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  1. Default Best route NYC to San Diego beginning of January

    My boyfriend and I are moving to California at the start of January. We have 5-7 days to complete our trip in. We have a small car, Ford Focus, that will be heavily packed. Any tips on the best route will be greatly appreciated. Our main concern is safety. Thanks for the help, greatly appreciated.

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

    Default take your pick

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Any interstate route is going to be safe, as long as you chose to drive in a safe manner. 5-7 days is a healthy plan time-wise, giving you time to slow down if you do hit some bad weather.

    In winter, your best bet is to take the shortest route, because the less time you are on the road, the less chance you'll have of hitting bad weather.

    In your case, there are a number of routes that are of very similar distance, so you really can build your route around the weather forecast. That may mean you could stay south, going through Dallas, Memphis, and working your way Northeast, or you could starting by going north on I-15 all the way to I-80 and take that across. Or you could use a route in between. Any of those routes could see bad weather, and any of them could see perfect conditions. I wouldn't make any final decision until just a day or two before you actually head out on the road.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Michael is right...

    ...but obviously you are going from the Northeast to California so read his directions in reverse.

    The freezing rain/ice storms that the Midwest is having now is a perfect example of how weather can cause a change in plans in a hurry. If you had planned to take I-80 this last weekend, you'd probably change to go south through Texas. At least I would, if I were you. And this isn't something you'd know until the last minute.

    Make sure you have a recent Atlas and a weather radio as you go. You may find you can go across with no detours, but you may have to scoot north or south to avoid being hit by a big storm. I've seen small cars, even heavily loaded ones, blown off a slick road by strong winds. So take it slow when the road conditions are questionable and find a safe place to stop if it gets really bad.

    Have a great ride, and welcome to California!

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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