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  1. Default Washington DC to Orlando alone

    Hi all.

    Ive been planning this 850 mile jaunt for a while now and cant believe its taken this long to find this board.
    Im from England and in April am driving from Washington to meet family in Orlando.

    Ive scoured the board for all sorts of tips but I could still do with some specific advice.

    Safety - Ive heard you shouldnt really stop at Gas stations on your own. This will be pretty much unavoidable but are they safe? Am I ok to stop and get a drink?
    I'm going to need at least 1 night in a motel. Are the ones off the I95 generally safe?

    Accommodation - I planned to just stop at any motel I saw on the I95 when I got tired but Ive read on here some are a dive. Are there any chains that are universally cheap and clean? I am ok to just pull over and get a room off the duff right?

    Sights - I dont mind taking my time and stretching it over 2 or 3 days. Ive read Carolina is nice, touristy and has nice cheap shops but is there anything major I should be aware of?

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default common sense

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've probably heard a lot of tall tales that have you a little more concerned than you need to be.

    I can say that I've stopped at hundreds of gas stations by myself in the middle of the night and never had a problem. Most gas stations along the interstate are going to be very well lit, and usually will have at least some traffic at most any time of day or night. Same with motels, you really shouldn't have any problems. Using common sense is the key, if a place looks poorly lit or raises your concern level, skip it and move onto the next option. Along this route you should never have to travel too far between populated areas, so just don't put yourself in a corner where you have to take the next option, no matter what it is.

    There are plenty of different hotel chains out there, with motel 6, super 8, and econolodge being among the more popular chains at the bottom of the price spectrum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Your halfway point is near Florence, SC. There should be plenty of moderately priced hotels in this area at the Interstate exits. If it's too early to stop, Savannah is another 2 hours or so. I-95 is one of the heaviest traveled highways in the country, you will never be alone. If all you want is a drink, most of the rest areas right on the Interstate have vending machines with snacks, sodas, water, and coffee. Most gas stations at Interstate exits have mini-marts and often a fast-food restaurant such as a McDonalds or a Subway attached. Truck stops are very safe and many have full service restaurants.

  4. Default

    I've done this drive about 8-10 times in my life. It's an easy and sometimes boring drive. Make sure you stop at South of the Border, a made up Mexican town right on the North and South Carolina border. It's a dumpy tourist trap, but it's definitly worth swinging by and checking out for 15 minutes.

    When you enter Florida you get can stop at the rest center for a free fresh glass of Florida Orange Juice.

    Also while heading through Southern Virginia and the Carolinas, get off I-95 for a few miles and check out the miles and miles of Tobacco fields.

    You will have no problems with safety at all. Gas stations are very safe. Just don't end up in a bad part of Washinton DC.

    You can always check out Daytona Beach in Florida as well. Nice area.

    Good Cheap Motel chains along the way: Super 8, Motel 6, Sleep Inn.

    Have Fun!

  5. Default

    Thanks for your help guys.

    I am curious, whats classed as bad parts of Washington? Im staying on the same street as the Edgar Hover building so I guess thats pretty safe right?

    Surely my guide books wont point me to a bad area?

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