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  1. Default Solo Road Trip-- from Carmel CA to Portland then Vermont

    Hi Everyone--

    I'm looking for advice for a female solo traveler going from Carmel, CA- Portland, OR to Burlington, Vermont.

    I want to go through Idaho and Montana and have a friend in Michigan, but have no idea where to hit as far as getting through the Dakotas-- and after that. I've never done this before and am both terrified and excited.

    So am looking for safe places to stay-- the best route to go as far as fun, food and economy.

    I don't have a ton of money and after driving 7 hours on the 1 from LA to Carmel-- definitely don't want to drive more than 6 -7 hours a day.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Some suggestions for you.

    Hi Kristy and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Driving for 7 hours on an interstate will get you considerably further than driving on CA1. Seven hours should get you about 350 - 400 miles along the way. It is also less tiring, and you may find you'll be happy to go to 8 hours.

    As a fellow solo female roadtripper, I can assure you most places you go to are safe. You have that little voice which warns you when you are in the 'wrong' place. Just like at home, listen to it, and find a place where you feel more comfortable. One worthwhile insurance policy is to get a AAA membership, if you do not already have a roadside assistance plan. I like the top plan which gives you more towing distance, something I have had to use on long distance trips.

    While at the AAA be sure to pick up maps (free to members). Get a map of each and every State you will be covering. Also Ontario, if that is going to be an option. When you have had a chance to look at the maps you will see the most efficient route, and also what detours are available to you. Scenic routes are marked on maps. You will also note all the attractions along the way, which are marked on the map - in case you are wanting to do some sightseeing.

    Use your electronics to calculate distances. Along the interstates you will note at the rest areas there are booklets available with hotel/motel discount coupons. These are usually for walk ins only, though sometimes all the discount rooms are taken. There are some good deals to be had, and I have used them quite a bit to keep costs down. Check out the room before you commit. They can't refuse. Check that it is clean, that the smoke alarm has not been dismantled and that the door has a lock which cannot be opened from the outside, such as the chain lock. If all is well, and you feel comfortable about the place, you will be safe.

    Food and drinks are cheapest at the supermarket. Try to resist purchasing at convenience stores.

    Here is a forum with suggestions on saving money on a road trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    AAA membership will also get you a hotel discount.

  4. Default

    Life Magician--

    Thank you so much for the advice and info. I'm definitely going to get AAA-- and also an oil change!

    I'm looking at the map and am doing my best to feel positive about this gargantuan task-- and am struggling between wanting to do the trip fast and efficiently vs taking my time and trying to enjoy it because I doubt I will ever make the trip again.

    Any thoughts on places to stop on the way?


  5. Default

    thanks glc!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Never say never.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy Willis View Post
    ... because I doubt I will ever make the trip again.
    You don't know what the future holds. I never ever planned to visit the US, yet I am now planning my eight trip for next year. The first was for my son's wedding By then I was a senior citizen / grandmother. Over the years I have driven coast to coast at least half a dozen times.


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