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  1. Default Driving From NY To LA - Need Help!


    I'll be driving from NY to LA in a few weeks, I need all the help, tips, advice, and information you might have.

    I'm not interested in seeing the sights, countryside, no luxuries.

    I'm just interested in getting from point A to point B.

    What is the best route?

    What are the cheapest sleeping options besides sleeping in the car?

    Any good cheap places to eat along the way?

    What is the best road side service to sign up for, or join just for the week?

    Should I drive a few hours, then stop, and give the car a break?

    Please explain things in as much detail as possible, assume I know nothing.

    I'll be driving alone in a 94 BMW 318is.

    How much will gas cost for the whole trip?

    What should I have in the car besides water?

    What times am I better off driving?

    How long will this take for a solo driver?

    From Manhattan, NY (10034)

    To Long Beach, CA (90802)

    Are there places along the way where I can get wireless internet access?

    Any info at all is really appreciated.

    Thank you...

  2. Default

    As i've found out when i joined, spending 10 minutes looking around on the forum will help answer most questions.

    With regards to sleeping, here is a good site for camping:

    Most National Parks have a website with their camp site details, just look them up on Google.

    I have been advised to take about 3 weeks for a trip that big, presuming you actually want to stop and enjoy all of the sights!

    My best advice would be to look around the forum, find some sights you want to see and then link them together.

    I've been using Google Maps, as it allows you to mark points of interest, get directions, distance and save it to look at.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-21-2007 at 09:41 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Greetings!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums where we'll try to answer your questions. Englebert is right. A search of the forums will yield many answers to your questions.

    The major routes are I-80 to NE tip of Colorado, then I-76 to Denver, then I-70 to central Utah, then I-15 to LA area.

    If you sleep in your car, sleep at major truck stops where the truckers sleep. You can even get a shower for a few bucks. Camping and hostels are usually the best alternatives.

    The best cheap eats are out of your own cooler. Re-stock at full-size grocery stores, not convenience stores.

    I'm not aware of any road service programs that only have a 1-week option. I would check out AAA or Allstate first.

    I'm chuckling....your car doesn't need a break. But YOU do. Yes, it's best to stop every couple of hours even if only for a few minutes to walk/jog/jump around and get your circulation going. Fuel/food/bio breaks will take care of some of this. Even if you're in a hurry, try to enjoy scenic viewpoints, photo opps, etc. along the way. Even a quick stop and look around will make your trip more memorable and it's good for your body as well.

    I have no idea what fuel consumption your Beamer gets. If your car gets 25mpg and gas costs $3/gallon, your fuel will cost about $350. Use our Fuel Cost Calculator (see left column) to get a more accurate figure for yourself. If you want to see what gas costs in the different states you're driving through, Gas Buddy is a great website to explore.

    Check out the Gear Up section for many posts about what to carry in your car. Check out this post for some links to many great posts on this topic. The minimum you should have is a working flashlight with extra batteries, blanket, a supply of water, extra food, tools, spare tire, working cellphone, flares or reflective triangle, and first aid kit. But that's the bare minimum so do check out those threads for other ideas.

    Times to drive is probably a personal preference. I prefer to drive during daylight hours so I can see the sights will driving. I tend to get up early and hit the road. 5-6-7am, depending on how energized I am. I will drive later when it's light later. Obviously, at this time of year, if you need to make good time you might have to travel in the evening when it's getting dark. Too bad. You miss a lot by driving at night.

    Anyway, I'll get up early so I have more time to stop and enjoy things during the day, even if I am on a speed run.

    All of us here tend to agree that if you are on a speed run and your only stops are quick stops for fuel, food, stretching, and bio-breaks, that you'll probably end up averaging covering 53mph in the east and 57mph in the west. (Traffic congestion and other things like that will keep you from going much faster as an average.) The route I gave you is 2810 miles so figure about 50 hours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Goin Solo

    Judy has provided an excellent list of advice.

    The only thing I will add is that stopping frequently is even more important when you are driving by yourself. Its very easy to let your mind wander, make sure that you use your breaks to get away from the car for a few minutes and to make sure that you stop and sleep whenever you start to have trouble focusing on staying safe behind the wheel.

  5. Default

    Thank you so much for all your help...

    Was not expecting to spend as much as $350 on gas, glad I asked.

    Also surprised that the issue of short term road side coverage hasn't been brought up before.

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


    Quote Originally Posted by Art30malenyc View Post
    Thank you so much for all your help...

    Was not expecting to spend as much as $350 on gas, glad I asked.
    Well, maybe not. Go to Gas Buddy like I suggested for gas prices and then go to the Fuel Cost Calculator using your own car's MPG to see. It might be a bit less....or even more. But if you're on a tight budget, it's pretty important to make an educated guess with this.

    Also surprised that the issue of short term road side coverage hasn't been brought up before.
    Well, you could contact AAA and Allstate Motor Club and ask about short-term memberships. I'm just not aware of any but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Also, I noticed once that Verizon Wireless offers emergency road service as an add-on with your phone. I don't know if all carriers do this or not. I suppose you could check this option out with your carrier. I think you can purchase it month-to-month (but I really didn't pay much attention so I can't swear to that).

  7. Default

    If you do ask the AAA i'd be interested too. I'd like to be prepared if the worst was to cover.

    I've tried contacting the AA here in the UK but they only seem to do european cover.

  8. Default Best & Quickest Route To Drive NY To LA


    I'll be driving from NY to LA in a few days,

    what is the best and fastest route to take?

    I'm not interested in seeing any sights, just need to get from NY to LA - fast.

    Need help planning the trip,

    Where should I stop to rest etc,

    how to divide the trip up etc.

    any good places to eat along the way?

    any info at all will be appreciated.

    Was planning to sleep in the car, where can I do that?

    I was told there are places where you can even take showers etc.

    Are these places safe?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Minimalist RoadTripping

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Best and Fastest are relative terms that depend on things like your interests, weather and traffic which no one can predict. What we can tell you is which is the most direct route which is simply I-80 west through Nebraska, I-76 down to Denver, I-70 to southwestern Utah and I-15 into the L.A. area. That's just under 2800 miles and can be done relatively comfortably in 5 days of serious driving. Trying to do it in 4 days would require you to cover 700 miles each day, and that is neither pleasant or safe. 4 roughly equally spaced overnight stops would be around Sandusky, OH; Des Moines, IA; Sterling, CO; and Richfield, UT.

    Unfortunately, you won't have time on a trip like this one to really explore local cuisine or go looking for recommended restaurants. You're going to be pretty much limited to what's available at the Interstate exit ramps, and that's going to be pretty standard fare for the most part. While you can sleep in your car at most truck stops (but let them know you'll be doing so to avoid any 'misunderstandings'), and you can usually take a shower there as well, you will not be getting a great night's sleep and eventually that's going to catch up with you. Plan on at least every other night in a motel.


  10. Default

    Thank you,

    could someone give a breakdown of the trip...

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