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  1. Default First time road trip - San Jose to Urbana

    Hello everyone,

    I am going to graduate school at UIUC and I was thinking of making a road trip out of this as I do not know if I will get to explore and sightsee new areas any time soon when school starts. I was born and raised in San Jose and never really traveled much but this will be my first road trip that I am really considering.
    I wanted some opinions on the best enjoyable route for a complete novice like me. To be honest, I was thinking of doing this on the fly (ex. Not booking my stays weeks in advance) and was wondering what you experienced folks think I should do? The one thing I am always worried about is the gaps between services and wondering if that is ever problem? Like there will services every several or seceral dozen miles or are there cases where I will not see services for 100's of miles? I am planning to go by myself and driving a 2014 Honda Civic.

    I apologize but I started to buckle down and look at my options of travel so I do not have much info on the roadtrip.

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Plan Before Rather then Worry During

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While there is a lot to be said for allowing for spontaneity on the road and going where your interests and mood take you at the moment, the best way to achieve the freedom to do so is to spend a certain amount of time beforehand planning your trip. That doesn't mean that you have to know exactly what roads you'll be on at any given moment or where you'll rest your head each night. But you do have to know at least how long you have for the trip and what that means in terms of how far you have to get each day to remain on schedule. You also have to have a good idea of what your main options are in terms of highways that will get you from San Jose to Champaign. It would certainly help if you knew where the major attractions were that you might want to see and where there were towns/cities large enough to offer more than the gut basic diner and single motel choice. And while there are still a very few (countable on the fingers of one hand) places in the contiguous states where it's more than 100 miles between gas stations, if you never let your gas guage get below 1/2 without absolutely knowing where you next plan to fill up you'll be fine. So in short, fantasize a bit about your trip, but a bit of solid planning will go a long way to making it as worry free and constraint free as possible.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you plan on taking US-50 across Nevada, fill your tank in Fallon no matter how much gas is in the tank. There is no reasonably priced gas till Ely, fill it there, plan on filling again in Salina.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Valuable information.

    To get you started, you might like to look at this article. It will help you in the way you think about your trip.

    Getting hold of some good paper maps, or a quality road atlas will also help you greatly in seeing just how many routes from which you can choose, and what attractions are along those routes. Use your electronics to get mileage and do research, but don't make the mistake of relying on electronics when out on the road.


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