From TX to NY
My friend and I are taking a road trip from Texas to upstate New York, leaving the first week of March and returning before the middle of the same month. It's also sort-of a moving trip, as we have some luggage that we need to move back down to Texas from NY. It's our first road trip ever, and I was wondering if anyone has helpful tips? Anything from renting a car (I have an SUV with 2WD. Should we rent?) to weather and road conditions. I am a little nervous because I've never driven in snow before, but my friend has, and she says it will be safe as long as we drive safely. This time of the year is the only time we are both free.
2WD is all you need.
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !
Your car will be fine, basically if the conditions were that bad you felt you needed a 4WD, you should simply get off the road and let the storm pass while road crews do their job of clearing the road. It might also give you a false sense of security as a 4WD isn't a fail safe way of driving on ice and snow, that comes with experience, of which you have said you have non in these conditions.
Interstates are a priority to keep open and safe to the millions of travellers that use them daily, so give yourself enough time for the journey each way plus a little 'wiggle' room. Check the road and weather conditions prior to leaving and make an informed decision of which route to take. Texas is a big place and not knowing where you are starting from means we can't give you specifics, but 500-600 miles in a day is on the maximum we would recommend, that equates to 9 to 10 hours of driving with time for short stops while travelling along main routes.
It's very possible you won't see any 'white stuff' along the way, it's good to prepare and be aware of certain hazards etc, but relax you will be just fine !
Thanks for the welcome and encouragement, Southwest Dave!
Specifically, we are leaving from Houston, TX and going up to Albany, NY. My parents are mostly worried about liability and insurance issues because we are driving my car, and I'm bringing a friend along. They think it might be safer to rent a car, as the insurance will cover both people in the car, but I would really prefer to drive my own car because I'm so comfortable with it already. Do most people drive their own cars on road trips with friends?
How old are you and your friend? If you are under 21, renting won't be an option and if you are 21-24, you'll be looking at a fee of about $25 per day per underage driver on top of whatever your rental fee is. That's of course in addition to whatever additional insurance you are thinking of buying.
You really need to check with your insurance company to see how you are protected when someone else is driving your car. Also, your current car insurance typically covers you in a rental car, but that's also something you should check with your agent about.
Hi, Midwest Michael. My friend and I are both 23. Thanks for the info! I will check on my insurance policy. I've been researching rental companies, and there's just so much small print that it just seems easier to not rent. All the ones I've looked at also have mileage charges for out-of-state driving. I'm surprised at how the price of renting racks up once you factor in that, plus insurance, plus all the other extra fees they charge.
There are lots of cases where renting makes a lot of sense. A lot of people would rather make a trip in a new car, not worry about putting miles on their own car, and not worry about any mechanical issues.
There are also lots of people to take the approach that you buy a car because its what's comfortable and you intend to use it!
When you're under 25, like you are, it's not really as much of a choice. If you can use your own car, it will almost always be much cheaper because of the surcharges you'll face as an underage driver.
Thanks for the all the advice! I'm leaning heavily toward taking off in my car. The trip is just a few short weeks away, and I'm getting so pumped up for it!!
It makes sense TBH.
Just make sure you get someone who is qualified/competent enough to check your vehicle over before you leave. Servicing should be up to date, with all the fluids and belts checked and topped up/replaced if necessary, including wash/wipe with screen wash fluid. Check lights, wiper blades, tyre pressures and condition [including the spare] and that you have the tools needed in case of a puncture. [I'm am quite sure someone would stop to help if needed, but it's important you have the right equipment for your vehicle.]
Once checked out, your Good to go !
Thanks, Southwest Dave!
We're planning on going through Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. Maybe even into Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts if we want to do more sightseeing. Are there any highways or roads we should avoid? I have no idea what the weather is normally like in early March or what the elevation of those highways are. We will be doing a bit of driving in the Appalachians.