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  1. #1

    Default NH to Oregon.. alone

    I'm a 22 year old woman and I'm moving out west. I have a few main concerns/questions..

    1. NH to Oregon is a long way, especially by oneself. I plan on leaving at midnight, after sleepign all day obviously, and driving straight though that night/morning till I reach about 6pm... or until my legs feel like they're going to fall off.

    My question, is if I drive all the way straight through the country, obviosuly taking breaks and sleep, about how many nights of hotels do you think it will be for me??

    I plan on stopping once in the middle of the country at a cool site for a few hours, then straight to the northern cali coast to spend a day at the beach, then up the coast of cali to oregon. How many nights should I average for spending at night at a hotel?? I have more than enough money to, but I just want to get an average of how many nights it would be.. since I'll be driving all day long during every day of this trip. I'm an idiot at math, and the calculated hours/days is like Arabic to me when I try to place that to me driving.

    2. The types of hotels/motels out there.. I'll be on all main roads, and my gps will obviously give me the closest hotels every night. Are there mostly cheap motels that look like they're out of a murder movie? Or relatively safe.. I just can't help but imagine some 10 room motel 6 that is run by a family who collects skulls. Sorry middle America..

    3. Any ladies who have done this alone... any words of wisedom? Is it what I'm feeling/hoping it will be like?? complete and utter freedom on the open road that empowers you??!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Leaving at midnight.... because?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley6126 View Post
    I plan on leaving at midnight, after sleepign all day obviously, and driving straight though that night/morning till I reach about 6pm... or until my legs feel like they're going to fall off.
    Why would driving 18 hours the first day appeal to you? If you drive 8-10 hours per day it will take about five days to drive across the country. There are more woman solo road trippers than men. Here are some tips:

    First-timer and her planning process
    Post her first trip
    Solo lodging and camping ideas
    Judy's Recommendations
    Jillian's Recommendations
    An overview article I wrote.

    Enjoy the planning!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    I can only echo Mark, why would you want to start by driving 18 hours? It will not only exhaust you, but will leave you vulnerable both on the road, and off.

    Driving solo as a female is absolutely no more dangerous than being a female alone at home. You need to be alert and aware of your surroundings wherever you drive and wherever you sleep.

    Break the trip up into five (I would make it six) manageable days. Arrive at your destination each day, in time to check out accommodation, eat a leisurely meal and have a good night's sleep.

    By all means start early in the morning after a hearty breakfast. That way a coffee, snack and fruit during the day will keep you going.

    But hey, at least allow yourself the luxury of time to stop when you see something which really grabs your fancy.

    Lifey who has travelled more than 60000 miles alone

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default yipes

    I completely agree with the previous posts about starting your trip by trying to drive through the night for 18 straight hours is very very foolish. There just is no way a solo driver can maintain a level of alertness needed for safety for that period of time. Not to mention, even if you did accomplish it, you'd still only be a fraction of the way across country. You'd still have several days of driving ahead of you, but you will be completely exhausted and burnt out after your crazy marathon from day one.

    I will say though, I'm a little confused by the goal of your plan. On one hand, you are acting like this needs to be a super-speed run, but on the other hand you are talking about stopping in Northern California for a while and driving up the Pacific Coast. Northern California is quite a ways off the direct route, and the Pacific Coast Highway is a very slow route. There's nothing wrong with going this way, but it will add at least a few days to your drive time, so it doesn't seem to fit with a plan that otherwise sounds like a speed run.

  5. Default

    I think it's generally unwise to plan on driving at night on road trips, so I try to keep my behind-the-wheel time limited to the daytime. If you want to push yourself, 12 hours a day is a good upper limit.

    My recommended overnight stays:
    Toledo, OH
    Omaha, NE
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Eureka, CA

  6. #6


    Wow, thanks for the advice guys. I guess I over estimated my ability to drive starting at night. I guess I'll just get up early and start on the road by like 4.

    I'm not in a big speedy rush.. Well, in a sense I am for the first half of this trip. I want to get out of the North East fast. But this isn't your typical road trip, I don't have all these amazing places mapped out. Just two. One in Colorado and then northern Cali beaches. So really it will only be two days of actually site seeing. Other than that it's driving all day and sleeping at night.
    With the occassional stop at a cool place (lake, river, mountain veiw) to take pics/eat snacks.

    So I guess it'll be luke 5-6 nights of hotels? That's not too too bad.

    And thanks for those links! I'm checking those out now:)

  7. Default have you considered a companion


    have you ever considered a travel companion? i'm looking for someone leaving the east coast in a month or two and traveling to california, specifically San Francisco.

    I'm not a stranger to road trips as my college was very far from home and I roadtripped the 22hours several times by myself. I found that it can be very surreal, enlightening, and exciting but for a trip as long as yours.... maybe consider bringing someone along. It's not only safer and cheaper but it can be a little saner too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default best case

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley6126 View Post
    So I guess it'll be luke 5-6 nights of hotels? That's not too too bad.
    Well, it would be 5-6 nights if you take the direct route. With your detours to Colorado and California, you're probably looking at a couple extra nights. If you are taking the coast highway all the way from San Francisco to Portland, you should also plan on that taking a couple nights all by itself.

  9. #9


    Huh, it will add a few extra nights? That's not what I need haha, not only am I taking this road trip but I'm moving, soo I'm not exactely looking to spend all this extra cash. Blast.

    And to the other poster (sorry I'm replying from my phone) I have thought of partners to drive with. My best guy friend may come, but I don't think he will. I'm a pretty independent girl though... Meaning I already spend a lot if time by myself just writing/reading/etc. I dont need my friends to keep me entertained.. Just great music and the open road

    So I'm use to it.

    But as far as alll the responses from when to leave to travel time to amount of hours to drive a day and more, thanks sooo much. You've all really helped me!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Generally, just about any chain hotel at Interstate exits (except in larger cities) will be livable. I don't recommend you stay in hotels in large cities - the affordable ones frequently are in undesirable areas of town. Stick to the more rural areas and smaller towns.

    Most Motel 6's are no longer horror stories. Accor has recently put a lot of effort into cleaning up their properties, so to speak. The last trip I took (last month) I had better experiences at Motel 6 than I did at Super 8.

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