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  1. Default 3 guys trip cross country

    I have been a lurker for a while now and really enjoy the site. 3 of us will be traveling cross country for wedding in mid-march. We are leaving from Philadelphia, by the way of a rented mini-van, and will be making a few stops in route to Vegas, which we have to be at in one week time. Leave on Wednesday then...

    1. will travel straight through to the first stop Panama city beach. Arrive early Thursday. Shows 18 hours from philly, and we hope to do this with minimum stops. 95 all the way down to Florida? We will spend 2 nights. Leave Saturday afternoon.

    2. We plan to make a stop in New orleans for a few hour break from driving.

    3. Drive through Texas, New Mexico, and Az still researching some cool places to stop at on the way for a few hours.

    4. Eventually find a motel within reasonable distance to the Grand Canyon spend the night and then wake up and visit the Grand Canyon.

    5. Drive Route 66 from Grand Canyon to Vegas. Spending a few nights in Vegas and will be making a trip to LA for a wedding and spend the night in LA.

    This is a very rough draft, and would like to hear some opinions on this trip and some advice or tips on strategies or cool places to stop.

    BTW we are all mid 20s and are interested in interesting things to see or experience.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Neverland

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The first thing that you have to do is toss out any time estimates you get from mapping software. those programs do very well at giving you mileages, which are physical reality, but make terrible and terribly unrealistic assumptions about how long it will take you to drive that distance. They assume, for example, that you can always drive at or above the speed limit, that you will never have to slow down for trucks or get caught in traffic, that you will never need to stop for gas, that you will never need to stop for food, that nature will never call, that you will not get tired, and that there will be nothing along the way that catches your eye and causes you to pull over and enjoy the view. In short, they assume that you will be an inhuman robot and speed down the road regardless of who or what gets in your way. In the real world, if you want to enjoy the drive, we recommend covering no more than 550-600 miles per day. And sleeping in the car is not terribly restful. After a night or two of that you will all be bone-tired, cranky (to say the least), and unsafe.

    The trip you are envisioning is 3,300 miles one way to Las Vegas. You can certainly make the drive in a week, but how much fun you'll have is certainly open to question. So my advice would be to take a step back, stop trying to fit 'cool places' into an already over-ambitious plan, and decide whether you want a marathon run to a lot of places you will have little time for, or would rather enjoy taking a more rational approach to seeing fewer places along a more direct route, and arriving in Las Vegas in a mood to celebrate a wedding.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default seeing it coming

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you've been reading this forum for awhile, I think you have to know that what you are planning is far more than what any experienced traveler is going to recommend.

    Driving straight thru from Philly to Panama City is a 1200 mile drive that will likely take a minimum of 21 hours. That kind of range is on the top end of what we recommend for a 2 day drive, and is flat out foolish to do in one sitting. If you do make it, you will just spend the rest of your days in Panama City just trying to get caught up on sleep. You'll be much better off if you stop someone enroute and aim to get into PC Thursday night.

    I think just by your general tone, you are underestimating how draining simply being in a car for hours upon hours at a time can be. With 3 drivers, working in a rotation, you could cover distances without much worrying about stopping, but that doesn't mean you'd have an enjoyable trip.

  4. Default Directions

    Hey guys...I wanted to see your take on a few trips and the best way to reach my destination. I have searched all the driving direction sites, and have talked to some people about them. I figure you guys would know best so here goes:

    A) Philadelphia to Panama city Beach- We plan to stop about 4-5 hours away from Panama to get a good night sleep. Looking for the quickest route to reach Panama. I thought 95 all the way down to Fl then making our way over to Panama was best way, but I have heard differing opinions. 16-17 hr driving?

    B) Panama City to New Orleans- Again looking for the quickest possible Route. 4-5 hours?

    C) New Orleans to Grand Canyon- This will be our longest drive, we are not really in any rush and plan to make stops along the way to sight see any interesting things. Please feel free to list them. Some maps have me crossing through Dallas across texas and New Mexico. While other have me going North when we reach dallas and entering Oklahoma then driving West. We plan to stop about 4-6 hours away from Grand Canyon to rest for a nite. 24-28 hours?

    D) Finally Grand Canyon to Las Vegas- I would like to experience Route 66 but most mapping software does not include this road, I am sure you guys must know the best route for this. 4-6 hours?

    Thanks for all the help and I am very interested in hearing your opinions on directions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default days not hours

    I really think the best thing I can tell you about directions is use online maps, just don't be held hostage by them. I've been using Googlemaps most often lately, because it has a great feature that will let you drag and drop the route, so you can easily compare a couple different options.

    Online maps are great for pointing out the most efficent route from point a to point b, and if you are getting different results with different programs, it usually means that the difference are very minor.

    What online maps aren't great for is estimating travel time, especially over long distances - for reasons that both Buck and myself have already explained. There simply is no way you'll get from Philly to PCB in 16 hours and measuring NOLA to GC in hours is just flat out rediculous. Even covering this distance in 2 very full days would be a long hard stretch of work that would leave no time left over for seeing things along the way. Doing this as a one shot thing (even if you consider stopping a couple hours short of the actually canyon) can only be done safely if keep to a strict regiment where one person is sleeping at all times, while the other two work on driving. Its not fun at all, leave zero opportunity to explore, and again, it simply cannot be safely done unless you truely commit yourselves to look at this as a huge job that most professional drivers wouldn't dare undertake, not a fun roadtrip.

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