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  1. Default Texas to California Road Trip

    So this is the plan.

    Fort worth to El Paso for a couple of days, then shoot out to Laguna Niguel, up to Denver and back down to Fort Worth in about 8 days. The trip is going to be about 3300 miles, spanning about 60 hours of driving. Am I pushing it too much, or will I have time to enjoy my spring break? I've never done an expansive road trip before, so I'm asking for all the advice I can get. So far it's just me, but I could possibly have a friend accompany me on the trip. Has anyone done this or have any advice for me?

    I've already changed my oil and plan on doing it during the trip at least once, and I anticipate spending about 280 bucks on gas.

    I'm bringing $750 with me, is this enough?

    Thanks for any advice I can get.

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

    Default days not hours

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Whenever you are planning a trip like this, its better to think of your trip in days, not hours. Computer programs really don't reflect the realities of being on the road where you have to stop for food and fuel, and even if they were a total number of hours really doesn't tell you much for a total multi-day trip.

    A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn't try to do much more than 500-600 miles in a full day on the road, so you're looking at a good 6 days of driving right now. If that's too much for an 8 day trip really depends upon you and your travel style, but considering you want to send "a couple days" in El Paso, I suspect you're probably going to have to cut things back a little bit. Doing either California or Colorado, instead of both, is probably going to make for a trip more along the lines of what you are looking for.

    $750 on the surface sounds like a decent amount of money for your trip. It will depend upon your other expenses though, specifically where you plan to sleep, how you plan to eat, and what things you're planning to do for fun.

    BTW, for a trip under 5000 miles, I really wouldn't worry about getting the oil changed on the road. Just do it when you get back home. Highway miles are pretty easy on oil, and most cars manuals actually say you only need to change it every 5000-7500 miiles under those kinds of conditions.

  3. Default

    I went from New Orleans to Santa Monica last year. First leg of the trip took me to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the first few days. Then I headed up to Oklahoma City. Heading out west, I was traveling Route 66, but of course, had to take I-40 for great distances because the old road is gone in many places. Still, I did a lot of detours, lots of backtracking where old 66 dead ends to get back to my starting point or to I-40. So I took a lot of time driving and exploring.

    After leaving the Los Angeles area, I headed east on I-10, down to I-8 until just south of Casa Grande, AZ, and continued on I-10 back to New Orleans. Now, I must say, Texas is mighty wide. It takes what seems like FOREVER to cross that state, especially since I was crossing at it's widest point (I remembered why I had previously chosen to fly to the west coast for other jaunts and hire a rental car).

    So, here's my advice. Make choices. What do you REALLY want to see and do? Go with that. You'll probably make some changes along the way, especially if you are going solo, because you'll be able to change on a whim. Make your trip logical. Don't overextend yourself.

    About those finances, if you are traveling with $750, do you have back up? Credit card? Debit card with lots of cash in the bank? What happens if you have car trouble? How can you pay to have it fixed quickly? Do you have good auto insurance?

    Granted, my trip was 24 days, but I made sure I had accessible cash, credit cards, debit cards. Also, it's a good idea to have AAA or some other automotive club membership. I used my credit card for hotels, debit card for gasoline, and usually saved my cash for food, postcards, and grocery shopping. I make several stops to buy food for snacking, plus I had brought some from home for the first few days, so I would have a stash in the car, just in case. My trip was wonderfully safe.

    Travel wisely, and on a budget, but be prepared.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice!

    We're just going to shoot straight out to Laguna Beach from Fort Worth, not even worrying about Colorado. I do have a credit card if worse comes to worst, so I'm okay in that aspect. Luckily I'll have a partner in crime with me to keep me company on the trip, so I'm not going it alone. I plan on being on the road all day Sunday and Monday, as well as the following Saturday and Sunday.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    1400 miles from Ft Worth to Laguna Beach - that's kinda pushing it in 2 days. I'd recommend you look at overnight stops in El Paso and Yuma on the way out, and Tucson and Midland on the way back.

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