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  1. Default Winter NYC to Seattle Road Trip

    Hi All,

    First time poster here. I'm going to be moving from NYC to Seattle and could use some advice on the route. I'm traveling alone and this will be in late February to Early March. Because it will be winter I'm thinking of going on a more southern route, but otherwise I'm really open to anything.

    I will have about 10-14 days. I'll be traveling alone so I would prefer to stay safe and not drive an insane amount of hours a day. It would be great if I could stop off at a few landmarks or day trips, but how much could I realistically see in that time-frame?

    Some things that interest me..

    Nashville TN
    New Orleans
    Austin Texas
    Santa Fe
    Grand Canyon
    Route 66
    Yellowstone ( I heard this isn't really open in the winter)

    Given that timeframe how much of this is even feasible? I really have no expectations or open to suggestions for what an ideal 10-14 day trip looks like. I'm from the east coast so I'm not quite as interested there... But of course I'll have to stop somewhere so I just need to figure out where that is.

    This is really short notice.. I'll be leaving in about a week. Given that I don't have much time to plan, has anyone had much experience just winging it? Finding motels as necessary and seeing what happens?

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Making the Most (and Least) of Your Time

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Ten to fourteen days is plenty of time for a relaxed cross country journey, but it's not forever. And the best thing you can do to avoid driving in winter weather is not to go south (where they also get winter weather, but aren't as well equipped to handle it), but rather to have enough extra time so that you can just sit out any freezing/frozen precipitation in a nice warm motel room and only resume driving when the roads have been cleared and the sun is back out. So assume you've got 12 or 13 days. Then you should plan on being able to make the drive in ten or less, with the extra days held in reserve. As you get closer and closer to Seattle you can start to use your extra days if the (forecast is in your favor) to see more sites in the west.

    With such an appreciation both of how much, and how little, time you really have, you can start to critique your current and any future plans with that in mind. Your current wish list would require a minimum of about 5,800 miles of driving. You'd have to rearrange the order of things a bit (put Denver between the Grand Canyon and the Badlands). But even with ten days, that means 580 miles a day, leaving practically no time for site-seeing. So that really won't work. You'll have to cut down on the wild swings from far south to far north (and major backtrackings to the east) on what is, in essence, an east to west trip. Given your desire to see places and not spend a lot of time driving on most days, I'd suggest an upper limit of about 3,500-4,000 miles. It's up to you to figure out which points on your itinerary you can forego, and which are more important to hit on this trip, but a good rule of thumb would be that most of your stops should be on a rough east-west line, as far north or south as you like, but all pretty much at a similar latitude.


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