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  1. Default Advice San Diego to Pennsylvania

    I am selling my home in San Diego and moving back to Lebanon Pennsylvania.

    I will be traveling by myself and expect to leave Mid October. (Furniture will be moved by a moving company, I will be driving my car.)

    As a woman traveling alone I am looking for advice on the safest, easiest, most pleasant route and any info on places to stop and those where you would advise avoiding.

    I am planning on taking 5 days for travel, but will have the freedom to extend the time if needed.

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

    Default A marathon.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Five days/4 overnights is the minimum required for this trip if you stick to a direct route such as I-40/44/70/76. To stay safe and avoid fatigue setting in you need to treat this as a marathon and not a sprint, in other words pace yourself sensibly from the get go. You will be looking to cover between 500 and 550 miles per day which will be 9-10 hours on the road with regular stops for food and fuel and to stretch your limbs etc. Finding lodgings close to Interstate can save you the time of driving in and out of a city and possible congestion. That will depend on whether you plan to sightsee at all. If you look for lodgings on the east side of town, when you set out in the morning you will be heading away from the city and will avoid some of the morning rush that is heading into the City for work. You should also keep an eye on weather forecasts as you travel and allow for extra time if needed due to weather disruption in the event of an early winter storm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I've driven this route that SWDave suggested, though admittedly in summer, not in fall. My suggestions for overnights would be:

    Flagstaff AZ - about 500 miles, depending on where in San Diego County you are leaving. Lots of choices for lodging. If you are going to stay on a weekend, call ahead. It's a university town. See below.

    Tucumcari, NM - another 500 miles, with loads of lodging choices and eateries.

    Joplin, MO - about 570 miles. We have a member who lives there and can advise on lodging.

    Indianapolis, IN - about 525 miles. Stay on the east side of town, especially if this is on a weekday. (exits 89, 91 and 104 all have a bunch of lodging and food choices, and all are on the east side of town).

    The next day should take you in to Lebanon, PA, 570 miles.

    As far as where is safe -- use your best instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. You have the right to check the hotel room before paying for it, for the night, to check lock systems and smoke alarms. For food, ask the hotel clerk where they'd go for dinner with their family, if you don't want to rely on local chains. That's usually our best bet, with a quick check on TripAdvisor if the hotel clerks are super busy.

    A way to avoid the San Bernardino-Riverside County crunch to get to I-40:

    Take I-8 east through the mountains. Yuma is a great place for a meal stop and a lot cheaper for fuel (30c gallon cheaper than what we pay here, but don't look for a Costco there as they don't have one). Keep going on I-8. In Gila Bend, turn north on AZ-85. Take that to I-10 east. You're on that for about 21 miles. Take the 101 Loop North, until you see the signs for I-17 north. Take I-17 northbound to Flagstaff, where you follow the signs. Most lodging is right where 17 ends (McConnell Blvd.), or take I-40 east to Butler Ave. exit 198, or a little further on at exit 201.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You have 2 choices to get to I-40 - I-15, or I-8 to AZ-85 to I-10 to Loop-101 to I-17. If you are in North County I'd lean toward I-15, if you are in the city or East County I'd favor I-8.

    If you do this in 5 days, overnights should be planned around Flagstaff, Amarillo, Springfield MO, and Springfield OH. All 4 of them have a very good selection of safe reasonably priced motels and hotels right off the Interstate, and none of them are large cities with serious traffic issues.

  5. Default

    Thank you!

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