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  1. Default NY to AZ solo roadtrip


    I will be going to college in Arizona coming this August.

    I will be making the trip from New York (Long Island) to Prescott, Arizona and google maps told me it'd be about a 2500 mile trip give or take.

    Many would say, why not just fly there? Well, I have to bring up a bunch of stuff to college (desktop computer, tv, small furniture, and a few other things). Also, I want to get a job off campus, I want to make more then $50/week and my studies are not as intensive as most college students so a car would be very helpful for a job off campus and I have family that lives about an hour or so away.

    My car is a 2002 Montero XLS, with 135,000 miles on it right now. It's in good shape, engine wise it has never had any problems. I am handy, so I can fix a lot of things, I put my own break pads and rotors on my car, as well as change the oil and I know the basic workings of an engine.

    I was thinking 3 days for the trip? Possibly 4? I know i'd have to push 12-13 hours a day but I think I can do it. Also, would it be bad if I slept in my car in a hotel parking lot for at least one day to cut travel costs? The other days i'd get a room for my mental health of course.

    Would it be cheaper just to ship my car there and fly?

    I am also young, 18 years of age and I am male. I honestly don't have a problem going by myself, I've done 8 hour road trips before without any problems but then again it was just for one day. I also am an avid hiker and outdoors man and have done 10-14 hours day on foot, and sometimes by myself (I work as a mountain guide during my summers).

    Of course during the christmas breaks and such i'd just fly back home. I'd only be making the trip twice a year (once there and once back)

    Is this feasible? Or should I just fly/deliver my car.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Heck, yeah, it's feasible

    It's a wonderful excuse for a roadtrip! I can't imagine hassling with the trouble of flying plus shipping your car there plus shipping your computer, furniture, etc. there when it's just a short roadtrip away. I don't know what would be cheaper off-hand. But driving will be far more fun and worth a few extra bucks to do it (if, indeed, it does cost more but I doubt it).

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    Your car sounds fine. Just give it a good once over before you leave and replace/fill any fluids, check the tires, etc. Especially look for things like worn hoses, etc. (Here I am, giving advice about cars to someone who does it when I can barely check my oil. LOL)

    If the trip is 2500, five days would be best. We typically recommend that people keep it to about 500 miles per day. This allows you to cover a fair amount of ground each day but still allows you time to stop and explore a bit, too. You could do it in four days but it would be pushing it a bit. Three days? Forget it!

    With short stops for food/fuel/bio breaks, it will take you about 9 hours on the road to cover 500 miles. Over five days, that's a steady pace but it's feasible. But to do it in four days, you would need to plan for about 11.5 hours on the road. Over three days bumps it up to about 15 hours. When you're driving these long hours, you will get fatigued and your ability to drive safely will be hurt. But, also, it leaves little time to play along the way. Why zip through the lovely sights along the way without checking them out?

    You could sleep in a parking lot to safe money if you want but you're not going to get the best rest. Sleeping in a car with people coming-and-going around you doesn't get you into deep, restful sleep very easily. You're a hiker so why not camp every night? I'm an old lady and I sometimes take solo trips and I usually camp every night. I love it. It's a great way to spend the night after a day in the car. In August, it will be a great time to do that. Camping will normally run you $15-25/night. Hotels will usually be about $50-70. It's a no-brainer to save money and add to your enjoyment.

    My kids were taking roadtrips at your age, usually with friends but there's no reason why you can't go solo. Many of us here take solo trips, both men and women, young and old. Are you safe driving across town solo? Sure! And you'll be safe on the road as well.

    I encourage you to try to add a few extra days to your trip so you can explore a bit more. But you can easily do it in five days if that's all the time you have.

    We'd be glad to give you more detailed tips and help you with route-planning if you'd like. I hope you decided to do this. I think you'll enjoy it.

  3. Default ny to az

    I am also from Long Island and drove out to AZ once and drove back to NY once...I am moving back to NY for good this summer (I will be making the drive one more time, argh!!).
    I just shipped my 4 runner (DAS was the name of the car shipping company) back to long island from palm springs, ca (it was a little bit cheaper) for a total of $842 (this included a $167 charge to ship it from the lot in palm springs to my parent's door on long island).
    More than likely gas will be outrageous this summer, however, when you ship your car your car needs to be emptied of all your personal items. So, you would have to ship your stuff out here and that can be expensive as well.
    I hope this helps you out!

  4. Default New York to Arizona

    I am planning to travel from New York to Arizona next weekend. I want to do the trip in 4 days, and I am doing it more for necessity then site seeing (moving there).

    I have a few questions.

    First off, how do you "plan" exactly besides the route. I want to stay in hotels, do I plan to stop at specific hotels or do I just stop by one when I think its time to stop driving. And, if I should plan to stop at a hotel how do I plan it on the route, say I don't make it to the hotel in time? I am worried about all this.

    Is 4 days enough? I don't want to be driving an INSANE amount of hours, but I don't want to drive to little in the day either.

    Are there sections of the interstates there that don't have gas stations for say more then 200 miles that I would have to be concerned about (EX: say I go on this 200 mile stretch with a quarter of a tank thinking ill hit a gas station soon).

    I am driving with someone else, we will be switching every 4-5 hours. How many hours should I do in a day to make it in 4 days?

    And I am open to any suggestions.

  5. #5


    Having an extra driver certainly helps. Since you've never done a trip like this I'd say give yourself 5 days, but test yourself the first day and see if you think you can do the 11.5hrs per day that PNW Judy mentioned. Remember that even with changing drivers, you're still going to be in that car for 11, 12hrs. If you don't have a comfortable ride, that's a long time.

    As for hotels and gas, they are everywhere on the interstate. I think someone mentioned on the forums here that it was impossible to drive 30miles on the interstate or state highways without seeing a gas station. My personal rule is that as soon as my tank is down to 1/4 I look for a station to fill up. Better safe than sorry out there.

    Hotels; I've never had a problem with just rolling up and asking for a room in whatever town I've decided to stop at. The chain motels will be more expensive, the non-chains will be cheaper but sometimes not-so-clean. Ask if you can see your room before you sign anything, if the hotel refuses it's usually a good idea to find another. If you're paying cash many hotels will require a deposit for the night, refunded when you check out.

    One last thing since you're driving west. Driving into the sunset is a bad idea. It's difficult to see the road properly and it's hell on the eyes. Sundown is a good time for a dinner break.

  6. Default How did the Road trip go from LI to AZ?

    Is a reliable GPS system reliable for a NY to AZ road trip? Plan on taking a southern route... NY to Roanoke to Memphis to Texas to Az due to the Wintery weather. Please offer some advice thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Paper map.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strongislander View Post
    Is a reliable GPS system reliable for a NY to AZ road trip? Plan on taking a southern route... NY to Roanoke to Memphis to Texas to Az due to the Wintery weather. Please offer some advice thanks!
    I would always carry a paper map with me as a back up anyway, and it's a better way of seeing your progress and the areas you are passing through I.M.O.

    Heading South is certainly no guarantee of avoiding wintry weather. The route you choose should depend more on what time you have and what, if anything, you want to see along the way. Otherwise it is generally regarded that the shortest, most direct route using Interstates is the better option, and then check the weather forecasts before leaving.

    If you need any other info just let us know, have a safe trip.

  8. Default I made it

    I took maps but relied on the Gps, it worked out just fine. It just didnt cure that isolation feeling driving through Texas!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by profall View Post
    Well, I have to bring up a bunch of stuff to college (desktop computer, tv, small furniture, and a few other things).
    Have you considered the security of these items? Not many hotel parking lots are secured. A lot of luggage in a vehicle can be to a thief, like a red flag to a bull. You'd hate to wake up in the morning, or even get back to your car after a meal, to find your belongings are no longer all there.

  10. Default I chanced it

    I took in with me most of my valuables, and no break ins or troubles. Had the alarm on and parked near my room. Guess I had good luck on my side!

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