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  1. Default Road trip from Pa to Texas

    Hey all!

    Me and two of my other friends are planning a trip to Texas for a convention this summer. We've never taken road trips alone, so this would be our first. I've gone on long vacation trips with my parents but they drive usually. We would be switching out drivers every so often of course. I guess what I'm really wondering is, how should I plan it? I'm usually one to plan things but this is all new to me. How would one plan for gas stops and other things? Or should we just be mindful of fuel and fill up whenever we get the chance? Any advice would be great! Thanks!

    -The Lord Of Time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default What you haven't told us.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Before any meaningful advice can be forthcoming, it would be useful to know where in PA you are starting from and where in TX you are heading? Both States are rather large targets.

    How long do you have for this trip?

    Since you are new at long trips, you would be best planning on 500 - 550 miles per day - which would keep you on the road around 10-11 hours each day. This would allow for all essential stops, but not a great deal of sightseeing. Switching drivers every couple of hours is a good idea. If you are a member of AAA - which would be a good idea for a long trip like this - go get maps of all the States you will traverse and see what there is along the way, and all the routes available to you. You may like to take a different route there and back. Maps will show you a wealth of information which is not available within the confines of a little screen.

    I am assuming you are all over 18, otherwise you could have issues with accommodation.


    Lifey

  3. Default

    Hey lifey!

    We are just a little north of Philadelphia and would be traveling to around Dallas area. The main thing though is its only for the weekend. We wanna plan on driving all the way there in one shot. We might stop occasionally for little things and we'll have to stop of course for food and gas and to stretch. I've already mapped it out and it would take us a total of about 21 hours. To get there in time, we'd have to leave probably mid afternoon or noonish to get to our destination in time and have a little extra time just incase we run into any issues or long stops, we'll have a couple hours extra to burn up. What we want to do is rotate where someone drives for a little, someone navigates and keeps the driver company and the other person either sleeps for a little in the back. considering we dont have the time or funds to allow us to stop along the way and stay somewhere for a night being poor college students and all haha. I am a mamber of AAA so thats good, i could probably look it up, does AAA cover outside of state issues too? I always assumed that it was just for instate but then again its my parents plan and they just gave me a card and said to keep it just incase I need it. I could always ask them too. and yes we are all over 18, were 20, 20 and 23. Like I said, ive taken road trips before with family, even recently as last summer to tennessee and we drove straight there for the 15 or so hours it took, but I didnt plan any of it, it was all my parents doing so im not new to road tripping, im just new to setting on up. I"m usually the guy who does all the setting up for things we do so that I know it will go as planned. :P

    -Lord Of Time

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

    Default a recipe for a homicide

    I'm sorry, but what you're planning simply can't be done safely and your expectations simply don't match reality.

    You're talking about a 1500 mile trip. That's something that requires TWO overnight stops to be done safely, no matter how many drivers you have. Despite what online mapping programs will tell you, the trip can't physically be done in 21 hours (They are assuming you'll be able to travel above the speed limit for every minute of the day, without ever stopping, even for gas, to get that number.) In the real world, you're looking at around 27 hours.

    There simply is no way to drive that distance safely without stopping overnight to sleep. You can't get the kind of real rest you need sitting in a moving car, to operate a 2 ton machine at 70 mph. The simple fact of the matter, is that if you attempt this, over long portions of your trip, your driving skills will actually be as bad or worse than a drunk driver. It's simply a fact of the human body.

    Even worse, is that you say this is a "weekend" trip, which means in the off chance you make it to Dallas without harming yourself or others - you're going to be beyond exhausted when you arrive and in no condition to do anything. Yet, you're essentially going to have to turn around and do the exact same thing the very next day to come home!

    If you want to go to Dallas for a weekend, you simply have to fly, there really is no other option. Whatever you have planned in Dallas is not worth risking your lives, and the lives of everyone else on the road - and make no mistake about it - that's exactly what you'd be doing with your current plans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Fly!!

    Michael has just said everything I, and the responsible members of this forums would say.

    If you are that poor, search for a cheap flight now. You cannot afford to drive... not because of shortage of money, but shortage of time. This is a THREE day trip - each way.

    Lifey

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

    Default Furthermore....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lordoftime View Post
    ... we are all over 18, we're 20, 20 and 23. Like I said, I've taken road trips before with family, even recently as last summer to Tennessee and we drove straight there for the 15 or so hours it took, but I didn't plan any of it, it was all my parents ...
    There is a huge difference between two mature and experienced drivers driving just over 600 miles straight through, and three inexperienced young men, none of whom have even a decade of experience, and two of whom have a bare five years experience, attempting to drive 1500 miles straight through.

    It is suicidal and homicidal!

    There are very good reasons why professional drivers are limited to around 600 miles before a compulsory extended rest and sleep. I would venture that you all are a long way short of their experience.

    No matter what Google tells you, this is a trip to be counted in days, not hours.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Gee! Thanks guys! I figured it would be next to impossible in one shot like that. This was still just speculation, because we couldn't decide wether we should drive for a road trip to get the experience because you only live once, or we should fly. So I figured I'd see what you smart people had to say. :) I promise we won't try to kill anyone haha :P

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    It would make a GREAT road trip if you could take 3 days each way to do it! Hotels aren't that expensive once you get away from the northeast and big cities.

  9. Default

    Very true, we still have some talking to do. If we were to drive, I Would've wanted to take a little bit to get there so we could stop and see the sites and stuff along the way. Campgrounds are also an option. Although, I'm not really sure how much tent sites range for.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Tent sites at a public campground (state park or similar) generally run about $20 a night. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more.

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