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  1. #1
    imported_Courtney Guest

    Default I'm lost and I haven't even left home!

    I was wondering if anyone could give me some pointers for my VERY FIRST ROADTRIP! Several friends and I want to travel frpm PA to CA, and in between we want to do a little bit of everything, from line dancing to visiting random museums to Vegas to Malibu... We have absolutely no idea what we're doing and where to visit and what to try... If you could share some of your experience with us, that would be absolutely amazing. Thanks so much! -Courtney

  2. #2
    imported_Tom Guest

    Default advice for road trip

    hey, i'm in the middle of planning my july road trip where i drive cross country too. i'm moving from philly to l.a. in a 14 day road trip and transferring to ucla. here are some things i picked up: 1) have your car checked on by a mechanic first and let him know you're about to take it on a road trip 2) bring jump cables, spare tire, flares, flashlight, the works (you could buy an emergency kit that has all these things at walmart or something) 3) bring a cooler and fill it w/ bottled water and a drink with caffiene in it (like soda, red bull, coffee) to keep you up and alert on those long boring highways 4) bring a camera w/ 67 rolls of film and a camcorder 5) make sure you have a lot of spare change for those tolls 6) if you have an extra set of keys for your car, wear it on a good chain around your neck or give it to one of the other persons with you or strap it under your car or something...believe me, it's a bummer to wait for AAA in the middle of el scorcho me on that one 7) the best way to start headin out west from PA in my opinion is to start down thru I-95 to D.C. and then take the 81 thru virginia to nashville. it's the most scenic route cuz you go thru the shanandoah valley and smokey mountains. that's what me and my friends are doing in july. then we're headin to st. louis and then to kansas city and hangin out in the state of colorado for a few days. the 2 most beautiful states to see and drive thru is colorado and oregon...but that's just my opinion. and when you go thru l.a., make sure it isn't during rush hour. l.a.'s a great place to see, but san diego is just as good. so those are just a few pointers and advice that i got from my friends and from experience. i hope you have a rad and safe trip and also a memorable one. take care, and God bless.

  3. #3
    imported_Courtney Guest


    hey, thanks so much- we also are from the philly area- everyone we've talked to thinks it's crazy and impossible for us to make it to cali and back in 2 weeks, but i think that just makes us all the more determined to try :) we won't be going until august, so let me know how your trip goes in july... i'd love to hear about any interesting stops along the way. we're all about random "best-kept secret" kind of places... thanks again, and good luck at ucla! (oh! and reading "God bless," as simple as it may seem, brightened my day, so thanks for that too!)

  4. #4
    imported_Tom Guest


    definitely, so if i remember, i'd let ya know how our road trip went and about any rad unknown places that we hopefully might come across. i didn't realize that you guys were planning to do a cross country trip and back in 2 weeks in that's something you can one day tell your kids about. it'll be passed down from generation to generation. don't worry about those people who think you can't do the road trip, you can do all things thru Christ who strengthens you, and i'm pretty sure that paul had your road trip in mind when he wrote that verse, even though cars and america weren't invented yet. oh, one more piece of advice, get your oil changed be4 you leave for cally, and remember to change it after 3000 miles (sorry, i know, i sound like a dad). it's always nice to take a pic of your odometer at the beginning and end of the road trip to add to your photo collection at the end of the trip. well, i hope you have a rad time preparing and planning your august trip. take care, and God bless you (again and again)!

  5. #5
    FbkGirl Guest


    Last August my husband and I drove from San Diego to Detriot and back in 6 days. That includes the 6 hour traffic jam/detour that we sat through in Nebraska when a pickup truck became a pancake between two semis and the other 3 hour standstill while they built a bridge over the road in the middle of the night in Chicago. Philly to Cali isn't much longer so don't belive those who would say you can't make it in two weeks. You guys should do fine. :) If you've never seen the USA by car, then you're in for a real treat. It's insanely beautiful. :)

  6. #6
    imported_Kathy Guest

    Default Need advice too - NY-LA trip

    Planning on a taking the I95 down from NY to FL then, I10 to CA then up the PCH to WA. We have no time line, giving up our apt in NY and seeing where the road leads us. Hoping to buy a used wagon or SUV and leaving around Aug. The forum has been extremely helpful, but was wondering on more insights on motels and safety. Don't really want to camp too much.

    Is there something to avoid? Must sees?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A really, really good book for that

    A couple of roadtrip collegues, Stan & Sandra, recently published a great guide book to I-95 and environs and they have a number of suggestions for out-of-the-way motels. For more information about <a href = "">Drive I-95, click here</a>.

    One of the places that comes to mind is the Elk Forge B&B -- which is only 2-1/2 miles from the Interstate, but is in 5 acres of woods and is a colonial manor house complete with a personal spa and other services in Maryland.

    I think you will enjoy the book!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Safety

    There have been scads of posts here about personal safety issues. You might find then with a search. Most of the key points are things you have probably already thought of. Here's a short list:

    ensure your car is in good condition

    basic tools and things like fix-a-flat, etc.

    working flashlight with extra batteries

    CB radio

    FRS radios can be helpful, especially so you can communicate if you go your separate ways at a fair or some other busy place

    cellphone with car charger

    extra food and water in case you are stuck somewhere for awhile (I always have water and also carry things like cup-a-soup and granola bars in my trunk plus a couple small cans that have 24-hour emergency candles in them plus my sierra cup so I can heat water for the soup...or to use as heat to stay warm)

    blankets if you are stuck and it's cold

    an emergency triangle or flares

    AAA+ membership can be helpful

    And then just use the same good intuition you would normally use by avoiding situations that don't feel right. Keep aware of your surroundings, etc.

    As for hotels, I have never stayed in a chain where I have felt unsafe. My only bad experience in a hotel was one that rented rooms by the hour. Not a good idea but the only choice available very late at night some years ago. But it did have a solid door with good locks so it was probably about as safe as any...just strange.

    Some of my best memories are from staying in mom-and-pop motels. They are often not as modern as chains, and may even have rather quaint or dated furnishings, but they are usually clean and friendly. I especially remember the lady who owned a small motel we stopped at for the night some years ago somewhere along the coast in California (I don't remember which town). It was a Saturday night stay on Easter weekend so she brought both my kids Easter baskets that morning.

    And I remember the old fellow that owned little cabins with decor from about the 1950s who noticed we were up and leaving before any restaurants were open for breakfast in the teeny "blank and you've missed it" town we were in so he invited us into his home behind the office for breakfast (bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee and cereal for the kids) and then refused to let us pay him for the meal. Good company, too, with lots of fun stories about the area and hints on things to see along our way.

    And I also remember the stay at a little motel in Idaho where they were having a kiddie parade the next morning. My kids were little and heard about it and wanted to be in it and the cute, older couple who owned the small hotel heard my kids talking about it and produced two kid-sized bikes with a bunch of things to decorate the bikes with so my kids could be in the parade. We didn't ask but they were just kind and offered.

    I have more stories like that. I love mom-and-pop establishments. They're not always that nice but they're almost always nicer than chains.

  9. #9
    imported_Nick Guest

    Default Advise on PA to CA road trip

    Hello Courtney!
    This will be a great great trip for you and your friends. I have done this three times from Massachusetts to California. On one occasion I have used Interstate 95 south to I-81 south all the way down to Tennessee then I took I-40 west all the way to California. An optional route is to get on Interstate 70 west in PA and stay on I-70 west until you get to St.Louis, Missouri. Take I-44 south from St.Louis to Oklahoma City and then get on I-40 west and follow I-40 west to california. In fact depending on where in CA you plan on visiting you will need to make a decision somewhere around Barstow, CA and plan your route from that point onwards. If you decided to go to Los Angeles. Then take I-15 south from Barstow and then get on I-10 westbound.
    Depending on which route you decide to take you might want to stop to take pitures. Well In St.Louis there is the arch. In Clinton, OK there is the RT66 museum.(A must see for all RT66 fans). Cadillac ranch is another interesting stop just west of Amarillo, TX. The Grand Canyon of course is another must see, but this would be a detour north on U.S 89 if you are driving on I-40 west. And there are tons of things to do and places to see in CA. If you have time on you way back, stop in Vegas. Well that about it. I hope these hints are helpful in the planning of your trip.

  10. #10
    Jo Cookson Guest

    Default travelling around america from england

    My boyfriend and i are planning to travel early next year from our home of england to america nad then to travel around america in a camper van. Our first idea was to rent a camper van but i've recently found out we can't do this as you need to be 21 in America and my bboyfriend is 20 and i'm 18, so our plan now is to fly out to America and to buy a camper van when we are there, can you please tell me the general cost of 2nd hand fully equipped to live in camper vans in America, prefferably a VW. I would also like to find out how much the insurance etc would be so if you can give me ageneral idea along with any other information which i might find useful i'd be very grateful. Thankyou


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