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  1. Default Boston, MA to Ventura, CA-- moving west!

    Hey everyone! I've been reading through this forum tonight and I was so glad to have found it. I've already learned a lot and hope you guys might have some advice for me. :)

    On June 8th, I'm leaving Boston, MA to head to Ventura, CA (about an hour north of LA along the coast) where I'll be living. It'll be my mom and I driving a 12 ft. rental truck (Penske-- anyone used them before?). Neither of us has driven across the country before, though I've done my fair share of flying. Unfortunately, we only have a week (planning on getting to CA by June 15th, if not sooner) so there isn't much time for sightseeing. We'd like to stop by the Grand Canyon for half a day or a full day, if we can budget the time. But we'd rather not have to rush through, so it might be something we just skip this time around and plan a vacation in the future.

    This is the current plan, and I'd love any suggestions for alternate routes. I've kind of roughed out suggestions for stopping points. I was thinking ~10 hours a day of driving. AAA says it's ~51 hours, so I figured that would put us at 5-6 days of driving.

    • Boston, MA to Buffalo, NY
    • Buffalo, NY to Indianapolis, IN
    • Indianapolis, IN to Springfield, MO (this seems a bit short... maybe stop in Tulsa, OK instead?)
    • Springfield, MO to Amarillo, TX (perhaps Tulsa to Tucumcari, NM instead?)
    • Amarillo, TX to Flagstaff, AZ (seems like a bit long of a drive, and I suspect we could add a bit of time on the two previous routes to make it shorter?)
    • Flagstaff, AZ to Ventura, CA

    This is sort of a combination of the two "usual" routes to CA from Boston. I wanted to be able to see a bit of the midwest (I've been there, but mom hasn't) and the southwest. The lady I spoke with at AAA said we should try to avoid a lot of mountains since we'll have the truck, so I thought this might be the best compromise.

    No camping for us-- it will be all motel/hotel stops along the way.

    We haven't decided much about the food situation, though I think we'll want to bring a small cooler that we can stock with snacks and drinks. I suspect we'll be stopping at restaurants for the vast majority of the meals.

    My mom will be flying back to MA either on Saturday the 16th or early Sunday the 17th, so we really would like to get to CA before the 15th so it's not a huge rush.

    Any suggestions or words of advice? :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Solild Foundation

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your rough outline seems to be a solid plan. 5-6 days is the amount of time you need to cover this journey at a reasonable pace, and your route is a perfectly good one.

    I'll just add a few things. I haven't used Penske, but I have driven plenty of moving vans, and honestly, its not that difficult. If you aren't pulling your car behind, then its really just like driving a big van. You have to watch your blind spots a little more closely, and its going to handle like a truck, but its not going to be hard to drive. I'll alo say there is no reason you need to avoid mountains with a moving van, as they have plenty of power where its not a concern.

    I would keep the rest of your plan flexable. You really shouldn't need to pre-book your motels, so if you find you are making good time, then go a little farther that your current outline. And if that ends up being the case, then take the extra time to do a little sightseeing, maybe stopping at the St. Louis arch, or detouring up to the Grand Canyon.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael! Thanks for the information.

    It's good to hear that it shouldn't be difficult to drive the truck. Both my mom and I are good drivers, so I suspect we won't have any trouble. We originally were considering towing my car, but shipping it turned out to be the best option for us.

    We're hopeful about making a little sightseeing time! :)

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