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  1. Default Road Trip from Toronto to LA Summer 2015

    Me and 3 of my friends are planning a road trip from Toronto to LA next august, all of us drive. I'm the main planner so I've already started looking at vacation and car rentals & prices from a couple months ago and I'm estimating $2000 (around $1300 necessities +spending money) per person for a 2 week trips( 8 days there, the rest transportation). we plan on renting a house cause it cheaper than getting 2 rooms at a hotel that's centrally located.

    from what I've researched with the I-80 route through CHI, OMA, DEN, LV, LA on Google maps its around a 36 hr drive. we plan to leave either early Friday morning or Friday evening to reach by Monday morning with the least amount of unnecessary stops switching drivers every 3-4 hours. we plan to stop and sleep at some motels or something on the way so pretty much we're going to try to do 12-16hrs drive & the rest for sleep & wash, food, gas breaks. should have a few hours to spare in the mix so i was wondering is there any good points of interest along the way?

    Is this a reasonable trip estimation time & money wise ? and if not are there any suggestions on how we can improve I want to plan this the best I can because I want everyone to enjoy themselves and the experience, 2 of my friends haven't even been out of Ontario so this is a first for them and my first road trip.

    also is there anyone that has done this trip? and what was your experience like on the road? how long did it take you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default It's a minimum 4 day drive.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A trip like this can not be measured in hours as Google suggests, you will need a minimum of 3 overnight stops, so you should plan on 8 days travelling [if it's a round trip] and 6 days in LA. Even then it's not going to be a lot of 'fun' while travelling, it'll be long hours in a car which is fine for a day or two, but day after day without a proper break from the road, nope. This isn't going to leave you time for sightseeing and being stuck in a car for hours each day without much activity can get tedious for a group and cause tension. I don't want to sound negative, but that's often the reality.

    You don't say how old you all are, but if you are under 25 years of age you will most likely find there is a surcharge known as 'Young driver fees' which will apply to each individual driving and can be a significant amount.

    My initial thought is that to drive across country and miss out on all it has to offer, for a few days in LA with the costs involved, would flying out west be a better option and possibly rent a car for a few days while out there. If you want to do a roadtrip across country and make it at least some fun for your friends, then perhaps taking 6 days each way and seeing different sights, then spend a couple of days in LA before turning around and taking a different route home might be an option worth considering.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Back to the drawing board.

    Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    To make this trip safely, you will need a minimum of four days each way, without any extra stops for sightseeing. Computer mapping program times are pure fantasy, which do not relate to real road conditions.... construction, congestion or even a hold up because of an accident. (Only last summer we were held up for more than two hours because of an accident up ahead.)

    Even with multiple drivers, the others in the vehicle will not get any rest. Sitting in a moving vehicle, even as a passenger it is not possible to get the required rest to be able to operate a motor vehicle at highway speed. You will end up being a danger to yourselves and every other road user.

    Fatigue is an insiduous reality which comes on without being aware of it. By the time you feel tired you are already way past been a safe driver.

    Best you go back to replan this trip. If you only want to drive for two days, choose a destination closer to home, a destination you can reach in two days driving no more than 600 miles per day with basic stops, no sightseeing.. The last thing you want is a roadtrip which will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    A little story from my own experience: I was young, in college, and 4 of us needed to get from Missouri out west -- two lived in California, I was living in Arizona, and the 4th was going with one of the Californians to visit. One of us had a car. We piled 4 suitcases in the trunk, had travel necessities in the car with us, and we decided to drive straight through to CA, no overnight stops. The plan was that each of us drove for 2 hours. The rotation was Driver-Driver's Passenger-Backseat-Backseat, every 2 hours. We stopped for gasoline and food. What we did NOT plan for was the exhaustion that occurred.

    It was NOT comfortable to sleep in either of the backseat positions. You had to sleep sitting up, with your feet crammed in with your own purse or gear bag at your feet. Not much room was left for a pillow. Four hours sleep, broken up by stops to change drivers/get something to drink/go to the bathroom, was not really enough to be fully awake to do your next driving stint. The front seat passenger was not allowed to sleep, she had to keep the driver talking and awake. I arrived in Arizona, and when I finally got to the house, I slept for 10 hours straight.

    There was some comaraderie in the car, but with us all so tired 16 hours after we left, it became very quiet as two of us attempted to sleep. I still correspond with them, via Facebook, almost 40 years later, though one has left the world.

    I do agree with Lifey -- "best you go back to replan this trip". You'll enjoy it a lot more if you aren't so darned exhausted!


    Donna

  5. Default

    Thanks a lot for the advice guys it wasn't set in stone so I just wanted to get more opinions from others. We were looking at a 14-15 day trip so Would you guys suggest moving the transportation up to like 7-8 days in total or how much hours would you guys recommend driving per day? I would like to atleast spend around 5 days in LA

  6. Default

    Well I'm 21 & the others are 22 so we already factored in the young driver surcharge which is so expensive it's ridiculous.
    As far as for flying we checked that too it would would make the trip much more expensive, the average prices I found were $3000 for the flights alone for 4 people from T.O. That's not even including a hotel/vaca rental & transportation when we get there. I think Flying would be great if we were staying in one area. But when visiting places the end game is looking to be more expensive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    My husband and I usually use "600 miles" as our goal per day. OK, sometimes it's 550, and occasionally 625, but we aim for 600. That's about 10-12 hours when you factor in stops for fuel, food, pit stops (which will be longer with 4 people than if you only had 2), and the occasional problem with traffic.

    Did you also get the feedback from rental companies, to be able to take a Canadian rental across the border into the USA?

    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Final(?) Thing to Check

    Do NOT assume that "Unlimited Miles" means unlimited range. Often rentals, especially cross-border rentals and/or underage rentals will come with geographic restrictions such as you can only take the car into neighboring states/provinces. If you wonder how they would know, pretty much every rental car these days comes with a GPS tracking device so that they can check for off-road and/or out-of-area usage. And bear in mind that if you break the contract by any such usage, or letting someone drive who didn't sign up as an extra driver at the time of pick-up, you are essentially driving a stolen vehicle and can be cited accordingly. I'm not saying or implying that any of the above conditions apply in your case, but you will need to check the details and keep the terms of the rental agreement in mind at all times.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default rules for safety

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaqG09 View Post
    We were looking at a 14-15 day trip so Would you guys suggest moving the transportation up to like 7-8 days in total or how much hours would you guys recommend driving per day? I would like to atleast spend around 5 days in LA
    As others have stated, you really need to plan on a minimum of 4 days each way - so 8 total round trip. Doing that will already require you to drive nearly 650 miles every day, which is already going to be about 12 hours on the road each day, leaving very little extra time for anything but driving, quick stops for food/fuel/rest/etc, and is at the very top end of what you can safely do. If you wanted to actually see anything along the way, you'd need to plan for more time on top of that.

    I will note, that for your return trip, you could look at taking I-40, and then cut up through St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Detroit just for some different views. The mileage is about the same as taking I-80 and I-70 through Chicago and Denver, so you'd still need a minimum of 4 full days, and if you wanted to make any extra stops (like the Grand Canyon, which is just an hour away from I-40) you'd need to plan for another day on the road, but at least you'd be looking at something different out the window.

    While I'm sure the young driver fees are already very expensive, make sure they include every underage driver - as additional drivers also mean more extra fees, and if the driver isn't listed on the contract, they can't legally drive the car.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    My husband and I usually use "600 miles" as our goal per day. OK, sometimes it's 550, and occasionally 625, but we aim for 600. That's about 10-12 hours when you factor in stops for fuel, food, pit stops (which will be longer with 4 people than if you only had 2), and the occasional problem with traffic.

    Did you also get the feedback from rental companies, to be able to take a Canadian rental across the border into the USA?

    Donna
    Yes Donna I have I've been in contact with Enterprise & Hertz to gain information about their cross border policies & mileage policies both seem ok as long as I am staying in Canada & the States. From what I understand it depends on which branches we choose to rent from cause some have unlimited mileage throughout North America & some only give 4000KM in Ontario & like $0.10 per KM out of province

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