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  1. Default Loop around the U.S.

    Hi, new to the forums here..

    I have planned out a road trip for next summer and hope to complete it in three weeks. The stops for visiting friends and family will be short to fit the three week schedule. After planning it out through Google Earth I came up with an estimate of 8,700 miles and 140 hours of driving. I then split the trip up into legs as shown below. I'm the type of person who wants to keep going until I reach my destination; being a loop, there will always be a new destination until the last leg, so I'll have motivation to keep pushing.

    Anyone with experience have suggestions or advice to offer?

    (6 AM - 6 PM) Day 1 - 740 miles, 12 hours to El Paso, Texas
    (6 AM - 10 PM) Day 2 - 1,015 miles, 16 hours to Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Day 3 - Visit
    (6 AM - 4 PM) Day 4 - 670 miles, 11 hours to Augusta, Georgia
    Day 5 - Visit
    (6 AM - 8 PM) Day 6 - 864 miles, 14 hours to Poughkeepsie, New York
    Day 7 - Visit
    (7 AM - 2 PM) Day 8 - 437 miles, 7 hours to Bangor, Maine
    Day 9 - Visit
    (6 AM - 9 PM) Day 10 - 981 miles, 15 hours to Toledo, Ohio
    (6 AM - 2 PM) Day 11 - 496 miles, 8 hours to St. Louis, Missouri
    Day 12 - Visit
    (6 AM - 1 PM) Day 13 - 415 miles, 7 hours to Pella, Iowa
    Day 14 - Visit
    (6 AM - 1 PM) Day 15 - 436 miles, 7 hours to Morris, Minnesota
    Day 16 - Visit
    (6 AM - 1 PM) Day 17 - 402 miles, 7 hours to Dickinson, North Dakota
    (6 AM - 8 PM) Day 18 - 835 miles, 14 hours to Orofino, Idaho
    (6 AM - 4 PM) Day 19 - 541 miles, 10 hours to Yoncalla, Oregon
    Day 20 - Visit
    (6 AM - 7 PM) Day 21 - 876 miles, 13 hours to Redlands, California

  2. #2


    Please take this as a constructive comment rather than personally but that is just too tight a schedule. The times given by mapping software are notoriously inaccurate and, as far as I am told, are generated purely using a random number generator. Expect to add up to 30% to those times when you factor in rest breaks, gas stops, roadworks, weather, traffic delays and other everyday things that Mr Google has no control over. Driving for long periods is tiring (I recently drove from London to Hamburg and then on to Copenhagen and I am still feeling tired -- and that was just two days of driving) and it is generally recommended that a full day of driving should be no more than 500-600 miles. You have done well to slot in break days but I fear you really must get those driving days down to manageable numbers. Over 1,000 miles in a day is suicidal. Can you add another week or two to the trip?

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

    Default Oh boy.

    I have to agree ! Hello and welcome to the RTA forums.

    If you divided your day's up differently to remove the legs of 7/800 miles and over, you still need to cover 415 miles every day, which is over 7 hours of travel per day on average, and that's without adding miles for detours such as visiting or sight seeing. It's possible, if you want to see America from the car window and have 2 and 3 hour visits, but not a lot of fun day after day.

    Travelling 1750 miles for 30 hours over your first 2 day's is a serious risk to your health and those that share the road with you, and the worst possible way to start any road trip. You will be exhausted on arrival and most likely will not enjoy the welcome and excitement of the family wanting to see you. You are then going to have another gruelling day of "only" 670 miles, not good I am afraid.


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

    Default stop

    Sorry, but you've got some days that you are trying to do about twice as much driving as you should for a safe trip, much less one where you'll have any fun at all.

    You've got two days of about 1,000 miles, that will require you to be on the road for 18-20 hours, not the 16 you currently have listed - and in any case that's far more than you should ever consider being on the road for a trip like this. On top of that, you've got several more days which are in the 700-800+ mile range, which are also just too much to be at all enjoyable or leave any time for fun on a multi-day trip. Simply put, you are going to be exhausted before you even get to the east coast, and you're quickly going to become a danger to everyone else on the road.

    Building a trip where you always keep moving is fine, but the "destinations" you've got listed will be little more than places you'll need to stop and try to recover and rest up for your next grueling leg. I would encourage you in the strongest possible terms to rethink your approach here and come up with a more safe, fun, and realistic plan where you can still see alot, and keep moving, without trying to do so much that you can't possibly have a positive outcome.

  5. Default

    I was also afraid that this might be too much, which is why I looked for suggestions, and no offense was taken towards any of your advice. I have made two, 13-hour drives back to back before and was fine, which is what I based my trip's legs on (Except for the initial long stretch to Louisiana).

    So my only option now would be to give myself at least another week. I don't like to cut things so close anyway, and with my luck I'd hit every detour in the U.S.

    Thanks for the input, helped seal the decision to simply give myself more time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A big difference.

    That's great, if you can take another week it puts a whole new perspective on things. It will still keep you on the move, but at least you will have time to relax and explore a little. That will make the trip much more memorable, for all the right reasons.

    If you have any questions about your revised trip just ask.

    I Hope it goes well.

  7. #7


    An excellent decision. You will still know you've driven that distance when you make it home but, erm, at least you will know... it is doubtful whether you would have made it back with your original itinerary!

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