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  1. Default Relocating from west palm beach to San Francisco

    Hi There

    We are relocating from West Palm Beach to San Francisco suburb and will need to take our toddler and golden retriever on the ride!

    Any advise?

    Best route/ needs to be the quickest/ safest for the month of May?

    The longest road trip with toddler and dog was 12 hours - and was not pretty.

    Thanks for all the help,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default How much time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The most important thing is having enough time, which to be quickest and remain safe would require 5 overnight stops and average around 550 miles per day. [9-10 hours per day with basic stops] It's to easy to try and travel too far in the first couple of days only to leave yourself exhausted later in the trip, remember it's a marathon and not a sprint. I-10 and pick up I-5 is among the quickest, although heading up to Jackson from Mobile and I-20 to I-40 is about the same amount of time with slightly less miles. If you stay near any major city's then lodging to the west of it will have you heading away from the morning rush heading in for work. To the right of each page you will see the Roadtrip Motels link and you can search for 'Pet friendly' options. Of course if you have more time available you could make it a more fun and relaxing journey rather than a 'work like' slog across the country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got 2 options for routes that are really pretty similar. The first is to head up to I-10 and take that all the way across to California and then head up I-5. The other is to work your way up to I-40 - going from Mobile, up US-98/US-49 to Jackson, then I-20 to Dallas, and up US-287 to I-40 at Amarillo. Once you reach the end of I-40, continue on CA-58 to I-5.

    I'd probably take the I-40 based route myself, as it avoids Houston, Phoenix, and LA, but you could make a case for using I-10 as well.

    Both routes are right around 3,000 miles, you need a bare minimum of 5 days to make this drive safely. However, especially with a toddler and a dog, I would strongly recommend taking at least 6 days (possibly even 7 or 8). Even at 6 days, it's is going to be 9 hours on the road every day, and as you learned previously, pushing beyond that in your situation can start to get ugly - especially when you're doing it day after day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If your toddler is still in a crib, bringing your own Pack-n-Play can be a big help. A familiar bed at night is of much comfort to a little one. Bring a bag full of small toys that your tot likes to play with, dole them out one at a time. Take him out at rest areas or a town with a park on the side of the road (occasionally you find one) and let him/her run. My grands also loved it when Mama played their favorite music or would occasionally let them watch a DVD on the portable player. They did 4 days running with only a few complaints. Depending on the age of your tot, a pool at the end of the day is a nice treat.

    I would opt for I-40, if it were me. You don't want to mess with either Phoenix or LA, and Houston is no picnic either. If you decide to do I-10 anyway, then take I-10 to Casa Grande AZ, and head west on I-8 to Gila Bend. Turn north on AZ-85 and take that up to I-10 west. It avoids Phoenix completely. Bear in mind that the desert is HOT in summer.

    Your golden retriever probably will just want a place to get out and walk, or even do a run. Most places require dogs on a leash, though.


  5. Default Driving from FL to San Francisco in May

    Hi everyone,

    We are relocating from West Palm Beach FL to San Francisco CA in midMay this year. Any tips on the quickest route from FL to San Francisco? We are traveling with a toddler and golden retriever. First long road trip ever, please let me know of the quickest safest route to take. Thank you so much for the input! Also, any tips for calming the dog while en route? She is very anxious:(

    All the advice is greatly appreciated!!!


    Moderator Note: Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-09-2016 at 07:09 PM. Reason: merged threads

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default look up

    It appears to me that your questions have already been answered, although if you want more information about traveling with pets, you might want to read this article.

    Or is there something about the previous advice that you have additional questions about?

  7. Default

    Thank you for the info!

    We never thought it would take that long to get there, but as we read up on the posts it is clear that pacing ourselves is the way to go. We will have 2 adult drivers and that helps, but one will always be in the backseat with the toddler. We won't be able to take the crate with us as it won't fit in the back so our golden will be free in the back - any suggestions for mild sedative to calm canine anxiety? She cries even when we go to the park on a short ride.

    Thank you!!!

  8. Default

    I did not see the reply until after I sent the second post. Thank you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you want something to sedate your dog for the trip, that's really something you should consult your vet about.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Restraints.

    Quote Originally Posted by ncstumbo View Post
    .. so our golden will be free in the back ...
    There is never any need to have a pet loose in a moving vehicle. Restraints of all types are available. If unsure what's best for your dog, ask your vet. When properly restrained, and able to look out the window, very few dogs suffer anxiety.

    It is extremely dangerous to drive with a pet loose in a vehicle.


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