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  1. Default Moving cross country - Reading PA to Spokane Wa


    I'm moving myself, plus my 18 year old, 20 year old and small dog across country from Reading, PA to Spokane, WA. I'm nervous as heck about such a long trip but excited too. We're traveling in a small sedan - no moving truck to worry about.

    I'm hoping for any travel words of wisdom, suggestions for most economical dog friendly sleep over locations, and route suggestions.

    Or... whatever else might be helpful to know when doing a trip of this length. It isn't so much a vacation for us - we hope to arrive in five days or less. However, a stop or two for something special is definitely hoped for. We are on an economy budget - :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Treat it like a marathon.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Five days of 500 miles per day is a reasonable pace to set yourself to stay safe and comfortable. The key is to treat it as a marathon and not a sprint, it's easy to get caught in the trap of pushing to far for the first day or 2 with the excitement and then start to suffer for the rest of the trip as a result of fatigue. So look at places somewhere between 475 and 550 miles apart on yourt various route options and see what appeals. I think Motel 6 are generally pet friendly but if you look at the RTA Roadtrip travel link to the right of each page, you can search for Pet friendly options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Less

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The drive you're looking at will take a minimum of four and a half days to complete safely, so the first thing I'd urge you to do is to give up on the "or less" part of your wish to do the trip in 'five days or less'. The other major effort of your planning when on such a tight schedule is pacing, specifically where to spend each of your nights while on the road. It's tempting to want to 'wing it', relishing the freedom to stop at any site that catches your attention as you roll down the road, and be able to continue on into the evening if you're feeling good or pull up early if feeling tired. Doing so runs the risk of wasting time at tourist traps or finding suitable lodging on the fly. So do your homework, come up with a plan, and stick to it once on the road. Those are the basics of the kind of trip you'll be making.

    Some specifics: There are a few pet-friendly, economical motel chains, most notably Motel 6 at the low end of the price scale and Days Inns about one step up from that. However, it is important to remember that whatever corporate headquarters' policy is, most motels are individually owned and the franchisee sets the final rules and costs. So a call ahead to your particular stopping point is absolutely needed to avoid surprises.

    As far as routing goes. I hate paying for roads over and over and over, and so am an inveterate shunpiker. So, I am going to suggest that you skip the 'privilege' of paying for at least some of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, all of the Ohio Turnpike, the Indiana Toll Road, and various toll roads in Illinois, and instead leave the PA Turnpike at New Stanton and Follow I-70 west all the way to Kansas City and then take I-29 north along the Missouri River to Sioux Falls SD and I-90 the rest of the way to Spokane. This will cost you two extra hours of drive time, but save you the headaches of driving around Chicago as well as about $15-30 in tolls (depending on whether you have EZ Pass).

    The biggest attractions that you would need to budget time for along the way would include the Arch in St. Louis, Badlands National Park in western South Dakota, and Little Bighorn Battlefield in south central Montana. You really don't have time for all of those, and the Arch in St. Louis is probably the most time consuming to get to. Other stops that you should forego for similar reasons (too far off your path and not 'worth it' on a trip like this include Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone. You just don't have the time. That doesn't mean that you don't have time for and shouldn't take at least a couple of short R&R breaks each day - you definitely should. It's just that you really don't have very much time to spare and so such stops should be quite near your route, and free if possible.

    So use any and all of the suggestions above to plan your route. Another good rule of thumb is that a full travel day will get you about 550 mile down the road. Avoid the temptation to think you can do more. You will just tire yourselves out and make subsequent days worse. Treat this like a marathon, not a sprint. On days that you plan to make a big stop (more than an hour at a site) plan on proportionally fewer miles getting covered.

    Let us know what you come up with as a first cut as to what YOU want to do and maybe we can add some more pertinent suggestions.


  4. Default

    Southwest Dave and AZBuck, thank you so much for the replies. I'm going to hit the map now and look at your suggestions AZBuck. I had been considering investing in an EZPass for the trip - but if two hours drive time gets me off the toll roads and on a route that skirts Chicago (I was uncomfortable with navigating that mess), then it's a well spent two hours.

  5. Default And the new route includes a friendstop. Thank you to AZBuck

    AZBuck, the route you recommended I had unreasonably assumed was an out of the way approach so had not mapped it for myself. Thanks to your input, I will now be stopping in Overland Park, Kansas (borders Kansas City) to stay over with a very good friend that I rarely ever get to see. :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Roadworks.

    Be prepared for, but not disturbed by the endless miles of roadworks on I-70. These will slow you down, though from my experience last week, there were no holdups. Just make allowance for them.


  7. Default

    I had been told by a family member to not over plan - just wing it. I've decided to take the advice here and plan. I feel so much better about that. The person that really pushes the idea of "winging it" spent a night in their car on their trip. I'd rather skip that experience.

    My initial plan looks like this:

    Miles Motels: Address Phone Cost

    496 Motel 6 Dayton Englewood Dayton, OH 45415 $60

    457 Super 8 Motel Columbia Columbia, MO 65202 $75

    139 Breakfast with Friend Overland Park, KS
    285 Super 8 Sioux City South Sioux City, IA 51111 $75

    361 Badlands National Park
    113 Super 8 Belle Fourche Belle Fourche, SD 57717 $100

    486 Super 8 Butte Butte, MT 59701 $100

    189 Quinn's Hot Springs Paradise, Mt 59856 406-826-3150 ext. 1 $33
    146 SPOKANE

  8. Default

    Thank you Lifey!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Winging it vs. Preplanning each stop really is a complete matter of personal preference. If you like the security of knowing you have a place lined up to stay each night, then that's the way to go. I would say, just make sure you know the cancellation policies, so you have options in case something unexpected comes up.

    I think you've got a solid plan laid out right now. With the costs, make sure you keep in mind that most places have extra high taxes on hotel rooms, so you'll usually pay an extra $10-20 on top of the room rate.

    It looks like your happy with your route, since it gets you to visit your friend in Kansas. However, I will note that you could save yourself about 100 miles and still avoid Tolls and Chicago by using I-74 from Indianapolis to Iowa, and then I-80 across Iowa to I-29. If it were me, that extra 100 miles is a small price to visit an old friend, but if for some reason you need to save that last short day off your plans, that would be a place you could save a little time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Another option.

    Your plan looks good and well spaced out for a relaxing drive and if you are happy with it why change it. However, if you wanted to spend a little more time catching up with your friend and/or at Badlands, you could make it to Overland Park for night two. At close to 1100 miles from Reading it's certainly possible in two days, although both would be reasonably long days, probably around 10 hours with rest breaks and food and fuel stops. Richmond IN would then be a close to mid-way point and I see there is a Super 8 Centerville-Richmond just off I70. [not sure if it's Pet friendly though.] Next night in Overland Park and possibly save on one nights lodging for the price of a meal. [?] Next day you then might be able to get further down the road, perhaps as far as Mitchell and the Corn Palace in SD and spend a little time at Badlands.

    Have a great trip !

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