Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default Cincinnati to San Diego and back

    Hello everyone,

    In late June of '06, I plan on driving solo from here (Cincinnati) to visit a friend in San Diego for a week, and I have a few questions...

    ...What is the quickest route?

    ...How long would this trip (driving portion, one-way) take?

    ...How much money should I expect to spend during the driving portion of this route?

    Your help is apprieciated.
    Thank You

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Quick Answers Are....

    ...What is the quickest route?
    The most direct Interstate route is I-71, I-64, I-255 (around St. Louis), I-44, I-40, I-17, I-10, a short stint on AZ-85, and finish on I-8 into San Diego.

    ...How long would this trip (driving portion, one-way) take?
    The above route is approximately 2220 miles and would take about 35 hours of actual behind-the-wheel driving. To this you will have to add time for fuel and rest stops, meals, sleeping, and (very important on long road trips) some significant time out of the car doing nothing but recharging your batteries. Exactly how long your drive will take depends on your own driving style and stamina, but I'd schedule a minimum of 3 and a half to 4 days one way, but that leaves essentially no time for sightseeing.

    ...How much money should I expect to spend during the driving portion of this route?
    Again, this is highly dependent on your own personal tastes in eating and lodging, as well as the type of car you drive and your driving habits. You can use the RTA Road Trip Fuel Calculator to determine fuel costs. For a range of money saving tips on bed and board check out The Art of the Cheap Road Trip.

    That should give you a general idea of what's involved and possible. You've done at least two things right so far: You've started planning early, and you've come to a very good place to ask the right questions.


  3. #3


    Thank you for your was very informative.

    Being the starving college student that I am, I want to make the trip (driving portion) as quick and cheap as possible.

    Given it would be about a 35-hour drive without stops, and I allowed three days, would it be wise to drive 16, rest 10, drive remainder?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Hmmmmmm.....

    Well, you're talking about two back to back sessions of over a thousand miles each. Do I think that's wise? Not really. I've done thousand mile runs a couple of times myself when I was younger, but even then, and after copious sleep, I was in no shape to repeat it the next day. What I've found works best for me when I need to make the most miles in the least time is to just keep up a steady pace, take breaks as needed, and quit for the day before I become exhausted. So what I think would work better would be three days of around 735 miles a day, but even that would be pushing it. If you do feel that you can do this and you set out on such a journey, you should be ready and willing to admit mid-trip that it's not working (if it's not) and not press on regardless. What's more important here is that you complete the trip safely.


  5. Default

    Well said, well said. I agree! Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    AZBuck gave you great advice.

    If you're really hell-bent on doing a lot of miles in a short time, I would suggest you read my hints in Art of the Speed Run for ideas on keeping yourself sane and safe on this type of trip.

    If I've been in this situation and am pumped up, excited, and full of adrenaline to go, I've been known to plan long driving days (even up to 16-17 hours on the road) alternating with shorter driving days. Like:
    Day 1: on the road for 16 hours, get up real early and leave by 5 or 6am, take plenty of short breaks during the day but drive until 8 or 9pm until I get to a place that would be fun to explore
    Day 2: Sleep in, explore a bit, then hit the road for 5-7 hours depending on energy levels that day, go to sleep early (alternate plan: get up and leave early but plan for a nice, long break in the middle of the day to hike, sit and enjoy a view, nap, whatever, and then drive for a few more hours in the late afternoon/early evening)
    Day 3: Get up at the crack of dawn for another long day's driving since I recharged my batteries the day before

    If you have the stamina to continue to be a safe, alert driver, I think this plan makes more sense than trying to do it in back-to-back long driving days. But this works for me. It may not work for everybody. The main thing is to admit to yourself if you've bit off more than you can safely chew and stop and get some rest so you're not a hazard to yourself or others. Don't try to be superman at the expense of safety.

    Since you're on a budget, you might try some of the tips you'll find in the article AZBuck directed you to like sleeping at truck stops and eating out of a cooler to save your money.

    And don't forget to allow yourself some time to rest after you get home before having to return to work/school.

  7. #7


    Wonderful advice from everybody...I really apprieciate it.

    I've never been on a vacation/road trip before, and the longest duration I've ever driven is about 10 hours (with stops for gas and food). I've always wanted to drive to Cali, and having talked to my friend, this presents the perfect opportunity. And even though I will be striving to get there quickly, I'm still excited about seeing some of the terrain that I've never seen before.

    Thank you all.

Similar Threads

  1. West Coast Blitz, Chicago to San Diego and back in 7 days
    By Nick89TA in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-26-2005, 09:26 AM
  2. San Diego to New York & Back - June/July
    By c_rebuck in forum Share the Gas
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-22-2005, 09:45 AM
  3. From TN to San Diego and back
    By Nathan in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-23-2003, 02:49 PM
  4. vancouver to san diego. and back..
    By imported_ian in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-09-2003, 05:51 AM
  5. Goin' back to Cali!
    By in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-01-1970, 12:00 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name