Hi there! At the end of this coming summer, my girlfriend and I are taking a trip from Maryland, to Irvine, California. We're both 21, and neither of us have ever been on a long road trip before. We'll be driving a 98 Honda Accord, which will probably have around 90k miles on it, at the time of the trip.
I've read through a few of the posts in this forum already, and they were really helpful (for instance, I've gathered that I ought to make sure my car is fully inspected, the tires are reliable, that we have a relevant tool kit and car safety kit on board, etc), but I still had some questions.
Here are a couple of questions/concerns I think I need answers to. Hopefully, someone will be able to give me some advice. I would appreciate absolutely any tips/answers you can give me. Thanks SO MUCH, in advance.
- This is only partially a pleasure trip - we're also moving to live in California, and while we will be shipping some of our possessions ahead of us, we'll be taking as much as we can with us. My question is: would you suggest we rent a small U-Haul, or simply try to fit as much as we reasonably can into the car?
- If you suggest a U-Haul, what should we know about hauling, with the type of car we'll be driving? Are there any safety concerns that might arise here?
- On the subject of safety, what do you suggest two young women carry with them, as a means of protecting themselves? I assume a fully-charged cell phone is a given, along with pepper spray, but do you have any other tips, regarding safety?
- In the interest of not having to spend too much money on hotel stays, what do you think is the shortest reasonable amount of time in which we could make this trip? What do you suggest, as far as the number of hours we drive per day? I read on another website that it was suggested that one plan for around 10 hours of driving time per day, with breaks every 1-4 hours. Is that reasonable, or would you suggest something else?
- Neither one of us is very car-savvy, at the moment. What are the most important things we need to make sure we learn about our engine/tires/transmission/etc, before we leave? What tasks should we make sure we're prepared to complete?
- What kind of a budget would you suggest? As far as food goes, we're planning to save money by mainly eating a supply of nutritious, non-perishable food we can bring with us (along with many, many bottles of water). So, our budget would have to include lodging, gas, emergency repair fund...anything else you can think of?
THANKS AGAIN, to anyone who answers. Personal experience is really welcome, as are links to other sites where I might be able to get some more information.