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  1. #1

    Default First solo road trip. Is this what I should be doing?

    Hey everyone.

    About a week ago I decieded i want to go on a solo road trip for many reasons. I feel it would be an important experiance for me, (more of a "quest" than anything else)

    The only problem is, I'm a 23 year-old male and I've never been on one before, and I would love some advise from solo veterans.

    -My first concern is the lack of planning. I want to be gone for a week and travel as far as i can (comfortably) in that time. I have no overall destination planned, rather just general directions i want to head in. I don't want to accomplish a destination as much as a mini impromptu adventure. Is this completely unreasonable to base a trip off of almost nothing?

    I plan to stay away from major cities and highways, I'd love to explore towns and meet people.

    -My second concern is pretty big. LODGING. I don't want to, (nor could i afford) to stay at motels every night. I have a small 2-person hiking tent and i plan on packing the camp nessesities. I'm also prepared to sleep in my car (given the right circumstances.) Would it be unreasonable to search for a campground most nights without reservation?

    I plan on leaving from western MASS and go south down the east coast then in the direction of chicago, then back home, ready to change course at any time, hopefully making some sort of loop.

    I guess what I'm trying to ask is, am I setting myself up for a bad time with this aimless trip? I joined to ask this question and I've been reading the great threads and articles on solo road trips. I'm very excited about doing it but I would like to hear advise and/or stories from solo trippers.

  2. Default

    Unreasonable? A road trip with no set plans? It might curl the toes of your parents and grandparents, but not those of other roadtrippers. Many of us have set out doing exactly what you want to do and have had fun doing it.

    There are other sections on the forum where we discussed cheap hotels/motels (Motel 6 seems to be a cheapy leader), sleeping in rest stops (NO!), staying overnight in a truckstop (yes), and camping along the way. I've passed many campgrounds that weren't crowded, so chances are, drop ins are welcome. In fact, I saw one yesterday that had about eight campers and tents with lots of open sites available in a small town park. You want to check state parks, national forests, national parks (usually booked far in advance), local parks, and private campgrounds. AAA has campbooks if you are a member, but not all campgrounds are listed.

    If you stay at a truckstop, in your car, try to buy gas or snacks, or eat in their restaurant as a thank you for using their property. You'll need gasoline and food, anyway, won't you, so give them some business.

    Be sure to get maps of the locations you plan to visit. Interstates have state welcome centers with lots of good info, free maps, travel brochures, so if you can, use the interstate just to enter each state - the welcome centers/rest areas aren't that far from the state line in most cases, and well worth the stop for the free maps alone. Or get maps from AAA or another travel club you may be a member of.

    Don't forget, you can always stop at a grocery store to buy food and drinks instead of going the fast food route or eating in restaurants all the time.

    Read this forum, there's lots of advice from those who've done it before, many times.

    Happy traveling!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Sounds great !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Sometimes, especially when you can take advantage of "me time," it's great to head out and "get lost" for a while. If you are looking for small towns and 2 laners you are not going to find it easy to sleep in your car safely and legally [truck stops] but finding a campground shouldn't be a problem.
    Roll into town and engage conversation with the locals and they are usually more than happy to discuss there "hidden gems" with you.
    For your first trip a week is going to be a nice amount of time for a trial run and to gain experience.

    Good luck ! [and let us know how it turned out]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Not crazy at all!

    A meandering, exploratory roadtrip with no goals, set itinerary, or pressure to burn miles is my idea of the sublime.

    Another way to save money is to eat out of your cooler. It's also healthier and usually less time-consuming...or at least allows you to eat in a pretty area (parks, etc.) vs. sitting in a building.

    Just drive until you're half-way through your days or money, and then start meandering back toward home.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about what you discover!

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