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  1. Default Driving Cross Country to college?

    Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, but I created a profile because I'm considering (as in I don't think I have any other options) driving from the Austin area in TX to southern New York State. By myself. I'm 21 and will only have been driving for a few months, flying isn't an option, I need to get a car up to NY, and there's no one that can drive with me. It's over 1,500 miles and it's 25 hours driving time. I guess I'm just asking for some tips on being a young woman, inexperienced driver, and having this not be a recreational trip. I've down longer drives with my family where I'm not driving, and I've done them frequently so I know that I CAN do this, I was just hoping people had tips for doing it alone. The trip would be either end of July or beginning of August, depending on how I'm doing at driving by the end of the summer and if I feel I'll need to stop very frequently etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,325

    Default It's Not a Chore, It's an Adventure

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First and foremost, we have to correct a misconception common among people new to RoadTripping. What's ahead of you is NOT a 25 hour drive no matter what some software full of fantasy assumptions tells you. This is a three day drive, minimum. So, what to do?

    First, plan on taking at least three days (obviously). If there's some place(s) along the way that you want to see, by all means do, but be sure to budget the extra time needed both to enjoy those places but also to get off the highway, to the site, and back on the highway again.

    On any given day, even if it's devoted to 'just' driving, be sure to make two or three 'time outs' to just relax, take your mind off driving, get some exercise and fresh air, and just enjoy the sections of the country that you'll be driving through.

    The Interstate Highway System was built to offer the most efficient, speediest, and safest routes across large distances, so plan to use them as the basic backbone of your route. Note that we'd have to know your final destination a bit more exactly than 'southern New York' to offer specific routing advice.

    To avoid the temptation to push on 'just a little farther' and fall victim to fatigue, plan out where you should stop each night and make reservations. Besides forcing you to get rest when needed, such a strategy lets you do your shopping from the comfort of your own home when you're fully relaxed rather than trying to find something late at night when you're tired, irritable, and in a strange setting.

    Finally, remember that wherever you are it's somebody's home town and single women are out and about all the time. Your best defense against getting into trouble is the same one that you use in your hometown, your own innate sense of when things feel comfortable and when they don't. If something or some place is giving you the willies, hop in your car and move on. It's really that simple.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    I did that a good many, many years ago -- drove myself from AZ to MO to get my car to college. AZBuck gave you very good advice. Take three days. Get out of the car often, preferably at places where there are a lot of people. Take yourself out to eat and not necessarily to the fast food places. Get reservations at motels along the way. Take your cell with you. Have your car checked before you leave, and if you can get an emergency road service plan (such as AAA), that's good too. Take maps -- paper ones, not just the electronic kind that resides in your phone-tablet-separate unit -- and know how to use them. Bring bottles of water with you and drink them, as they will make you get out of the car to use the facilities on a regular basis.

    One favorite memory I have of that trip: I stopped for the night early on and wanted to get dinner, but I didn't want to go sit in a restaurant by myself, nor did I want fast food. I found a take-out place and brought the food back to the room. They were a specialty of New Mexico: sopapillas. So find local cuisine if you can.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 05-05-2017 at 07:58 AM. Reason: corrected grammar and vocab

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