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  1. #1

    Default First Multi-Day Road Trip

    On November 7 - 10 my friends and I are doing what we have wanted to do since we got our drivers' liscenses 6 years ago, take a weekend and roll out there as far as we can.

    We have done nightly road trips, for a few hours at a time from New Jersey to Delaware, New Jersey to West Virginia (on I-81) and New Jersey to Vermont/New Hampshire Border and everywhere in between stopping at small towns and usually ending at some place to eat that we could never imagine was real. (Jumboland in NJ comes to mind)

    This time we are going to just see how many new states that we can get to in 4 days, states which we previously had no reason to go to, strictly playing "beat the clock". I did the planning for this knowing there is a western limit and a southern limit to the adventure in order to hit as many states as possible. Starting in PA we are going to start west on 80/90 to Sioux Falls, SD. Then we head south into NE, IA, MO, KS, OK, TX (hitting eastern/western borders depending on the state) then back east across scraping Arkansas and hitting the northern parts of the deep southern states (TX, LA, MS, and AL) before hitting the extreme NW corner of Georgia before heading north through TN, KY and back east through WV, MD, and finally back to PA.

    I assume this will be ultimately the most exhausting four days I can plan for myself.

    Does anyone have any survival tips from personal experience?

    What types of supplies are essential for a "beat the clock" type road trip?

    I'm sure I have other questions as replies come in but all advice is welcome. We're very excited to hear all experiences and advice. We are definitly ready to go!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default On the Very Hairy Edge

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your plan would require that you cover just over 1000 miles per day. Now with multiple drivers, that is just (and I mean JUST) at the point where I would say no how, no way. In order to pull this off, each of you must commit to doing everything you can to making the trip SAFELY. That means that you must all realize that there are some states that you will simply sleep through. (Different states for each of you hopefully!) You must understand that you will have no time to actually stop and see anything. Your only time out of the car will be to get gas and to offload food and drink. If anyone of you can't sleep soundly in a moving car, this trip is a non-starter. You all must also be ready to turn for home if and as soon as you realize that the rest of the trip os not feasible.

    So, with all those caveats. here are some tips for what we call a Speed Run


  3. #3

    Default Alternate Route?

    Ok, I was thinking of taking an alternate route, bypassing WI, MN, and SD and going straight through Iowa and into Nebraska. What is your advice on the alternate route?

  4. #4


    Also thanks for the welcome and there are alternating drivers through the trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I'm Not You

    Personally, if I were doing this trip (and I've done similar trips) I would tailor the trip to fit the timeframe rather than vice versa. That is to say, I'd scale back by about half and actually enjoy the new states I was driving through. But you all have a different agenda, and that's just fine. If you want the most 'new' states, then you should keep WI, MN, and SD since you can pick those up for an 'extra' 300 miles or so assuming you still want to go as far west as the stack of states that is the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Where I would drop a state or two is at the southern end of that stack where the states get bigger. In particular, I'd look at dropping TX and LA.

    The other thing you should keep in mind is that there will be other trips. For example, if this trip concentrated on the middle of the country and the upper Midwest, then another trip could make a curved route down the Atlantic coast and across the deep South which is where you could pick up AL and MS as well. In other words, try to make this trip enjoyable rather than a death march so that you continue to find RoadTripping an adventure. That's the best way to eventually get to 50.


  6. #6


    I was an over the road truck driver for 30 years, so I know a little bit about driving long distance's with not much sleep. Even with alternating drivers you are going to be tired after the second day. Unless you are able to stretch out and get 4/5 hrs of uninterrupted sleep at a time you will be fatigued by the second day. The sleep you get in a moving car won't amount to much more than a cat nap. The amount of miles you want to cover in the allotted time won't give you much time to stop other than fuel, bathroom, and food to go. Some things to avoid that will make you sleepy;
    1. Avoid soft drinks with sugar. The sugar will give you a short energy rush and then you'll be more tired than before. Black coffee works best.
    2. Eat light. A quarter pounder with cheese and fries is an invitation to a nap when you are fatigued. Stay away from stuff with sugar. Chocalate will make you sleepy after the initial sugar rush.
    3. No doz works for some people. It never did for me.

    If your eyes start to play tricks on you,{You might see a leaf blowing on the shoulder and think its a critter is one example} its time to rest. Let someone who is rested drive. Leave a window cracked so you get fresh air.
    Just remember to stay safe. There is nothing scarier than nodding off while driving. Good Luck

  7. #7

    Default Cutting it in Half

    I've explored cutting it in half into two seperate drives. They look like traingles on the map. PA, down to TX, across to FL, up the western parts of the east coast states and the northern route being PA, west to SD then down to OK, and back north east. I like both options.

    I'm going to suggest doing the southern route, being that it is going to be November and that certain routes may have some snow issues in the upper mid west by that point. That and we were looking at exploring the south first, before adding the midwest when we originally planned to leave mid afternoon Friday and arrive in PA Monday morning instead of leaving Friday morning and leaving on Monday night.

    I tracked the hours per state and MN, OH, and PA are the biggest ones and to go south first would save time that way. When we hit Texas we will be able to gauge if we should go any further or head back north east through TN, KY, and WV.

  8. #8


    Also thanks for the suggestions on healthy and smart driving! I'll be sure to pack with that in mind!

  9. #9

    Default Change of Plans

    We decided to take out the northern half of our trip and concentrate on the south to not deal with snow. I elongated the southern portion to hit some other areas. The total drive time is cut by 12 hours.

    We are goign to head down the Appalachian Trail into Georgia and down to Mobile, Alabama. We are going to go along the Gulf Coast, cross Lake Ponchartrain, and spend some time in New Orleans. Depending on how much time we spend in NO we will either head towards Texarkana, TX to Muskogee, OK and back across AR, TN, KY, WV, MD, to PA. Or we might just shoot up to Monroe, LA and into AR and TN.

    Any new thoughts on the revised version of the trip?
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-28-2008 at 11:52 AM. Reason: good move on adding to this thread -- it would have been merged here anyway

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Hardly Any Better

    You're still looking at somewhere on the order of 3,500-4,000 miles. Unless you've added some serious extra time to the four days you had available for this trip, your revised plan is not a significant improvement over your previous one. Sorry, those are the hard facts.


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