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  1. Default Long Island to San Francisco to Los Angeles & back!


    I've been reading through the forums for an hour and now and found everyone to be so helpful, so I decided to post a thread and ask for a bit of advice.

    Next summer I plan on taking this road trip, taking US-50 across the states to San Francisco, then taking Highway-1 down the coast to Los Angeles, then Route-66 to St. Louis and back home on US-50.

    I'm 21 years old and my girlfriend is 18 years old. Additionally, this is going to be our first real road trip, although I have driven all around the east coast, to Mass., to Florida, to Philadelphia, etc.

    The question is, is this too ambitious? I've seen enough of the east coast and have never been to the west coast, or anywhere really west Pennsylvania (save for Vancouver and Alaska), so the area of real intrigue is really 3000 across the country.

    I've roughly calculated $1300/person for gas and the time off is really no issue (3-4 weeks estimated), so is this realistic? I hold the belief that it IS realistic, but I'm an inexperienced road tripper.. unlike many of you! :)

    ANY help would be appreciated! Thank you! :D

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

    Default You sound somewhat experienced to me!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    If you've traveled to those other places, and did it in a car on the road, I think that qualifies as a roadtrip. However, if you're concerned about taking on such a big roadtrip with somewhat limited experience, I would suggest that you and your girlfriend do a few short roadtrips together to get some experience and build your confidence. Even just a weekend trip somewhere and back will add to your skills and help you understand the types of things each other expect on a roadtrip so you can learn to compromise, if needed, before you take the big trip.

    It sounds like a good route, btw. It can certainly be done in 3-4 weeks. We generally recommend that people limit their driving to about 500-550 miles per day. At this rate, it takes about 5 days to travel cross-country. Figure another 2 days to get from SF to LA if you take the coastal highway. So this is about 12 days total. Of course, this is the minimum recommended time to travel this far. The more extra days you have, the more time you have to explore and take some breaks from driving. It's really nice to have at least one day, sprinkled throughout your trip, where you don't drive much to get some good exploring in.

    To get you started on planning your budget, read through this post for some tips. This includes how to figure out your fuel budget. I think your budget might be a bit tight. Especially with the cost of fuel these days. Who knows what it will cost by next summer?

    Great ways to save some bucks are by eating out of your cooler. Also, if you're willing to camp at least part of the time, this can also save on expenses.

    Hope this helps get you started. Keep asking questions as your planning progresses and let us help you tweak things to have a wonderful first major roadtrip.

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