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  1. Default 1400 mi solo planned for early November

    Hi all. I am going to be traveling about 1400 miles in just a couple of days at the first of November. I'm going to be traveling from Alabama to Vermont for school. I'm 21 and was a former physics/education/English major and am going to culinary school and need to do the trip as inexpensively and quickly as possible. I have possible stops I could make outside of DC and in Boston, so I am considering making this either a 2 or 3 day trip. I'll be driving a 1995 Mazda 5-speed truck. Below is a list of questions for those of you who are wiser than I am:

    1. Should I split up the trip or do it all in one whack? (Note: I'm not sightseeing anywhere except maybe Boston)

    2. What is the best way to secure my belongings in the truck bed so things don't get stolen? I don't plan on having too much crap with me. A footlocker, maybe a couple sea bags. I'll put my more valuable things in the cab with me and have a tarp over the truck bed.

    3. Has anyone ever driven a route similar to this before? If you have, do you have any tips?

    I appreciate all you guys's help on this.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    1400 miles is just too far for a solo driver (and really even multiple drivers) to cover in just 2 days. You need to plan to spend 2 nights on the road. Two and a half days really is the minimum amount of time needed to do this safely, and if you are planning to detour to Boston and/or DC, thus driving up the ultra-busy I-95 corridor, then it really becomes a 3 full day trip before you do any stopping for siteseeing.

    I think the plans you've come up with for securing your belongs are probably your best bet. When they are in an open pickup, you really don't have many options for keeping them secure, so keeping things covered and tied down to make it difficult to find and grab things. Just try to take everything in with you at night.

  3. Default

    I have to be in Montpelier, VT, by a Monday morning, so I was considering spending a day doing nothing in Boston if possible. Would you recommend daytime or nighttime driving?

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


    Unless you are used to working a graveyard shift, I'd strongly recommend driving during daylight hours. Being solo, it will be way way way too easy for you to drift off behind the wheel especially if you are trying to do this during hours where your body thinks you should be sleeping.

    You didn't say exactly where in AL you are starting from, but unless you are starting from say Huntsville or somewhere else in the northern edge of the state, even trying to make Boston in just two days really pushes beyond what we'd recommend, especially for a solo traveler. It should also be noted that going to DC is also likely going to be far too far to try to get to in just one day.

  5. Default

    I'll be driving from Tuscaloosa. I'm thinking I could leave on a Friday for DC early morning. I've made the drive that's about the same distance from here up to Iowa just fine. I'll be taking a couple weeks off of work before going on the road, so I will be good and rested. I might leave on Thursday and stay in Knoxville, TN, depending on if the Vols are playing at home or away that weekend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Tuscalosa to DC is 800 miles, which is far more than we recommend you do in one day, its also about 200 miles more than professional drivers would be allowed to do. Even if you've "done it before" it really becomes a game of russian roulette where its only a matter of when you'll have a problem, not a matter of if.

    The bigger issue is that while you might be able to complete that trip in one day, you've still got another major drive ahead of you the next day, so you'd be dealing with exhaustion while trying to navigate one of the busiest traffic corridors on the planet. In other words, you'll be endangering both yourself and the lives of the thousands of other people you'll be sharing the roads with. Its a bad idea, and I can't urge you strongly enough to not try it.

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