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  1. Default First College Road Trip NC to CA

    started planning for my first road trip across the country with 4 other friends. Being me, I love to travel but I have never traveled long distances by car before but, I do travel to other countries every few years via plane.
    But now to the point. We are thinking of traveling from Greensboro, North Carolina or Raleigh North Carolina to San Francisco. Looking at it, we want to see everything and are willing to take two different routes to and back. Does anyone have any tips or give advice where to go and what to see. We are also wanting to go and take the route 66 to get to or from Cali. We will be having 2-3 drivers throughout the trip so, stopping for the sights would be the only reason why we would stop.
    We also want to keep cost low, and I think gas will not be problem with my car since i get 35-40 mpg. Does anyone know a rough estmate how much food, and costing would cost from start to end of a trip if we stayed 2-4 weeks. We might also see other states around Cali if we have a chance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default first things first

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Before we say anything else, we need to start by addressing an extremely dangerous statement in your post.
    We will be having 2-3 drivers throughout the trip so, stopping for the sights would be the only reason why we would stop.
    This is absolutely not true. Just because you have 2 or 3 drivers does not mean you can drive without stopping for sleep. Even with multiple drivers, you can not sit in a car for hours upon hours at a time, and still safely operate a 2 ton machine at 70 mph. You must plan to stop about every 600 miles (10-12 hours on the road) and actually sleep. If you do this safely, you will need 5 days go get from NC to CA. Trying to drive without proper rest is statistically just as dangerous as drunk driving, and beyond statistics, every year there are stories about college students who are killed or seriously injured while trying to drive non-stop to or from a destination on the other side of the country.

    Beyond that, your questions really are too vague for us to provide much specific advice. You're talking a trip that will take you up to a month and cover literally the entire country. The number of things you could see and do is in the millions, and we have no way to start narrowing them down for you. Certainly, look around this website and you'll find lots of ideas - but once you have a better idea of an outline, others can then help you fill in the gaps.

    Similarly with costs, there are just too many variables. A very rough estimate is about $100 per person per day, but you could spend more or less than that depending upon the specifics. It's relatively easy to figure out your fuel costs - although will your car actually get 40 mpg when fully loaded with 4 people and gear and if your car gets that good of gas mileage, is it actually big enough to fit 4 people and up to a months worth of gear? Where are you planning to sleep? Cheap hotels, camping, hostels, expensive hotels? What are you going to do for food? What are you doing for attractions - National Parks, Museum, Amusement Parks? Those are all the primary things you need to figure out to come up with a budget estimate.

  3. #3

    Default Cross-country from and back to Boone, NC

    Hello Asian,

    I have fond memories of several ASU Geology field trips to Wyoming and Montana, all done during the 1970s during the 55mph speed limit days, with multiple drivers, and stops only for food and fuel. I say I have only fond memories because human nature is to repress the bad ones. In its own way, each trip was terrible to one degree or another, and mostly due to extreme sleep deprivation from having to "sleep" over a 36 to 48 hour period while cramped in a vehicle. Few if any can get quality rest time in a moving car. To put it bluntly, the time in Yellowstone, Glacier, and other parks and sights wasn't nearly as nice as it should have been simply due to the entire crew being tired, dirty, smelly, and easily annoyed with one another. Don't to it this way. If you were to manage to do it and not get hurt, likely you won't have nearly as much fun as you imagine you'll have.


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