes right down to it, using your head with a little common sense and your own instincts is about the single best thing you can do to stay safe on a roadtrip. That's a far better plan that following rumors that this place or that route is supposedly "dangerous." And if someone tells you a certain place or route is more dangerous - you should really ask them why they are saying that or what they are basing that on - because they are also probably just throwing out baseless rumors.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Troy, New York, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Couple friends of mine that visited Lincoln once told me it was a pretty dangerous city with high crime rates, especially thefts.

    I think I have a good idea of route and places to stop. Anyone have tips on good restaurants i should eat at or an attraction i should see? I'm a big animal lover so definitely stopping at the Nebraska Zoo. And gonna take people's recommendation and go get the AAA map sometime this week.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    GLC suggested Richfield UT as an overnight. For the past number of years, we have stayed at Quality Inn there, and have been happy. There is a family restaurant nearby and a great ice cream place next door. There's a discount fuel station right in town, as well. Things are more expensive out by the freeway there, so bear that in mind. It's quite a safe place.

    GLC also suggested Burlington, CO. This has been another place where we've stayed a lot over the years, going between San Diego and central MO. We have almost always stayed at the Chaparral Inn there. It's an older property, well maintained, reasonable. Next door is a new Denny's now, across the street is Arby's and Pizza Hut, and down the road is Route Steakhouse.

    Columbia has a number of good places to stay. My SIL, who lives there, always recommends the Drury, which offers free food but is nearby to a number of good places to eat. I haven't stayed at that particular Drury, but we've stayed at other Drury Inn's and have been happy.


    Donna

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

    Default Choices and opinions.

    Donna's suggestions, are like everything else on this site (and the web). It is a personal opinion. Whether that coincides with your opinion of a place with which you would be happy, is up to you to research and decide. These days we have all this information at our fingertips. Once you have researched numberous sites, you will be confident to choose a place with which you will be satisfied.

    Lifey

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