I have never taken a road trip before, but I just found out I have to make a trip in July from Phoenix to Quantico. I want to do the trip in 6 days or less, but I also do not want it to be a miserable experience (I want to make this as fun as possible, but I am finding even beginning to plan this trip really daunting). I might do the trip solo (anyone with experience with solo trips?), or convince my brother and his girlfriend to come along, but either way I would be doing most of the driving.
I am looking for advice on how to make this an expeditious trip, but also get something out of driving 2500 miles. I would love suggestions on routes to take, or how many hours you would suggest driving in a day. Also, suggestions on cities/towns I should rest at (I am planning to do hotels or hostels for the trip) would be much appreciated. Loosely I thought I would try to do Albuquerque, NM, St. Louis,MO, Louisville, KY, Pittsburg, PA then Quantico as cities along the way (just from looking at maps and seeing places I recognized the names of, I'm not particularly wedded to any of these cities...)
Though this may sound like an odd question, I was wondering, how do people work out while they are on road trips? I definitely have to get some solid workouts in during my trip. I thought it would be so great to stop at hiking spots along the way (any scenic national parks that would be en route?), and even make sure I hit up some gyms for the time I am not driving. I didn't know if people ever encountered that part of driving, but I have an event I'm training for that I can't let a week of driving effect.
Lastly, are there any travel 'must haves' that you would suggest I definitely shouldn't forget, but may not necessarily think I need? I will have likely 1 large suit case, a cooler for food, and emergency car kit. Would love to hear suggestions on what others found necessary. I am actually buying a car in Arizona, so I will be sure to whatever car I buy completely checked out and ready for the road. I'm likely going to be getting a Honda Fit, so a relatively small car. Anyone who has done a road trip in a small car, would love to hear from them too!