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  1. Default North Carolina to California- Questions

    I am planning on working out in California for 11-12 weeks this summer starting in May and am staying with a roommate from college while I am out there. I have a 2007 Volvo S-40 with 50,000 miles on it and am interested in driving out there for a few reasons:

    1. So I don't bother my roommate and will have my own car
    2. To be able to drive across the country

    However, I am a little worried about time/ cost/ overall efficiency of driving across the country. I am pretty sure a friend or two can come with me and would buy their own plane ticket back, but I would cover the cost of everything else getting out there including places to stay, gas, etc.

    1. I am wondering what the best route would be that I could do in a 7 day trip from NC to Long Beach, CA where I could hit a few "hot spots" along the way.
    2. Is it worth it to drive out there and have my own car versus renting a car on the weekends and taking public transportation to work during my time out there
    3. For a trip with just girls (25 year olds)- is this safe and what types of places would you recommend us staying in?

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

    Default specifics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The most direct route will likely be I-40 basically the whole way across, and with 7 days to work with, you don't really have time to go too far from the most direct option. Having said that there are no such things as generic "best routes" or even "hot spots." Those are going to depend entirely on what you are hoping to get out of the trip and what things you are interested in.

    As far as if its "worth it to have a car" Again, the is it worth it is such a personal question that its hard to give you a good answer. Personally, I wouldn't want to try to get around the LA area without a car, but if you will be staying a short distance from your work and don't think you'll need a car for much else, going without a car could possibly be an option.

    Roadtrips can be perfectly safe for females and solo travelers, as long as you are practicing the same basic common sense safety that you would use at home. Remember, every place you'll travel through is someone else's hometown.

  3. #3

    Default Factors

    Hello ecramsey,

    Midwest Michael's response hits all the high spots of the personal choices you're going to have to make, so I'll just add a handful:

    Assume it will be cheaper to fly out and back if car rental while in CA is not included.

    Estimate how often you'd rent a car for weekends, etc.

    Consider the cost in terms of long term maintenance/repairs by virtue of the minimum of 6,000 miles you'd put on your car just to get from here in NC to LA and back. It's another cost of driving, just not one which is often considered.

    Consider the upfront cost of maintenance you'd want done prior to departing.

    I generally don't consider the entire cost of food while on the road: I tend to eat every day so I just estimate the "extra" costs associated with purchasing prepared meals more often than I do so at home.

    Consider the "extras" you can have along with in the event you drive it.

    All of that said, I agree with MM that I'd sure want a car if I were to be anywhere for 11-12 weeks. I also relish the thoughts of a cross-country drive: Been there, done that, and it's a great thing to do. I'm also in agreement that application of common sense with regards to the trip and how one handles oneself should eliminate fears related to being a female RoadTripper. Do take a friend or two to share the fun with.

    Have fun with the planning and the RoadTrip!


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