Hi RTA Forum People!
My wife and I are taking a road trip from California to Massachusetts around summer time (one way trip, two weeks) and I wanted to get some opinions on our route and general plan.
1) Route: California -> Grand Canyon, AZ -> Zion National Park, UT -> Grand Junction, CO -> Boulder, CO -> Kansas City, KS -> Hannibal, MO -> St. Louis, MO -> Louisville, KY -> Pittsburgh, PA -> Massachusetts. We'll be averaging about 390 miles a day of driving, with our longest day being 620 and most under 500. Mostly curious if anyone has thoughts on our pathway.
2) Vehicle: We don't own a car right now, so we've decided to rent an SUV. We thought about getting a fuel efficient compact car, but we'll be hauling some extra belongings (again, one way trip) so the extra room will be much needed. It comes out to about $1,800-$2,000 to rent an SUV for two weeks. This point is where I have the most questions. There are tons of advice about road trips and people saying "know your car, check levels, be able to fix a flat, general maintenance, etc." but is this something we have to worry about with a rental? We plan to make sure we've got AAA and solid insurance. If we get a flat, car goes bust, etc. we just plan to get road side assistance. I would like a sanity check on this please, as I am admittedly not a car-maintenance-savvy person and would like to find out if I need to become one for a two week road trip.
3) Food & Shelter: We'll be camping a couple nights, but mostly planning to just enter town and find a motel vacancy. We'll probably hit a grocery story each morning, get some ice for the cooler and resupply any bologna, bread, water, beer, etc. stores for the road, but also plan to taste the local fare (i.e. mom n pop restaurants). Any advice here and anything we may not be thinking about?
4) Misc: Do people generally carry some kind of protection with them, be it mace or a sturdy pocket knife? We don't have anything, and wondering if I'm crazy to think we should have something. GPS TomTom kind of thing - needed?
Kind of a strange set of questions, but these are the points I've found related to my trip that aren't well covered from researching over the last couple months.
Thanks for your help guys!